Are you having a hard time getting started with running? Are you doing it because you feel you “should” and not because you actually enjoy it? Are you dreading your next run or thinking of ways to delay it?
Imagine waking up in the mornings EXCITED about your run.
Running doesn’t have to be a thing you have to convince yourself to do every single time. If you’re dreading your runs, find yourself often putting them off, or not enjoying them and you want to get to a place where running is a natural part of your lifestyle (and you actually look forward to it), I’ve got four practical strategies for making running fun that you can start implementing immediately.
Here are four ways to have more fun when you run :
1. RELAX – Stop running so hard!
Many runners have the notion that to run fast or train properly, every run should be fast.
I too fell into this mindset when I first started running and ran every run at high intensity. I knew I was working hard from my heart rate, labored breathing and sore muscles but I found that I wasn’t progressing or improving overall. This led to frustration and even injuries. The more I learned, the more I understood that this belief I held was NOT true.
From professional runners to casual runners, most training runs should be easy. By easy, I mean low heart rate, low intensity runs at a conversational pace. By spending most of your training in this low heart rate, low intensity zone, you’re ensuring that on your higher intensity workouts, you’re recovered properly and have no wasted energy.
It also leads to less stress on the bones, ligaments, muscles, etc. and will help you feel your best and train the best. When you feel your best, you without a doubt have more fun!
If you have no idea what heart rate zone you should be aiming for or how to make your runs easier yet still effective, my customized training plan is exactly what you need to help you feel confident and crush your goals. Click here to see if it’s a good fit for you.
2. SPEED PLAY – I know, I know, I just told you to slow down.
Occasionally, you’ll want to speed up. Incorporating high intensity tempo runs or intervals can lead to an exciting, fast paced training session. Running intervals can also help increase aerobic capacity and improve recovery time. So not only will these workouts lead to more fun when you run, it also improves you aerobically.
The structure of interval runs is vast and varied; efforts and recovery aspects can remain the same, increase, or decrease throughout the session.
An example of a repeat interval run would be:
Run a mile at nine-min/mile pace.
Followed by an easy quarter mile jog at eleven-min/mile pace.
Repeat cycle three times.
The intensity and time are adjusted based on what is most important for YOUR progression as a runner. I find that I get an incredible feeling of accomplishment after interval runs. And, by focusing on the intervals/segments, the time flies by!
If you’re needing help deciphering the different types of tempo and interval workouts, I can help. Providing education to runners is important to me as a coach and how I help runners feel more confident in their training plan. Book a free introductory call now to see if I can help you on your running journey.
3. LISTEN – From your favorite podcast to meditation for runners to a new audiobook, listening to something that brings you joy during your run can certainly put a smile on your face and before you know it, you’ve finished your run!
Maybe for you it’s not listening but perhaps being present during your run. Some runners choose not to listen to anything during long runs as a mindfulness practice. Try focusing on the trees, leaves, birds, architecture, sound of the wind, etc. There is no one or right way, only what leads to a fun running experience for you.
For safety reasons, if you choose to listen to something while you run (podcast, music, meditation, etc.) make sure you can still hear your surroundings. Either keep the volume low enough, try using only one earbud or invest in open ear headphones that allow you to hear your surroundings.
4. CELEBRATE – often!
Don’t get so bogged down with your training that you forget to reflect on the progress you’ve made. It’s hard to put into words the feeling of accomplishment when you run a distance you’ve never run before or maybe at a pace you’ve been reaching to achieve. It can leave you feeling invincible and it’s one of my favorite things about running.
But don’t forget to celebrate the smaller victories: they are harder to see if you aren’t looking for them.
Did you get out and run today even though you wanted to put it off.
Did you choose to take a rest day following a high intensity training session after listening to your body?
Did you take time to reflect on where you were a month ago?
It’s natural and easy for our minds to go directly to what’s not working or what we could have done better.
I challenge you to redirect your mind to focus on what IS working and what you’re doing WELL. One of my areas of focus when working with runners is to help them recognize and celebrate every victory!
These are just a few ways you can incorporate fun into your running routine. As I’m writing this, I’m already thinking of four more!
If you find yourself feeling daunted or overwhelmed by your training and want the accountability and community of like-minded runners on the same journey as you, join the Joyful Running Challenge where we find joy in running so that you can create the consistency you’re looking for!