It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned runner or a recent convert, we all know that plodding the same old pavement can get a little boring from time to time. Running is a great way to keep fit and as the miles stack up it can also become a fulfilling hobby. Don’t let your running go stale and instead, try some of our top tips for keeping it exciting and fresh.
Reverse Your Route
It’s a great feeling when you finally nail the perfect running route. Local, varied terrain, the perfect distance, whatever it is that got you excited about it in the first place can begin to fade after the fiftieth time round. But if you’re not ready to ditch your favourite route just yet then the answer could be as simple as running it backwards. Yep, that’s all this tip is. Start from the end and end at the start. It will feel like a different run and you might even begin to notice landmarks you never spotted before all by reversing your route.
Need for Speed
No, we’re not just advocating for endless speed runs (no one wants that) but rather mixing in a little speed on your longer runs. Fartlek runs – yes the word makes us laugh too – push you to change up your speed and effort throughout your run. Its supposed to be free-flowing and unpredictable so while you run pick out a random marker and commit to running harder and faster until you hit it. Then slow back down again and take a little time to recover. This isn’t intervals though so don’t stop running completely. If you’re not sure about doing it solo, there are plenty of guided fartlek runs that will take the power (and pressure) out of your hands.
Your phone or wearable tech isn’t just for the serious stuff. Yes, tracking and monitoring your stats are useful but your tech can also unlock a world of fun to jazz up your weekly runs. If you fancy trying some guided runs, including the fartlek method mentioned above then the Nike Run Club App is a great place to start. With plenty of motivating and informative guided runs these are especially useful for beginners. For those Mudders who are a little more competitive then Strava can help you to push yourself. Compare your times over certain segments to your own track record and others in your local area.
We’ve certainly embraced technology at TMHQ this year as we introduced Tough Mudder Challenges. Across 21 days you’ll be asked to run a certain amount of distance, climb some elevation and rack up a particular number of reps, as well as a number of other fun and somewhat bizarre activities. If you’re looking to increase the amount you’re running but also want to keep it fun and community-based then we have to recommend tackling a Challenge.
Then of course there is the unfathomable number of songs, playlists and podcasts to delve into on your runs. The possibilities are pretty much endless but one of our favourites is Zombies, Run! a running game and audio adventure that will immerse you in a story and push you to run from the ever hungry zombies. We don’t suggest playing this one at night.
Choose a Goal
If your running routine started off strong (lockdown can have that effect) but has lost momentum it can help to have a goal. A few months ago an organised race or event seemed like a distant dream but as the world starts to open up again, so do your options. Why not start training for a 2021 half marathon, or even a marathon? It would give you plenty of time to work on your technique, build your strength and nail nutrition. The Tough Mudder 2021 season is now live and we can’t wait to get back into the mud with you. If you like your runs punctuated with huge, mind and body-pushing obstacles then book in your spot and start training today.
If the word ‘marathon’ or the thought of a Tough Mudder Classic has got you feeling a little sweaty and nervous then take it down a notch. A 5K or 10K run is just as awesome an achievement as the longer distances. Don’t forget that we have Tough Mudder 5K, so there really is something for everyone.
Find a Friend
Out on the Tough Mudder course, no one ever runs alone. If you’re struggling to get out on your runs then finding a running buddy could be the answer. Knowing that you have someone waiting for you adds a serious dose of accountability and we know you wouldn’t want to let them down. It also just makes running more fun. Take it slow and have a good long chat or tackle a fartlek together and take it in turns to lead the run. While we’re still keeping to social distancing rules, running with a friend can be a really simple way to socialize and exercise at a safe distance. Plus, you could always plan in a post-run beverage or treat, so you both have something to look forward to.
Don’t stress though if it’s not easy to meet with a mate to train – take matters into your own hands and book an event in 2021. Having something to aim for and train for can do wonders for motivation. See you in the mud.