For all the runners out there who have ever found themselves in a slump, here are a few things you can do to get yourself back on track and put a little play in your routine:
Keep your eyes focused on the top.
When running uphill (or stairs) look to where you want end up instead of where you are, and that hill or mountain of stairs will become easier.
Look around you.
The fastest way to get fatigued while running is to think of everything your body is doing to keep you going. Instead of focusing all of your attention on your breath or stride, take a look at your surroundings. Whether it’s the architecture, the view, or the people you are passing, let yourself get lost in your surroundings.
Play a game.
If you notice you are getting tired, pick a marker and tell yourself that you need to run to it before you can slow down or walk. Make it something that isn’t too far away (like a lamp-post, tree, or street sign a block or two away). As you are about to approach the marker, pick a new marker and keep going until you need to stop.
Add variety to your playlist.
Alternate songs with a slower bpm (beats per minute) with songs that have a higher bpm. For example Florence and the Machine Dog Days are Over (10 minute mile) at 150 bpms with Outkast’s Hey Ya (9 minute mile) at 160 bpm. This way, you can naturally take your body through intervals – quickening your pace on the faster songs and allowing for some recovery on the slower songs. Check out http://jog.fm to create your own playlist.
Take an exploratory run.
Most runners like to map their run or go the same route over and over because they can track their progress more easily. Take a day off from tracking and go on an unchartered run. Don’t think, just go. Start off in one direction and as you get to a corner or a fork in the road, pick which direction you want to go. *If you have a questionable sense of direction bring a smart phone along in case you get lost.
Give these a try to make your runs even more enjoyable!