Running is meditative and a way to bring us back to our senses...but sometimes it’s boring and we just don’t want to do it! How can we increase our enjoyment and look forward to this exercise we so love? Here’s a few things that have worked for us...and if you have any suggestions, we’re all ears!
Mindfulness*: It’s imperative to ground yourself in the moment. Forget about what you were doing before your run and don’t worry about what waits for you when you get back. Look around. Breathe deep and do the following exercise:
Look for 5 things you can see RIGHT NOW (sidewalk cracks, neighbors cat, etc…) Listen for 5 things you can hear RIGHT NOW (wind through the trees, cars honking, etc…) Feel for 5 things you can feel RIGHT NOW (Toes in your shoes, itch on your lower back, etc...) and keep breathing through these new sensations!
New Routes: Use the multiple apps and websites to explore new routes through your neighborhood or find near by trails that are easily accessible by bike or car. Sometimes it can be a real treat to plan for a shorter run and use some of that free time getting to a new, beautiful running destination.
Running Groups/Crews: Look into local running groups to join up with an meet new people with running on their minds. Additionally, a lot of these great crews meet up at local brew pubs so after your run you get to get to know your new friends AND enjoy a great, after run cheers.
Reward Yourself: What do you look most forward to everyday? Is it a peaceful ‘cat nap’? A small bowl of ice cream? A bubble bath? Why not plan to enjoy these after your run once or twice a week? Maybe plan to go an extra mile and then stop by the gelato shop after your pick up lunch during your daily break. Or go in early and leave a bit early to beat the kids home and have a quick nap or bubble bath. Why not mix things up to make the run itself much more exciting and something you truly look forward to.
* Click on link for more info about MacKenzie L. Havey's book "Mindful Running: How Meditative Running can Improve Performance and Make you a Happier, More Fulfilled Person."