While running is supposed to be fun, it can sometimes feel like a chore. When you’re feeling tired, sore, or frustrated, it’s easy to lose motivation.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to spice up your runs and prevent you from falling into a runner’s rut.
Sometimes, you just need to change things up a bit to keep yourself motivated.
So, what exactly makes running such an unpleasant activity? Why does it seem to be so difficult for some people to enjoy?
If running isn’t your thing, don’t give up hope yet. There are plenty of things you can do to make running fun.
Yes, running can get boring sometimes. It’s all about variety!
If you run regularly, you will notice that you get addicted to it. Running becomes an activity that you cannot live without.
In this article, we’ll give you 10 tips on how to make running fun.
1. Listen to Music, Podcasts, or Audiobooks
The audio content helps keep you focused on your workout, and the distraction-free environment makes it easier to concentrate on your form and technique.
Plus, there’s plenty of science behind the benefits of listening to music during physical activity.
Music has been proven to improve mood and motivation levels. Listening to music while running helps you focus on your workout. It also keeps you entertained and prevents boredom.
Music helps runners maintain proper cadence (the number of steps per minute). Choose songs that motivate you to run further and faster.
Podcasts and audiobooks are entertaining and keep you interested. They let you learn new things. They give you a break from the monotony of jogging.
Many podcasters share fitness information. They discuss exercise routines, nutrition, stretching techniques, injury prevention, recovery, etc.
If you’re looking for inspiration, here are more ideas on what to listen to while running.
Be careful not to get distracted and prevent yourself from listening to your surroundings.
2. Download a Running App
Running apps are becoming increasingly popular among runners. They allow you to track your progress, set goals, and compete against other runners.
There are plenty of different types of running apps available today. Some offer basic features, while others go beyond just tracking your runs.
Zombies, Run! is an excellent app for killing boredom. It’s easy to play and provides plenty of challenges.
This app has been around for many, many years, and it has become a huge hit. It has been ranked #1 on the Apple Store and Google Play.
Strava is a social network and app for athletes. It offers live tracking, competitions, challenges, and training plans.
It provides motivational quotes and music and will enable you to share courses with friends.
RunKeeper is an app that tracks your runs, walks, and other activities. It also gives you stats such as distance covered, speed, and calories burned. It allows you to monitor your runs and view routes to see where you’ve been.
Whatever app you decide to use, make sure it’s something you actually enjoy using. That way, you’ll stick with it and continue to improve over time.
3. Start Making Strava Art When Running
When you create GPS art, you force yourself to change your routine. This means you have to think differently and come up with different ideas to motivate you to go for a run.
The biggest challenge is planning! The easiest way to get started is to print out a Google Map, draw the shape with a highlighter, and carry the map with you on the run.
You can also try some image editing software when drawing the shapes. You can also do some planning on Strava. Paid subscribers can draw the route on a map in advance.
It is best to start with something simple, such as letters and numbers. You can then map out something recognizable like a T-shirt, a small boat, or a cup.
Beware: Route design can take a long time. When making GPS art, your routes quickly become pretty long! But you can walk parts of the way.
For inspiration, you can google Strava art or look from Instagram with the hashtag #stravaart.
Recording your route, i.e., making GPS art, is easy. You only need a smartphone and an app like Strava to track your route.
You can upload the route image to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., where friends and family can view them. Add hashtags like #stravaart and #gpsart to make it easier for others to find your creations.
4. Enter a Running Event for Fun
Running events are popular among people who enjoy running (surprise!). Running events come in different types, so runners can challenge themselves in various ways.
You can find events from timed 5K runs to fun runs. You can run in a funny costume or try to get your personal best.
These events are often held outdoors and involve obstacles like climbing walls, jumping through fire pits, and navigating muddy terrain.
Races are a way to make running a fun activity and motivate practice more. Races allow you to compete against yourself and others.
Competing in a race allows you to test your endurance and speed. You’ll enjoy finishing a race with others.
It is even possible to compete with friends and family virtually in a virtual race without leaving home.
Race events usually include prizes and awards for winners. Prizes and awards encourage you to participate in future races.
5. Join a Running Group
Joining a local running club is a way to make sprinting fun. Some clubs specialize in events such as marathons, and some clubs run just for fun.
Clubs usually organize training sessions and races. If you join these clubs, you will learn how to prepare properly for a race.
When you join a group run, you’ll benefit from the support of fellow exercisers. This interaction helps you develop friendships and socialize with new people. They’ll motivate you to stick with your exercise program.
6. Change the Routine and Find New Routes
Mix up your routine. Do not stick to the same exercises every single time. Instead, try mixing up your workouts by adding other activities into your routine. For example, instead of only running, add strength training.
