Alright, we can’t promise it. But we did ask the professionals—as well as the fastest Men’s Journal staffers and friends—what they do to rekindle their enthusiasm for running. Because, let’s face it, jogging can be tedious in addition to being meditative. An established route can get boring after a while. Everybody has experienced those mornings when they lace up their sneakers but just don’t feel like doing anything. These suggestions will help you get over your running boredom when you’ve already tried downloading a new song, incorporating fartleks, and spending a small fortune on pricey new shoes.
Run the stairs fast
Ten to fifteen minutes will raise your heart rate, exercise your legs and abdominals, challenge your balance, and stimulate your mind. Additionally, this style of interval training will help you prepare if you have a mountainous event coming up. You’ll be suckling oxygen like crazy the first few ascents, so don’t be shocked. You’ll get into the rhythm if you stick with it for three or four reps.
Go early in the morning if you run at night.
Although getting up early is challenging, there is something energizing about running as the sun is rising. A sense of satisfaction from completing your miles early on may help you get through the rest of the day (and avoids any nighttime excuses). Bonus: Exercisers who exercise in the morning have lower blood pressure than those who exercise in the afternoon or evening, and they also have better sleep, according to research from Appalachian State University.
If you leave early, run at night.
According to Jason Fitzgerald, author of Running for Health and Happiness, if you’re used to overcoming stiffness in the first few morning kilometers, you may find an evening run is simpler because your muscles are more malleable after moving about all day. Plus, unlike morning runners who are working out while fasting, you’ve been eating all day, building up your tank. Additionally, taking it out on the road is undoubtedly healthier than drinking your frustrations if you had a horrible day at work.
Leave the city.
Running the same routes close to your house can get boring. A slight change of scenery can be just what you need to get your blood pumping. Get in your car and drive to a nearby trail or natural park. Alternately, go on a day trip to a nearby city that includes some running. You may even organize your own little get-together with a few buddies or your significant other. Plan a point-to-point journey. Consider taking a bus or train to a different town, then running back there. You could even hoof it to a separate train station and catch a ride back into the city while sipping your preferred recovery beverage.
Take a nature hike.
The cure for those who are pace-obsessed is trails. You must slow down and briefly break up with your split time due to the uneven terrain. Additionally, according to Mario Fraioli, a run coach in San Francisco, it challenges your balance and stabilizing muscles. Trails are also stunning.
Run a 5K.
Many runners would advise choosing a challenging, life-affirming goal. Don’t. Instead, run a 5K. It was probably the first race you ever registered for, it welcomes runners of all ages and skill levels, and there’s probably one on Saturday in your neighborhood that hasn’t even reached capacity yet. Distance runner Andrew Kastor says, “5Ks can be ran every weekend, but marathons can’t.” If a person is dissatisfied with their finish on race day, they can go on and locate another one within the same month. It requires less effort, and that’s a good thing. Because the training is inexpensive (a New York City Marathon bib is $295, for example) and causes little physical stress, you’ll have plenty of time and energy to engage in other physical activities or interests. You’ll have a pre-race adrenaline even at 3.1 miles, and you’ll arrive at the post-race beers that much sooner.
Consider a Runcation.
Better yet, finish it quickly. You might need to ramp up the pace, and these June races might be the answer. Pick a race distance that you are accustomed to running. You can then concentrate on what you need to bring.
PICK UP YOUR PASSPORT.
Walking around a new place is more enjoyable than taking a tour bus, and many foreign countries offer races that are worth attending, like the STOCKHOLM MARATHON (June 2). Running is quite popular in the Swedish capital. The short, flat course passes the Royal Palace, via the Djurgrden, an island park in the centre of town, and over bridges and through rivers. Plan your trip such that you race first and sightsee later. You can then eat and drink whatever you like. If you’re underprepared when you arrive, choose a shorter distance. You don’t want to spend the remainder of your trip limping around after traveling so far by plane.
GET YOUR FRIENDS
You and your pals will travel on point-to-point routes during a Ragnar race. One of our favorites is RAGNAR TRAIL SNOWMASS in Aspen, Colorado (June 8–9). As many laps as they can in a day are completed by teams of eight (or four to make it an ultra). Decide in advance whether you’re running for time or for fun so that everyone has the same goals.
COLLECT YOUR COMPASS.
Hopefully you won’t actually get lost in the woods, but don’t count on any spectators lining the Yellowstone Half Marathon course on June 9 in Montana, which is just outside the park. More than 6,500 feet is the starting elevation, and it rises steadily after that, but the picturesque vistas and wildlife sightings will make you forget your lungs are burning.
GET YOUR BUGSPRAY OUT
The NORTH FACE ENDURANCE CHALLENGE SERIES, MASSACHUSETTS (June 9–10), held at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, is less than two hours from Boston. Choose your mileage, from 5K to 50 kilometers. Fire roads, singletrack, and multi-use trails are all used throughout the route.
Stop using your tracker
one day only. also a week. possibly longer More data is useful until it causes problems, according to Fitzgerald. Even though you may have had a flawless run, you may now be unhappy since you were a minute slower than usual. Alternately, you may spend the entire time performing pace arithmetic in your head and prevent your mind from taking any breaks. Consider it a learning opportunity. You might discover that you change your speeds more, take impromptu detours, or pay closer attention to the subtleties of the environment. Additionally, you’ll have more mental space to pay attention to your body’s signals of exhaustion and energy.
Get fresh socks
According to conventional thinking, buying new running shoes can help you get out of a rut. But you can get the same emotional lift from a fresh pair of socks. Buy a decent pair of technical shoes. (We like Darn Tough’s $25 Vertex Over-the-Calf Light.)
Use the stairmaster.
Yes, we also find it hard to believe that we are advocating it. But there are genuine benefits. A treadmill can push you over a speed plateau if you’ve been struggling with it. And contrary to what your ardent runners buddies claim, jogging through a downpour is unpleasant.
Be a pack rat.
Running with others makes you more responsible and offers you something to anticipate, if you get along with the other person. Choose a running companion that runs faster than you so you can improve your speed, or locate a friend who runs a little more slowly so you can use those days for rest and just enjoying the run. There might be a group run meetup at your neighborhood shoe store. According to a research by the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, group exercisers report more physical, mental, and emotional well-being than solo exercisers.