A question that both running rookies and seasoned pros might have about the sport is “how do you make your run go faster?” Let’s face it: running can be boring and the time can seem to drag (especially if you’re on a treadmill or long run). So what can be done?
Run with a friend
The go-to answer always seems to be “run with a friend.” It’s easy but true. When you have a buddy with you, the miles pass so much more quickly, whether you are chatting, or saying nothing at all. There’s something that just seems to transcend time when you’re with a person or group. If you can make a group run happen, I highly recommend it.
Listen to a podcast or musical
Playlists can be fabulous motivators, but sometimes, having a bit more of a focus helps make the time pass when you’re running. If you’re on a treadmill, you can watch a movie or binge on shows, but when you’re out and about, switch up the tunes for something a bit more goal-oriented. Try a podcast, or if you must have music, something catchy from Broadway. The hope is that you’ll get so caught up in the story, you won’t notice the time spent laying out your miles.
Do the math
During my first (and only) marathon, I remember running behind a couple, who zinged each other with math problems. At first, I was stunned: weren’t things bad enough? Why did we have to get math involved? But then, I realized, they were keeping their mind off the monotony of the miles ahead of them. Genius! In fact, for as long as I was within earshot, I played along in my head, testing my
Write your next blog post
I don’t know about you, but if I’m all alone and left to my own devices, my brain starts going full speed ahead. The bad news: I’m basically talking to myself. The good news? I can mentally organize grocery and to-do lists, give myself pep talks, and even write entire blog posts in my head! So efficient!
Try to catch them all!
Ready for my big running secret? I play Pokemon Go! Yup. It’s a fantastic motivator in that “trainers” earn prizes and rewards for kilometers walked (or run), and I can plan my routes around Pokestops and Gyms, which gives me a little something to brighten an otherwise dreary run. Some days, I just turn on the app and do my thing, but on harder days (or walks), I actively play as I go. It certainly keeps the time moving!
Participate in a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are a fun way to pass time and engage in an entertaining mental exercise.. Your can create your own, or check in with some running groups or other runners who might be able to inspire you. My MRTT/SRTT group sometimes puts out bingo or scavenger hunt lists, and last year, I hopped on board with Judy for this super fun Rainbow Scavenger Hunt adventure.
What tips and tricks do you have to help make your run go faster?
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Lisa @ Mile by Mile says
These are great ideas! I run alone and do alot of thinking/planning while I run. I also listen to podcasts. I find that those keep me more entertained than music, plus they’re not as loud and I can keep the volume low and hear whats going on around me.
Great point about keeping the volume down for safety.
That couple solving math problems during a marathon! Hilarious!
I love to run with friends, time flies as you talk. If I’m on my own I’m planning things and working on ongoing projects in my head.
Yesterday, I ran on a busy promenade where I could do some people watching. That was fun!
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People watching is fantastic!
Lately I’ve been catching up on my podcasts.
I love taking pics along the way so I’m always looking around.
The most important is call a friend.
Leave the watch home. Looking at it makes runs seem endless. I just go to routes where I know the distance.
I do sometimes talk to my mom while I’m walking. Sometimes the ambient traffic sound gets a little loud but it’s a great way to chat.
Deborah Brooks says
Running with a friend is my go to for everything! I swear I would not have survived this past year mentally without my running friends. I do also get some good blog post ideas while running or exercising. Have not tried Pokemon
Fun ideas! I do tend to attempt running math (if I want to run 10 miles how far do I have to go in this direction to make it work?). I listen to audiobooks. And I do write blog or Instagram posts, though I tend to forget all my brilliant ideas when I’m done with my run.
I do running math a little bit more than just random math.
I don’t think audiobooks would work so well for me. I just don’t absorb as well when I’m listening.
Agree. I am fine running alone, but it is so much better with friends or a group.
Pokemon is a fabulous distraction!
A favourite trick of my husband’s is listening to audio-books and time really flies for him. I struggle to listen to books (much prefer to read) so I find myself thinking and planning a lot on my runs. Like you, many blog posts have been written in my head on the run, LOL!
I don’t like listening to books either, which is probably why I didn’t even think of it for this post LOL! I have read on the treadmill, before though, although it’s more challenging.
I love podcasts for running on the treadmill! I also brainstorm ideas while I run, but I have to jot them down as soon as I finish. I do have a bad habit of texting while on the treadmill also. That couple doing mental math impresses me! I am generally good at mental math (better than my engineer husband), but I lose my ability to do it in the final miles of a race.
I will text, too.
Mental math is not my strength. I could totally write essays while running, though!
Ha ha… I think doing math would actually make my run go SLOWER. I listen to podcasts all the time. When I’m doing a long run, i like to listen to a podcast for the first part and then switch to music for the last few miles- it gives me a nice boost at the end.
Right? I’m not interested in any kind of math! But it was a cool strategy, and gave me something to do for a bit.
It’s been a while since I’ve listened to music on a run. I’ve gotten really great at going without and just sort of living in my head.