If you’re getting bored of your training at this point in the pandemic, we don’t blame you. Without a race to work toward, you might be asking yourself why you’re still running every day, and when you do go out for runs, you probably hate whichever route you take, seeing as it’s likely one of the two or three you’ve been stuck running for more than a year. If you’re finding that your training is dull right now, don’t quit, just try mixing things up a bit. Here are five ways to get out of that rut that you’re in by spicing up your next training session.
Hit the hills
OK, so you should already be doing hill sessions on a regular basis, but if you’re not, this is a great way to make your training a bit more interesting. Find a steep or a long hill, one that you’d normally be inclined to avoid, and run straight at it. Start with one rep at a comfortable but far-from-easy pace and time yourself. From there, run up the hill several more times and see if you can beat your last split. You can’t race with other people right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t race yourself.
Run an off-distance time trial
We’ve recommended running time trials before, but this time, try an off-distance run. Off-distance means an event that you normally wouldn’t run. If you’re like most people, you probably stick to 5Ks, 10Ks, half and full marathons, so why not throw in a 3,000m time trial? It’ll mix things up, you’ll get to run fast and you will be guaranteed a personal best. Not down for a fast run on the track? Go for a 10-mile road time trial. Whatever distance you choose, make sure it’s one you’re not too familiar with. You might like it.
Try a fartlek
You’re probably already doing speedwork on the track or a road loop, but that can get a bit boring. Break out of that monotony with fartlek runs, which will allow you to fit speedwork into your runs while venturing off onto different non-looped routes. A fartlek can be done randomly or by time. For example, you can decide to run quickly for one minute at a time, or you can pick landmarks that you see on your route to run toward. However you choose to do it, this will make speed workouts a bit more fun.
If you’re really not feeling a run, try a different type of exercise instead. Just because you’re a runner doesn’t mean that you have to run every day, and cycling, swimming or other types of cardio can be great substitutes. These cross-training sessions will give you an extra day or two off each week from running, which will help you feel refreshed and ready to get back to regular programming tomorrow.
Take time off
Maybe one or two days off from running each week isn’t enough for you and you think you need an extra-long break. We know we said not to quit, and we stand by that, but taking a break from training doesn’t mean you’re walking away from running forever. If you find you’re just exhausted by your training, it’s fine to relax and have a mini vacation from the sport. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all, so you’ll be craving a run soon enough.