How to beat boredom while running
Xtend barre class
Ran with Sarah
After a couple weeks of traveling and missing barre classes, I got back into it this morning and took a 6am class. With everything from my knees to my belly button barkin’, I then drove over to Back Bay in Newport to run with Sarah.
(from Sarah’s 15K race – 1st place! boom)
It sorta looked like this except we weren’t at the beach and we dressed as twins. possibly on purpose… you’ll never know. We wore the same shirt (so dang comfortable!) and like Sarah, I ran in black capris which I rarely do. I gotta try and be cool and fit in whenever I can.
On the run we were talking about how we both like chocolate coconut water but not the plain flavor so when I got home, I knew what I wanted. There was an open bottle already in the fridge so a coconut mocha smoothie was in the bag. done deal.
If you’re not using yogurt or something else to thicken it, add a tiny sprinkle of Xanthan gum (I first wrote Xanax) which is a natural thickener.
BOREDOM AND MENTAL BURNOUT
I’ve been asked how to avoid mental burnout while running, and I think boredom plays a big part of becoming mentally toasted. But, it’s ok to sometimes be bored with/while running – it’s a super repetitive activity and it is boring at times. And it’s ok to be burnt out sometimes; just recognize it and take a little break.
Granted, I rarely get bored running, but I do think it’s always good to change things up to avoid it:
*Change your route
This is paramount for me; even if it’s my favorite running route in the world and paved with cinnamon bears and David Beckham’s hair, I don’t want to run it day after day. I like to be able to do some treadmill runs as well as different outdoor routes.
I know everyone doesn’t have the luxury of having multiple running routes nearby, but you can still mix things up by running your route in the opposite direction, running it with sprints thrown in or possibly at a different time of day.
Running path in Maui in September – still wouldn’t want to run it day after day
*Change your speed
Like I said, instead of plodding through the usual mindless 5 miler, vary your speed. Pick it up for one song, sprint to the next stoplight, run up that hill without slowing down. It might be harder, but you won’t be as bored when your lungs are begging for mercy. And interval-type workouts are a great workout and calorie burner anyways.
*Change your entertainment
Are you guilty of listening to the same 10 songs on your ipod on the same exact run everyday? Download some new music. Or even better, leave the ipod at home for a run!
If you like books on tape, download an entertaining, suspenseful book or a podcast on a hot topic issue that you feel passionately about.
If you run on a home treadmill, get your laptop set up where you can watch free TV shows on hulu while running. Or if you have TV in front of the mill, TiVo some of your favorite shows.
*Run with other people
Whether it’s friends, bloggers or a running group, it’s hard to be bored when you’re talking the whole way. It’s also built-in accountability: if your girl’s waiting for you at your running spot, there’s no backing out of it.
*Run with a goal in mind
Sometimes aimless, goal-less running gets boring. So sign up for a race. Aim for a PR or a new distance. Just have some sort of goal and reason why you’re running. Maybe it’s to lose those final 10 pounds, maybe it’s to run a half marathon without walking or maybe it’s to break 20 minutes in the 5k. Whatever it is that gets you out there, great.
*Be ok with it
If you’ve changed things up and you still find yourself completely bored and mentally burned out, take a break! It’s ok and it’s normal: a lot of runners reach a point where they either physically or mentally need a rest period. Doesn’t mean you’re a bad runner or not dedicated enough – just means that you should take a little time to rejuvenate, rest, try something else and then you can come back with more passion and excitement for the sport.
Any boredom buster tricks you have?
MY REAL LIFE HOMIES:
**I want to say Hi to Amy, the kickboxing instructor my friend Ashley and I used to look up (she was so supremely cool in my mind!) when we were dorks in high school and would take Amy’s 6am class.
From Hawaii in September.
Ashley (in the black) is pretty ridiculous – she’s had 4 kids and still hand washes all her family’s laundry on her abs while I make butter rolls out of mine. Love ya, Ash!