Six Ways to Enhance Your Running Routine

Consistency is one of the best things about a regular running routine. No matter what changes or curveballs the day brings, runners know they can look forward to a few minutes of sameness. Whether you start your day with exercise, end it with exercise, or work it in somewhere in the middle, that mental rock may even eclipse the considerable physical and emotional benefits of exercise.

But sometimes that consistency becomes staleness, and when that happens, there need to be some changes to avoid burnout.

Change Locations

Sometimes, a change of scenery is all it takes for professional athletes to rejuvenate their stalled careers. Many runners get the same results.

Small change may be best. Something as simple as running the other way around the track can make you feel as if you have a completely new routine. Those of us who are a little more bold and/or accustomed to road running might consider a different route through the neighborhood or even driving to a different part of town. After all, there’s only so many times you can pass the same crack in the roadway without cracking up yourself.

Alter Routines

Likewise, a simple apparel change can make a significant difference. You can get about things like knee sleeves on this site. In addition to looking cool, these items help you during warmups, so you can optimize your running time.

You can also vary the exercise routine itself, with some of the tips below. Or, if you’re a dedicated road or track runner, try trail running for a change of pace. You’ll need to think about a good pair of trail running shoes, but other than that, there is almost no additional investment.

Cross-Train

There’s a big world of fitness activities to explore out there, and you can also give your joints a break by partaking in some different activities.

Swimming is very easy to take up, because almost all of us live within a short distance of a pool. If you have to jog a bit to get there, that’s even better.

If water isn’t your thing and you prefer the feel of running, try cycling. You’ll get a very good workout and also have a chance to change locations. You can also get creative and take a quick running lap or two while leaving your bike parked.

Refuel

Taking a quick break while running is a great way to fool your body into thinking that it is getting a longer workout, and it’s even better if you can give yourself a little added incentive during these pauses.

This is very easy to do if you’re a lap runner. Before you start, leave a bottle of water and maybe an energy bar at your start/end point. Then, play a game with yourself and see how many laps you can go without taking a break. At that point, you can reward yourself accordingly.

Music

For some people, running is about their only alone time of the day, and it’s a chance to meditate or maybe churn things over in their minds.

A music mix is a good change of pace, especially since most devices hold about a zillion songs and there are so many good headphones and earbuds designed specifically for runners. The right music can really add a lot to your workout as well, on an emotional and mental level. You can also tune into Pandora or a radio station to get an unpredictable mix.

Take your Dog

A canine companion is a good way to both run with a buddy and retain your sense of solitude.

There are a couple of things to remember. Don’t push your dog too much, because unlike people, dogs cannot tell you when they hurt something. Also, keep in mind that about the only way dogs can release heat is by panting, and that’s not very efficient. So, try to run either early mornings or after the sun goes down.

The running lifestyle is great, but familiarity sometime breeds contempt. So, to stay motivated and mentally sharp, vary your workout routine from time to time. It’s easy to do, and like running itself, the benefits speak for themselves.

 

Image courtesy of [photostock] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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