Not every run is fun…
When I first began my journey running, it felt hard. Today, running still feels hard.
The meaning of “hard run” has changed and what was once difficult is no longer not; however, every training cycle presents itself with new challenges.
When you start running, you believe one day all runs will be wonderful. You’ll love them all but let me tell you; not every run is fun.
Every new runner has asked (myself included):
Does running ever any easier?
Do veteran runners always feel good running?
Do elites feel like they are cake walking every mile?
No, no, and also no
I love running, and I’ve had a lot of great runs for the most part. I have a running blog and work at a running store. However, like anyone, I’ve also had some terrible runs, and not every run is fun. It’s not all the Instagram highlight and picture-perfect reel. No one’s life is perfect!
There have been plenty of times I’ve woken up and thought, “nope, I’m not running today,” and gone back to sleep. There have been many times I’ve said: well, that run wasn’t fun, time to move on with my day.
If you have been running for any amount of time, you’ve probably had a time when running felt stale.
It’s boring; there isn’t anything to look forward to, and you’ve lost all of your motivation. You’ve had several runs you’ve struggled getting through, and it just seems like…ugh, why to bother. This happened to me around this time last year. I didn’t go through my big burnout until last April. However, I began to feel stale around March. I firmly believe if I had taken a couple of weeks off last March, I probably wouldn’t have taken four months off in April.
Could have, would have, should have, but I have no regrets.
The truth is, running never really gets much easier. Every runner, new or old, struggled with getting out of the door at some point. Not every run is fun, but you want most of them to be.
How Can You Make Running More Fun?
Often times, change is the key to breaking out of a rut.
Find a Running Partner:
Seriously, change up who you are running with. It makes the run feel entirely different! Even running on the same route with someone new makes the run fly by. Even listening to a new podcast makes it feel like you’re running with someone. Not every run is fun but very few aren’t fun with good company.
Run different mileage:
Running different mileage can make a run feel a lot more fun for no other reason than it’s different.
- Decrease your distance
- Run two short runs versus one longer run.
- If you were training for a longer race, train for a shorter run.
- Add cross-training or find a new class. A few ideas include:
Change where you run.
A change of scenery can be a good thing. Not every run is fun, but new spots are usually more enjoyable. Personally, racing in a different location each week keeps me from getting bored. Try running on the trails, different neighborhoods, or even the treadmill. Sometimes catching up on trashy TV and running on the treadmill is what I want to do. I wrote a post about not hating the treadmill! With a rest day, race, running with someone, and workout, I normally only run the same route 1-2X per week. It keeps things interesting.
When all else fails, and running is just not going well, take a break. If you go from one unfun run to every run feels like a chore, it’s time to take a break; there is plenty more to life than running. Even if you’re an elite runner, you still probably enjoy a few things outside of moving your feet.
A break never hurts and can help you come back stronger. At the end of the day, it’s just running.
Question for you: How do you break out of a rut?