When you need a quick dose of motivation, the easiest thing to do is vary your running route. We are at a time when races, group runs, and other fun motivators are in short supply, so switching up how and where you run can make a world of difference and keep you going.
I’m super lucky to have some awesome routes right outside my front door. In the semi-rural suburbs, we have lots of linked neighborhoods with sidewalks and streetlamps. Rarely do I have to run the exact same path, unless I fall into a rut. However, sometimes I get bored and need to vary my running route to stay interested. Here’s how I do it!
The easiest way to vary your running route is to simply reverse it. Seriously. Running your route backwards is a super easy fix to the boredom problem. This is also a great solution when you’re running multiple loops: just run them forwards and backwards to mix it up! I am 100% not recommending you actually run backwards. Nothing good can come of that.
Shut Up And Drive
Bored of your current path? Get in the car and go somewhere else. It’s that easy. I usually don’t like to take on the inconvenience of adding time to my morning rerouting.
Under The Boardwalk
When you live 20 minutes from the coast, it’s pretty easy to get out to the beach for a run. Somehow things are just better when a body of water is involved, so vary your route to find the nearest lake, river, or ocean for your miles. It will make all the difference.
Country Roads, Take Me Home
Do you usually run on asphalt or cement? A fabulous way to mix things up is to head to the nearest trail or green space. You’ll get a change of terrain, some “woodsy” air, and a different challenge as you work to keep your footing on the dirt, roots and rocks. Trail running is always a great answer.
Climb Ev’ry Mountain
While I despise hill work, adding some elevation to your run can definitely alleviate boredom and give you some motivation. In NE Florida, things are pancake flat (and at sea level to boot), so it’s nice to get a bit of a challenge through hills, mountains, and a change in altitude. Go easy, if you’re not used to hills – it can be so different, but so rewarding, too!
Bright Lights, Big City
Another fun option is to move to the city for your run. Urban running is way different than residential, and while you may need to take more social distance precautions, it’s fabulous to pound the pavement in a major metropolitan area. There is a buzz and energy in a city that you won’t get in the burbs. Use that to fuel your motivation and help you keep moving!
Are you a morning runner? Try going out at night. Night owl runner? Flip your schedule and head out first thing in the morning. A simple change of time can refresh and renew the dullest of running routes and keep you in the right frame of mind. Even if it’s not your preferred time of day, it can be fun to turn the tables on what your body expects for a change of pace!
How do you like to vary your running route?
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