Some simple changes to breathe new life into your running.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned runner, everybody can get into a rut sometimes. Maybe you get bored with the same old route, or you just find your motivation slumping. So, to get back on track, here are ten simple changes that can breathe new life into your running.
1. Run back home
Running in loops is convenient but it can also become unsatisfying. So instead, why not take a train or bus somewhere and run home? Besides providing a change of scenery it will also add to your run the very basic motivation of getting home.
2. Run somewhere else
Another simple way to create a change of scenery is to run your habitual route in the opposite direction. Or just change location altogether, for instance by swapping routes with a friend. And if you really want to get creative with your route, try the latest trend of figure running.
3. Take a buddy
As every runner knows, the road can get lonely at times. So invite someone along! A friend, your child on a bike, your dog – a companion takes away the isolation and will help you get out of the door when you're about to succumb to excuses.
4. Listen to music
Music can be hugely motivating and having a 'power song' to get you through the tough times certainly works. Put together a playlist, find some well-fitting earphones and off you go. Selecting the perfect running tunes has become something of a science online, so if you need inspiration just do a search for 'running playlists'.
5. Set a challenge and a reward
“5km in 30 mins” or “10km in 1:05.” Setting a goal outside of races and rewarding yourself for achieving them can make running more fun. Create a bit of competition with yourself, and when you win, treat yourself to dinner or buy new gear. Just make sure it’s a reward worth earning.
6. Join a community
Be it the running club down the road, a blogging group or an online community, sharing your running experience with others is a proven way to keep yourself motivated. In fact, it's what can turn running into a lifelong passion.
7. Pick a race
Working towards a race is a great way to structure your running and boost motivation. Building up to an event brings improvement to your performance – a satisfying reward in itself! – and it has the bonus of culminating in a social and fun day out. If you need some help building up your performance responsibly, just start a training program.
8. Run for charity
Make running bigger than yourself and run to raise money for charity. For many runners this has proven to be a very enriching experience, and it's a great way to stay motivated. Just make sure you pick a charity close to your heart – a cause you're willing to sweat for.
9. Add another sport
Cross-training can make you a stronger and more balanced runner. Adding low impact sports such as swimming or cycling will add variety to your training and pay dividends to your running. You'll soon start to notice your own improvement.
10. Run at another time of day
Keeping the simplest advice for last: try varying the time of day when you run. If you're used to running at night, just try a morning run once a week, or vice versa. It will jolt you out of your routine and bring a different perspective to a familiar route.
How about you?
Have you gotten over a slump in motivation? What did the trick for you? Share your tips below!