The long run is perhaps the most loved and most hated running course by many runners today. It is loved because of the benefits it gives to the mind and body, but it is hated because it is not always the most comfortable of activities. If you love the idea of running long distance, but hate the anticipation of actually hitting the tracks, you might need a little bit of motivation. And while long runs aren’t easy, the good news is there are several ways you can learn how to love and enjoy it.
Run with Music
Tuning in to your favorite music while running can keep your mind off the idea that you’re going to run a long distance and that it’s not going to be easy. In short, it’s a way of keeping you focused on your goal and distracted from whatever may slow you down such as tired and achy legs and feet. According to studies, listening to music while working out can improve your endurance by up to 15 percent, which is crucial when running long distances. The only downside of listening to music while running is that you are shut off from your environment and may not even be aware that you are already running too fast. The key is to listen to fast-tempo music that will help you maintain a steady pace. Just remember to tune the volume at a moderate level so that you can still hear your surroundings.
Run with a Mate
The saying “No man is an island” is perfectly applicable when you’re running long distances. Running with a training partner is far better than running alone. It’s safer, it’s more fun, and it makes you accountable, which as a result helps you get more motivated to keep running. The best part is that your running mate doesn’t necessarily have to be runner like yourself. That person could be your spouse, your best friend, or someone you are trying to convince to start running.
Run with a Group
If running with a partner can help increase your motivation, running with a group can and will give you a sense of commitment. It’s easy to give up and quit when you’re running alone all the time, but when you have other runners like yourself to run with, the activity becomes more fun and gives you more reason to enjoy it. Signing up with a local club or organization also offers other benefits like personal coaching, for instance. Just see to it that you don’t get too dependent on the group and try to set aside one day a week to run by yourself.
Run in Loops
Who says long running requires that you only run in a straight direction? Breaking the distance into smaller loops will help you manage it better. The best thing is that you can do it without having to go far. You can do it in your neighborhood or even around your home lot. It can get boring, though, after a while, so to break the routine, try changing the direction you run or try looking for other locations you can perform your loops.