Try changing your route every once in a while. This will change things and allow you to explore new areas.
There are so many different places to run. Go to a park, outside your neighborhood, or hike through the woods.
Try exercising earlier in the day and try doing it later in the day.
Some believe that runners who train early in the day can achieve faster times due to increased blood flow. Others argue that training later in the day allows the body to recover after a long workout.
Either way, just make sure that you’re getting enough rest beforehand so that you’re able to stay feeling refreshed and energized.
7. Run With Friends
Running with friends is another great way to ensure that you continue exercising. It is easier to push yourself further since you will be motivated by your friends.
Sticking to a training schedule is much easier if you have a partner. This person can motivate you and encourage you to continue sprinting.
Running with friends is especially helpful if you live alone. You’ll have someone to talk to while you run.
8. Don’t Overdo It. Set Smart Goals.
Overdoing is a way to ruin your running experience. Training too much can lead to injuries, and muscle soreness, so listen to your body.
Setting goals helps you focus on what you want to achieve. Before you start running, set small goals that you can easily accomplish. For example, maybe you want to run 3 miles 2 times per week. This goal is achievable and won’t seem too daunting.
As you reach each milestone several weeks in a row, add another goal to your list.
9. Stay Hydrated
It’s no secret that staying hydrated is key to running success. Staying hydrated is key to having energy throughout the day. It can prevent cramps, muscle soreness, and other injuries.
But it’s so easy to forget to drink enough water while training!
Drinking water also decreases body temperature, reducing the risk of overheating and heat stroke. So, drink enough fluids before, during, and after your run.
Take a bottle of water with you on those longer runs.
10. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Wearing comfortable shoes is another tip on how to make running more enjoyable. Wear shoes that are not too tight to avoid typical problems like blisters and enjoy jogging without discomfort.
Look for cushioning properties. Some runners prefer cushioned shoes, while others prefer minimal cushioning. Minimalist shoes are designed to provide support without restricting your foot movement.
How to Overcome Your Hate of Running
Running has become almost an obsession for millions of Americans. Some run because they love running; others run because they hate being overweight. Whatever the reason, running or jogging is a popular pastime.
However, despite its popularity, running is actually quite hard. Many runners complain about sore muscles, knee pain, and stress fractures.
In fact, according to new research on running injury risks reported by Runner’s World, almost half of all recreational runners suffer from injuries.
So, if you want to improve your health and fitness without getting injured, you should probably avoid running! Instead, try walking, swimming, cycling, or another low-impact exercise.
Motivating Yourself is Tough
When you have a good day, you feel energized, focused, and motivated while exercising. And on a bad day, you feel terrible: your body aches, you’re exhausted, and you just want to rest.
This cycle happens daily for millions of runners, and it’s no wonder why so many people hate running.
Fortunately, there are several reasons why you might love sprinting, including feeling healthy, having fun, and improving your fitness.
So instead of hating running, try embracing it and finding other benefits.
Start by identifying why you dislike running. Is it because you’re afraid of injury? Do you have bad knees? Or maybe you just don’t enjoy it.
Whatever the reason, figure out what’s holding you back and change it.
After you’ve gotten over the initial hump of starting to run, you’ll notice that you’re happier and healthier. And if you continue to build on this momentum, you’ll eventually become addicted to training.
Love of Running Comes From Consistency
Consistency is key. Don’t skip weeks or months. It won’t matter much if you miss a few days here and there.
Instead, commit to running consistently, two or three times a week.
Don’t worry about trying to beat other runners; instead, focus on improving your performance.
This strategy will help you build endurance and strength while helping you develop a healthy lifestyle. And who knows? Maybe you’ll end up loving running after all!
What Is a Runner’s Rut?
A runner’s rut is when a runner feels unmotivated, uninspired, or just plain bored. Ruts happen to every runner at some point, but they tend to be worse for distance runners who train long hours each week.
Usually, this occurs when a runner starts running too much or runs too fast for too long.
If you feel like your body is tired and sore, then you may be experiencing a runner’s rut. You should take a break from exercising until you recover.
It’s helpful to mix up your training. Instead of doing the same thing daily, try mixing cardio with strength training or vice versa. Or, switch up your routine and try a different form of exercise. Whatever you decide, just remember to vary your habits to avoid running into a rut.
The Bottom Line
Running is a great activity that everyone should try. It doesn’t have to be boring, and there are many ways to make it more fun.
For example, you can use music to keep you motivated, wear comfortable clothes, and drink plenty of water.
Whether you’re training for a race or want to improve your fitness level, there’s never been a better time to get moving!