10 Ways to stay excited about running
10 Ways to stay excited about running
With Steve Manning
So… All your races have been cancelled and you are a bit lost about why you should keep running.
Here are my 10 ways to stay excited about running.
- RUN SOMEWHERE NEW
When you are free of the pressure of having to get fit for a race you can get back in touch with the joy of just running, Hit the trails to do a bit of exploring. Run somewhere you have never been. Focus on where you are running rather than the effort and be in the moment.
- RUN WITHOUT A WATCH
Free yourself from the normal focus on pace and take off your watch. No more worries about how far you have gone. Run without thinking about your pace or distance. Running can be a meditative experience that can help you cope with the realities of the craziness in the world. By removing your watch you also can remove the pressure of keeping time and for a little while be one with the universe.
- WORK ON YOUR STRENGTH
When we are in the grips of a training build up everything is focussed on doing what we can to run faster in our major goal race. Usually, we have limited time to train and you must sacrifice those sessions that do not contribute to your ultimate goal. With the delay in races and change in focus now is a great time to work on your strength and core stability. Add some gym exercises a few times a week to your training. The benefit to you when it is time to get back racing is that you’ll be stronger and in much better shape to kick the training back into gear.
- CLIMB A MOUNTAIN
This is a challenge that can be lots of fun too. Mount Warning is a fairly easy hike on well-maintained paths with a great view from the top. For a bigger challenge, you could head to Mount Barney for a 6 hour trek up and back. There may be smaller mountains closer to home. Find a mountain and run or hike up it. The feeling of achievement getting to the top can be similar to finishing your first race.
- RUN YOUR LONGEST RUN EVER
You may have done a few marathons already. Your longest run in training may have been 32 to 35km before a marathon. A super challenge is running your longest run ever. You do not need to go fast and you can stop frequently. Try for a 50km run or see how far you can go in 6 hours. This might be the spark that can spur you on to try an ultra.
- GIVE YOURSELF A PACING CHALLENGE
Rather than trying to run faster, try to see how close you can get to pace yourself. Do a 5km tempo run and see if you can run exactly on a kilometre target of your goal half marathon pace. Try not to look at your watch until after the run so you can feel the pacing without outside assistance. One of my favourite speed sessions we do with the intraining Running groups is a Rhythm kms session. (It’s in our next Runners School Challenge) This is a controlled pace session and one we encourage our runners to do without looking at their watches.
- RACE YOURSELF ON A TRACK
There are a few running tracks around at schools and universities. The advantage of racing on a track is that you have feedback on your pace every 200 metres. This makes it much easier to pace yourself. Also, the run is completely flat and is a good smooth surface to run on. Three kilometres is seven and a half laps or fifteen 200M splits. Five kilometres is twelve and a half laps or twenty-five 200M splits. Figure out your PB pace by dividing your time by the number of 200M splits then try to hit your targets.
- DO A TIME TRIAL
Race or nor race… hard efforts are good for you and you should not skip them from your training. Find a flat safe course and run a time trial over your goal distance. You may not have the competitive support of a large field of runners but if you visualise you are leading your major goal race then perhaps you can run just as hard and fast.
- ENTER A VIRTUAL RACE.
Brisbane Marathon have gone to a virtual race rather than cancel completely. This gives you the opportunity of having all the back end support of a real race like a finishers medal and event merchandise. You do your run and upload the results to be added to the Brisbane Marathon virtual running results page. More details can be found here. https://www.brisbanemarathon.com.au/virtual-run-festival
- BUY NEW SHOES.
A new pair of shoes may be just what you need to get your running mojo back. Perhaps it is time to buy one of those super shoes and see how much faster you can run. Maximalist shoes are all the rage. Feel the difference it makes to run in a shoe with maximal cushioning and a rocker sole. The intraining store will stay open to help you keep running.
*Brisbane Running Legend and 2019 Australian 100km Champion, Clay Dawson, popped into the shop before his 100km because he needed ‘some extra motivation’ in the lead up to his race. He bought a pair of the HOKA Carbon X – to race the 100km. It worked… Not long after he won the 2019 Australian 100km Champs!!
Here are 3 Key links you need to keep handy
#1 For Injury Care: firstname.lastname@example.org
#2 For your footwear: intraining Running Centre 07 33673088
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