If you’re like most people, you hate running. You hate it because you feel miserable during the run, and you’re tired and sweaty afterwards with no short-term rewards. If that describes you, you likely also hate running because it’s boring. After two minutes, you just can’t stop thinking, “When will this be over? Am I done yet? I have how much farther!?!” For me, running is either a thinking time—much like showering for many—or it is a zoned-in, focus time where there is only me and the road. However, I still often get bored with the idea of running and struggle to get motivated to actually begin. Instead of giving in to the boredom, I use a few tools and tricks to keep it exciting. Here I cover one of those tools in an update on my self-initiated running challenge.
Last week I ran three miles for the first time in two and half years. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. Three miles in forty minutes. The first mile was just under twelve minutes, the second was 13:30, and the last was 14:30. I averaged a 13:19 minute per mile pace, a heart rate of 155 beats per minute (bpm), a cadence of 148 steps per minute (spm), and an aerobic training effect of 3.9 ( I still don’t know exactly what that means). I have all of these stats and more thanks to my Garmin Forerunner watch. It also records a digital map of my run accurate to 30 feet and viewable on Google Maps.
This investment isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy viewing your progress like I do, the availability of these stats will encourage you to get better and excite you for the next run. The watch also helps me plan my training according to my current fitness level, so that I can improve quickly and efficiently without overworking or slacking. Here is an example of my recent three mile run results.
I also use the heart rate monitor for every run. The elastic band around my midsection sends my heart rate to the watch, so I can stabilize it at the optimal level for whatever distance I am running. After just a few a weeks, I have already noticed a huge difference in the pace I can manage while keeping my heart rate at a reasonable level. The other stats will become more important as I begin quickening my pace and working on technique.
If you are a goal oriented person who would like to become a runner but just have not been able to overcome the boredom, look into GPS watches by Garmin, Suunto, and more. FitBits and other fitness watches can be great motivators too, but I would encourage the use of GPS as the distances are more accurate and the maps can add a lot to your running experience. This tool could provide the extra push and level of interest to get you on the road and in shape.