Keep running boredom at bay

How to avoid get bored of running

Sometimes running can feel more like or chore or possibly even a bore and motivation can become a real problem. So how can you find the spark to reignite your running flame?

Your relationship with running can be much like any relationship with a partner — you have to work at preventing the relationship becoming stale. To do this requires that you: (1) appreciate what you've got; (2) take stock regularly; (3) add a little spice now and again; (4) be prepared to change the focus of the relationship. The same applies to running.

By following some of the tips below, you can avoid your relationship with running going sour, and prevent boredom setting in.

Remember why you love running

Running is a great form of exercise, and helps in a number of ways by keeping your heart, lungs and muscles in shape, aswell as helping prevent weight gain and reducing your risk of many major diseases. But in addition to the health benefits, running is also useful because it helps give you time out and opens up lots of social opportunities. So how is it that you can forget all this and take all these benefits for granted?

Perhaps, your love for running has gone because you have become obsessed with PBs and stopwatches, and therefore have taken the fun element out of the sport. If that's the case, then ditch the timing device for a couple of weeks and just go out there and remind yourself how great it is to run — regardless of the outcome.

Take stock of your running

Like any relationship, it's important to sit down and take stock. Have you had enough of running because you can't see any signs of progress lately. If so, it may be time to sit down and re-assess.

Know before each running session what the purpose of that session is. If all your runs are 40 minute steady sessions, then you need to think about adding some faster and longer interval sessions.

Get a gadget

A report in the journal Physician and Sportsmedicine found that a performance measuring device can help with motivation. A heart rate monitor (HRM), GPS device, or even a pedometer are worth considering.

Change your goals

If your annual running goal is always to run a marathon, then consider changing that and focus on different running disciplines. You could focus on trying to improve your 5k time or even do some off-road races. Having a different training goal will require different training methods. You could even consider a multi-stage event.

An alternative is to take the focus off your own running and get involved helping a running friend. The sense of satisfaction you'll get  will rekindle your passion for the sport and will almost certainly get you running again.

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