Running long distances is never entirely fun, even if you’re health nut friend claims it’s the “best” part of her day. It’s hard, and not just physically but mentally as well. We all have those moments, especially on the longer runs, where every cell in our body is urging us to stop. These easy, effortless tips will help you keep going:
1. Look far ahead of you instead of at your feet
It’s natural to want to watch your feet as you run but looking further ahead will trick your mind into going farther and faster. An additional tip is to find reference points. For example, a lamp post or a certain tree that can act as markers—like ticking off a box on your checklist.
2. Run outside instead of on a treadmill
This advice is common knowledge at this point, but running outside, surrounded by nature, people or any type of scenery that’s not just the wall at your gym tricks you into running longer distances. Outside, your brain is more distracted and occupied, allowing your body to take you further.
3. Create a bumpin’ playlist that makes you re-connect with your inner badass
A good playlist goes a LONG way. Spotify has a feature where it actually calculates your pace and then creates a playlist based on your typical music interests and beats that will go along with the steps you take. Find what works for you and you will want to keep running. Sia drowns out the sound of your screaming limbs
4. Get an app that tracks your pace
There are a few apps out there now that can track your pace, time, distance and much more. Runkeeper, the Nike+ running, strava, Runtastic and many others are good options. It’s surprising how motivational these can be in pushing you to get faster and better and just get out there more in general.
5. Think about something that’s been frustrating you
It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes thinking about something that’s been frustrating you or stressing you out can add a little pep in your step. Running is cathartic. It can feel good to be processing a disappointing experience while doing something good for yourself an flooding your body with endorphines.
6. Wear a good pair of sneakers
A lot of activewear stores have people that can find the right shoe for your individual feet and style of running. It’s important to know what type of runner you are and what kind of shoe will be the healthiest type for your body. Spending money on a nice pair of sneakers will also be a motivating factor in getting out there and actually using them!
7. Try podcasts
I’m biased of course, because I am a podcast fanatic but podcasts have the amazing ability to completely consume you mentally—which is so important for getting through a long run! One of the hardest things about distance running is the boredom. A good podcast will distract you enough that you won’t even realize the miles you’ve tucked under your belt.
8. Run with a friend
Again, so much of running is mental. Having a friend by your side (especially if you have a bit of a competitive streak) can be very beneficial for your mileage. Running with a friend that’s just slightly faster than you is the best because you won’t be left in the dust but you will be pushed to keep up. The hard part: talking and running simultaneously isn’t easy.
9. Drink water throughout (every 15 minutes)
I find that when I’m really dehydrated and haven’t been drinking that much water in the past 24 hours, I’m always slower. Stay hydrated, especially when it’s hot. Keep that H20 flowing.
10. Pace yourself
It’s okay to go slow! Distance running isn’t about speed, especially when you’re just starting out. Keep it slow but just be focused on not stopping. It will feel easier if you don’t put extensive pressure on yourself.