1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

8 Ways to Enjoy Running and Racing More

By

Updated December 14, 2013

When you first started running, you probably got excited by your progress and looked forward to most of your runs. But once running becomes a regular habit, there are times when it can start to feel like a chore. Here are some ways to add some excitement into your running routine:

1. Run with others.

women running
Brand X Pictures
Running with others is usually much more fun and motivating than going solo. Join a running club or charity team, or organize your own regular running group with friends and family members. Even if you and a friend are at different levels and can't run together, you could still train for the same race. Comparing training stories and experiencing race day together is a motivating and bonding experience.
Also see: Benefits of Group Running
5 Ways to Be a More Social Runner

2. Volunteer at a race.

Race Volunteer at Water Stop
Photo by Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images
Volunteering at a race is an excellent way to give back to the running community and experience the fun, excitement, and motivation of a race (without the performance anxiety!). You get to be a spectator and see parts of the race that you miss when running them (like seeing the elite runners race). Seeing a race from a different perspective may help you enjoy and appreciate running in a new way.
Also see: 4 Ways Runners Can Give Back

3. Do a relay race.

relay race runners
Photo by Michael Turek/Getty Images
Relay races, such as the Ragnar Relay Series, are popping up all over the U.S. The idea is that a team of runners break up a long-distance race with each of them running one or more legs of it. Some marathons also offer a relay option. Many runners like these type of races because they get to experience the thrill of racing and not worry as much about their individual performance as they do in solo racing.

4. Introduce someone to running or racing.

Two women running
Photo by Chase Jarvis
If you have a friend or family member who has never run before, but is interested, offer to take him or her out with you. Or, if they've started running casually but have never done a race, you can offer to guide them through the training and race experience. Experiencing the sport through a beginner may help you realize how far you've come and remind you how much you like running.
Also see: 9 Ways to Help Beginner Runners

5. Don't run every day.

Woman on computer
Photo by Tripod
If you try to run every day, you'll very likely get burned out -- both physically and mentally -- and running will start to feel like a chore. Taking regular breaks -- even if it's just one day off a week -- will help you prevent getting injured and burned out from overtraining.

6. Do speed work.

Hill Running
Photo by David Madison
Adding speed can really shake up your running routine and help you improve your performance. Do a workout such as intervals, hill repeats, mile repeats, or a tempo run once a week.
Also see: 8 Rules for Speed Training

7. Do a destination race.

Runners in race
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
If you typically run races in your local area, try branching out and traveling to a destination race. Pick a location that you've been wanting to visit and search on web sites like Active.com or MarathonGuide.com to look for races. Recruit some friends or family members and make a mini-vacation getaway.
Also see: How to Pick the Right Race

8. Try deep water running.

Aqua Jogger
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber
Deep water running is a popular and effective way to recover from running injuries, but some runners also like to do it as cross training, even when they're healthy. It's a great option for a recovery workout the day after a long run, especially during hot and humid weather.
Also see: Tips for Deep Water Running
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Running & Jogging
  4. Mental Training/ Motivation
  5. Running Motivation
  6. 8 Ways to Enjoy Running and Racing More

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.