Have you seen this episode of “How I Met Your Mother”? Barney’s advice on how to run a marathon:
I mean, Barney has the right idea but I’d like to think there is a little more that goes into running a marathon than just putting one foot in front of the other on race day. I can think of at least a dozen things off the top of my head right now. If you are the type of person who can just go out and run a marathon without training, more power to you. For the rest of us, there is likely a few months of training required.
This post is actually inspired by my husband, Rob, who is also training for the Philadelphia Marathon. This will be marathon # 3 for him, and I think we would both agree that this is the first time he is really training “properly” due to not dealing with injuries (knock on wood). I asked him the other day if there is any information he would like about marathon training and after thinking about it he replied- How do you not get bored? I laughed at first but then realized maybe a lot of people who aren’t used to running all the time get bored running day after day. I love running too much to ever get bored with it but I also think that there are some things I naturally do to prevent boredom. I thought I would share a little about this today!
Make a schedule
If you decide to train for a marathon and just decide to run a whole bunch of times you will probably end up bored real fast (and undertrained). If you make a schedule you will always know what’s coming and have things to look forward to.
Sign up for some shorter races
Look at your schedule and find some places to fit in a 5k, 10k, or half-marathon. I wouldn’t recommend racing every weekend, but once a month is a good amount while training I think.
Add some fun workouts
Typically my training plan consists of easy runs, speed work, tempo runs, hills, and long runs. I like this variety as it keeps me doing different types of runs. If you are running your first or second marathon you may not be doing speed, hills, or tempo and that’s ok. A great workout you could do is fartleks, or speed play. You basically just go faster for some intervals throughout your run. Maybe you could say- I’m gonna run fast until I get to the next stop sign. Or if you are listening to music you can go faster during one of the songs. Figure out something fun that will work for you!
Run with other people
I usually don’t run with other people but its a great way to beat boredom. You can find a local running group, find some runner friends, or recruit someone in your family to start running with you:)
Change things up
Instead of running the same route over and over find somewhere new to run. I really need to do this because recently I have gotten bored with covering the same areas every day. I loved being on vacation where I could run in new places.
Try to beat your previous distance by a little, or do the same distance a little faster than last week. I am a running data nerd and I love to compare my runs but sometimes this can hurt more than help. But it is very motivating when you can look at the big picture and see improvements!
Add some cross training
Rather than burn out on running and end up hating it, you could always do some cross training a few days a week instead of just running every day. This is another way to change things up! And if you use an elliptical or bike at the gym you can probably watch TV or play on your phone/iPad while you workout.
Show off and get support!
The world of social media is quite an amazing place. You can post pictures showing that you went for a run and lots of people will “like” it and show you support! You can also get motivation by following other runners on social media. I prefer to post my runs on instagram where most of my followers are also runners than going into work trying to tell everyone each little detail about my run. Most non-runners don’t care!
When all else fails and you are on yet another run and feeling bored, try entertaining yourself. Sing, think about something ridiculous, imagine winning the race- whatever will take your mind off the fact that you are still running!
I hope that helps! Leave a comment if you have other ideas and be sure to check the comments to see others’ suggestions!