By Lindsay Dakota, Naked Sports Innovations Co-founder
Last week we discussed some of the challenges faced as a competitive athlete, but what about those who just run recreationally? Even outside of staying on top of a rigid training regimen, there can still be challenges to staying inspired to get out there and run.
For those who are at the end of their days as a competing athlete, it can be hard to let go of what running once meant and redefine the purpose it will serve in our lives going forward. If you’re not training to be in top competitive shape, then why run? I think a good majority of us like to set goals for ourselves as runners, and then work our way to achieving them. It can be hard to define goals for yourself when a race and the clock aren’t involved.
Speaking from my days as a competitive athlete, running isn’t always a joy. Hard workouts are.. well.. hard. But it becomes a necessary element of the sport in order to get faster and stronger. I think ultimately what it all comes down to for me these days is to just have fun with it. Making my run more enjoyable.
These days, running has become more about quieting my mind. It’s become more of an act of meditation than anything else. I also love the feeling of freedom when I get out and lock in on the right pace. I find myself intentionally slowing my pace down more these days than anything else, which has allowed me to make running more about the enjoyment and less about chasing the clock. So I guess you can say that my new goal for running is to not only stay physically active, but also for the mental benefits as well. My best advice to anyone looking to make running more fun at any level of experience is to leave the watch at home and run to the feeling, not the expectation. If a pace feels too fast, then slow down until it feels like you can handle it. If you feel like walking, that’s ok too. Letting go of the expectation of running fast is the first, and sometimes most challenging, step to making running more enjoyable.
Another way to make running more fun, is to experiment with new areas of running that you might not be familiar with. If you’ve always been a trail runner, maybe try running some road routes, or even a local track. Different terrains can shift your focus to and from different elements of running.
Sometimes the answer to making your runs more enjoyable is actually not running at all. Too much of anything can make it lose its luster. Different activities such as biking, hiking, xc-skiing, etc. can be fun ways of staying active. So spending some time away from running and exploring new activities can make running more enjoyable when you come back to it.
To help you get a running start, we're offering 20% off when you use the code RUN20 at checkout.