Sunday, January 26, 2014

Running sounds boring – here’s what you should do.

I was sitting with some friends at a birthday party yesterday and frivolous conversation started about running. The common complaint was : “Running is so boring”. I was not surprised. I had similar views less than a year ago. This is usually said by non-runners or by those struggling to become runners and sometimes even by those who are one time runners. Yes, running is boring but only in the beginning as you are panting along the trail or treadmill. This is no different from other sport which requires physical activity to a certain degree.

Remember – real health, happiness and a genuine sense of accomplishment comes from vigorous exercise only. Quite simple - What could be more convenient than running?  You don't need any elaborate gear. No special playing field or apparatus. No need to juggle the schedules of others or cause any disruption to commitments. Most importantly make your own rules and follow your timings.  The only thing you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and the inclination to get out the door. 

To overcome boredom, here are some tips –
  1. Make running comfortable – switch between interval running and walking at frequent intervals.
  2. Set up personal goal – you may start with 1 mile or even 1 km without care for clock timing.
  3. Sign up for a 5k run in next 2-3 months - think about your goal and an overall objective while running.
  4. Let few of your friends, family, kids and whoever is important to you know about this endurance raising endeavor.
  5. Buy high quality running gears from top brand companies like Nike or UnderArmour as a reward to yourselves just for thinking out of the box. Believe me that will help tremendously.
  6. Listen to music while running – your favorite childhood songs if you don’t like the new ones.
  7. Stick to your run schedule – it does not have to be daily with some cross training on no-run days.
  8. Use one running app to log your activities – this will give you a perspective on your performance and a determination to move forward.
  9. Meditate – After a month or so of continuous running, you will be able to time your breath with rhythmic running which will help in focusing you mind. There is nothing like repetitiveness of running to lull you into a meditative trance. And that is when you will start enjoying your miles and miles of running.
  10. Brainstorm – Once you learn the art of running at your own relaxed pace without gasping or losing your breath, you will find that not only does your mood improve, but your creativity flows like no other time.  

Just think this - You're one of the lucky ones. You're doing what millions of Indians wish they could do but can't due to various reasons. Enjoy the gift of being able to run with so much information and support. Day by day, you will get stronger, and faster, and fitter, and leaner filled with lot of pleasure and success.