Let’s be honest: we all get stuck in ruts now and then. Even the most diehard amongst us needs a periodic refresh, something to stoke the internal flame and reignite the passion for running and exercise. Start the new year off on the right foot, literally. Get in your cardio while keeping running fun with these five ideas for putting the “fun” in “run” for 2019.
1. Choose a Destination Race
Instead of working around exercise, integrate it into your routine. Find a fun new region you’d like to explore, and enter a race in that area. Personally, I love the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon. I’ve done this race and spent the week after touring the vineyards, wineries, and spas of wine country. Yes, it is a splurge. And yes, it’s worth every penny.
2. Ask Someone Unexpected To Go For A Run
If you know someone who is a runner—either at your job or in the neighborhood—ask him or her to join you for a run. Running tends to unite people and there’s a certain excitement in making a new acquaintance. You can also ask a non-runner to go running with you. Seeing the world through fresh eyes can help you better appreciate what you’ve got. Plus, you’ll be introducing someone new to the joys of running.
3. Listen To An Audiobook
Let’s face it, running can be downright boring. But you don’t need to blast the latest tunes to keep moving. If you’ve never tried listening to an audiobook during a run, you owe it to yourself. The experience can be quite enjoyable. Absorbing a good book on your daily outing can make running rather engaging.
4. Invest In A New Pair Of Running Shoes
A good pair of running kicks will cost a hefty chunk of change, but the investment will make a difference. It will result in two things. First, it will make running more comfortable. Second, it might act as an indirect motivator. If you don’t put the new shoes to use, you’re gonna feel mighty guilty about spending all that money for naught. Actively manage your shoe investment and it will yield healthy returns.
5. Try A Runabout
The indigenous aboriginal people of Australia have a ritual they follow when things in the village get a little, well, stale. They set out on walkabout. This essentially consists of leaving the familiarity of everyday surroundings and wandering freely. Sometimes these walkabouts last two days, sometimes two weeks. Bring new life to your routine by adapting this idea into a runabout.
Leave home one morning with some money in your shorts or pack, and spend the entire day outdoors roaming. Run when you want to run, jog if that feels right, or walk if that’s your preference at the time. Just push yourself as hard—or as easy—as you desire. If you feel like a latte, stop and get one. The important thing is that you’re outside and moving from sunup to sundown. I guarantee you’ll walk back through your door a changed person.