10 Ways to Inject Fun Into a Run

Posted by Filed Under: Learn to Run, Running Tips, Women's Running

New runners struggle. Veterans get into slumps. We all know them—those times when running becomes more like work than fun. And, most of the time anyway, running should be fun so what do you do when confronted with the running blahs? Look no further because here is the Complete Running Network’s 10-part prescription for injecting fun into your run!

1. Give Chase. Spot another runner, biker, or rollerblader along the path and give chase. Wuppin’ someone’s butt is great fun … even if they don’t know they’re part of the game (in my case, the strategy allows for my only wins!).
2. Use the Buddy System. There’s nothing like sharing a run with a good friend. Nothing.
3. Mix & Run. Millions of iPod users can’t be wrong. Running with music or podcasts (especially podcasts about running) can really rock.
4. Be a Legend in Your Own Mind. Pretend you’re your favorite running hero. Become Steve Prefontaine or Paula Radcliff and pretend you’re fighting off the pack!
5. Bring Out Your Inner Child. How do kids run? Not straight ahead plodding right? They dart and jump around a lot. Throw that into your run and see if it doesn’t bring a smile to your face. But … um … maybe do it when no one’s looking.
6. Hit the Road Trail, Jack. Learn what trail runners already know; that the fun, discovery and beauty of trail running is darn near unbeatable.
7. Run in the Rain:. If you can forget about what it’ll do to your hair and makeup, I can almost guarantee you’ll love it.
8. Slow it Down. Leave the Forerunner at home. Take it all in. Smell the plants. Hear the birds, your breath and footsteps. Connect. With. The. Earth.
9. Bare it All. Take off your shoes and run along a beach or in some soft grass. I’m tellin’ ya, it’s heavenly.
10. Help A Newbie. Share what you know with someone new to the sport and discover the joy and fun of giving on the run.
11. Race For Fun. No time goals. Just run and enjoy the company of the crowd.

I know this was supposed to be a ten part list but that eleventh one was too fun not to mention.

What are your fun injectors? Please share ’em!

About Mark Iocchelli

Also known as the "Running Blogfather", I'm a 40-something marathoner who has beaten stress fractures and terrible shin splints. Now I'm running double the mileage with no pain - and I'm getting faster. I love to talk about running form and Arthur Lydiard. I also enjoy taking photographs, have a beautiful (and very patient!) wife, and am the proud father of two crazy kids. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about the site.

  1. Dawn - Pink chick on August 22nd at 8:00 pm

    Those are 11 things I pretty much do every race. Especially that last one. Good stuff Mark.

  2. Mia on August 22nd at 8:28 pm

    Mark ~ You forgot “run in a skirt and bra”. Pink ones. 🙂

  3. Dori on August 23rd at 10:59 am

    For me, nothing beats running in a new pair of shoes. That can get expensive, though.

    I like to mix it up by running a different route, exploring a new neighborhood. Sometimes I take a camera along and photograph what I see.

  4. Karen in Calgary on August 28th at 11:06 am

    Some sunny Saturday mornings are perfect for Garage-Sale runs. You never know what you’re going to find, and you won’t buy too much if you know you’ll have to come back to pick it up later. Browsing gives you built-in walk breaks and sometimes vendors even have inexpensive lemonade or cookies.

  5. Mag on September 2nd at 3:01 am

    I like to take a break from work and run at noon, past the smokers outside their buildings. I always wave at them so as to say, this could be you too!

  6. Karen in Calgary on September 8th at 2:06 pm

    I found a new way to have trail fun in my local neighbourhood last night -running slalom-style between trees down grassy boulevards. It helped me work on my trail-stabilizing skills and the run seemed to go a lot faster!