Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How to beat boredom on long runs

No matter which RTR distance you are training for, as we get closer to race day you are no doubt spending more time dedicated to training.  Sometimes the thought of logging a lot of miles or time on the road can be intimidating simply because you are worried about getting bored. Not to fear! Here are a few tips to help you ease your boredom. 

1. Run to a destination. 
For example, run to complete an errand—like going to the grocery store or post office. You can meet up with friends and family so you have a ride home or plan to run back home. I like to meet the husband somewhere for a well earned recovery lunch! 

2. Mix it up: Easy/medium/hard run. 
For a speed workout, run easy for three minutes, at a medium difficulty for two minutes, and hard for one minute. Repeat this sequence for the duration of your run. The variation in speeds will keep your mind focused. 

3. Landmark runs. 
After a warmup, run hard for a short interval to a landmark like a mailbox, a driveway, or a streetlight along the route; then jog easy for recovery to the next landmark. Repeat. These are also known as fartlek runs. And no, I did not make that up. 

4. Explore a new route. 
Take a break from your usual running routes and seek out something new. 

5. Try a trail run. 
Most of you know that Kodiak is chalk full of great trail runs. The concentration needed for trail running engages your mind as you figure out how to traverse uneven terrain, rocks, roots, hills, water, and other obstacles. It's a great strength builder, too.  

6. Plan a hill repeat run. 
Find a hill in your area that is about a quarter mile in length with a nice incline. Run one mile for a warmup then tackle the hill. Run up the hill and jog easy down, then turn around and run up the hill again. Repeat several times. Run a one-mile cooldown afterward. Not only will this combat boredom and mix up your training week, but will prepare you for the hilly RTR courses. 

7. Hit the track for speed. 
Run a one-mile warmup. Time yourself and run one lap at a hard pace; then, jog or walk one lap for recovery. Repeat four to six times. Set a consistent pace for the hard laps and stay within a five-second variance for each lap. Gradually increase the number of laps you run over the weeks.

8. My personal favorite: Make running dates with friends. 
Nothing like good conversation to help pass the miles. 

9.What about running on the treadmill? 
Try using a pre-programmed hill run or interval run. The treadmill will automatically speed up or down or add an incline. Varying the pace and incline will engage your mind and keep you from zoning out. Of course Netflix can always help with this one too. 

10. Register for a race. 
 Hopefully you've already done this one! If not, make haste and get over to KMXT's Run the Rock and do it already! 

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