Long runs often have a reputation for being boring. When it comes to distances over 5k, a lot of people dread the idea of getting out there and running for a long time. But the longer the run, the bigger our sense of pride and achievement afterwards. And distance runs are not just great for your mental strength but also for your physical endurance. They help increase the amount of oxygen that reaches your muscles and the amount of energy you can sustain, so they also help you to run further before you become fatigued. So if they’re so beneficial, how can you make your longer runs more inviting and less tedious?
Find the Right Soundtrack
Listening to music while training can boost your performance by up to 15%. Picking the right tracks for your run will not only make you enjoy it more, but can help you keep a steady pace and make the time fly whilst distracting you from the distance ahead. To start out, try picking some songs with a bpm rate of about 120 to 160 bpm and see how they suit your pace and run. Add some of your favourites that really motivate you so they will give you a boost when you feel a bit tired – but don’t turn the volume up too loud. For long, slower runs, you can take it down a notch and go for slower songs or even try using the time to listen to audio books.
Pick the Perfect Route
Try scouting for ideal running routes nearby. A great view or location will immediately make your run more enjoyable. You can talk to local runners or groups in your areas to find out where running hotspots are if you don’t know where to start. Try to find a route with some variety so that you have different things to look at during your run. It is also ideal to have a specific location as your turning point or finishing line. If you do choose to use a turning point, try running back a slightly different way so that the second half of your run doesn’t get boring.
Turn Runs into Quality Time
Running at a comfortable pace means being able to hold a conversation while you run. What better excuse to take your favourite people with you on your run? With our lives always being so busy, it’s a great opportunity to spend some extra quality time with your friends, family, partner or whoever you’d like to have as a running buddy. Training with someone will usually mean you run further and perform better than you would alone. It also may make you feel safer when running at night or in remote locations. You can even try out matching different people to different paces or distances. And with good company, you’ll forget about all the kilometres you’re logging. If you can’t convince your friends to join you, try finding a local Freeletics Running group on Facebook.
Mixing Running Workouts with Bodyweight Workouts
When you begin going for longer runs or if you don’t have to run your whole distance in one go, you could break up the distance. Try adding a Freeletics Bodyweight workout when you’re halfway through – there are plenty of short ones to choose from. This will make the distance seem less daunting, get your mind off the repetitiveness of running for a long time, add variety and burn some extra calories. There are also lots of general benefits of combining your running with bodyweight training.
The most important thing is that you find the right combination that works for you. Don’t get stuck in a boring routine. Find what aspects of running really make you enjoy it, then make sure to always incorporate them into your longer runs. Running was meant to be enjoyed – it doesn’t have to become a chore.