How to make your running sessions more enjoyable? And why?

Let’s start with why first. There are many reasons you may, at some point, ask yourself this question. You may have started with tons of good will, following a spark that gave you a lot: excitement, improvement, endorphins. But slowly, that spark may fade, the weather may be less enjoyable than the first times… and you find yourself looking at the couch as a more interesting option.

While skipping one or two sessions of training shouldn’t let you feel guilty (we all have setback), it could create that vicious circle where it feels OK to skip again, and again. You could then feel you just became too busy to run, decide that you will restart when conditions will be good again. But that is a slippery slope, as restart will require reestablish a routine that was consolidate, probably with a worse shape – you may find difficult to run in a way that was your standard. All factors that may generate frustration: the opposite of the feeling you had when you started.

Before getting there, is there anything we can do to keep the motivation up? Here I would like to give my personal advises. After all, I would lie if I said that the motivation to go out and run is high every time!

1. Change your route

Sometimes, running in the same environment, park or block can become quite boring. The environment is part of the experience: focusing on the panorama, the surroundings, we might find ourselves thinking less to the intensity of the training, or how many miles are missing to be home.

And if you don’t have many options, here is a little useful trick: if you usually run clockwise, start running counterclockwise, or viceversa. You will see how the pattern, the landscapes, even the light will look different.

2. Try different running paces

I used to run steadily at the same pace, challenging yet bearable. This is a good strategy for many, but it can become boring. You may vary your pace, for example with fartlek sessions (from the swedish: speed games), a technique where the pace can be varied even based on physical targets (I will run a bit faster until that tree), or time based. This could add some spice into your running routine.

3. Subscribe to a race

Some of us may lack commitment if they do not have a greater goal. In that case, here is another way how to make your running sessions more enjoyable. Subscribing to a race 2-3 months ahead may give you that extra reason to be consistent with your training, and maybe be a good reason for a trip. If you need a goal to do it, find a race you want to run! You can find more reasons to run a race in this article.

4. Run with someone

If you cannot motivate yourself, why not to find someone with the same interest and motivate each other? You could actually contact a running club next to where you live. I am sure you can find many enthusiast runners enjoying all paces (included yours, whichever it is). It can be a good way to make new friends and get advices about your running.

4. Go for a short distance, but go!

You may really feel down, and you should not force yourself if you are really tired. But sometimes you can trick yourself. Put the running outfit on, and tell yourself it will only be 2K, or one mile. Usually, if you get to run these 2K your body will be ready for more and you will accomplish the training you were supposed to be. Otherwise you still did some workout, and you should be proud you have been stronger than your lazy version. Now you can definitely enjoy the couch!


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