How to trick yourself into running longer and further

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Running has always been one of my most hated exercises, mostly because it felt so boring and monotonous that I couldn’t muster the willpower go for longer than 10 minutes. A couple of weeks ago, however, I managed to trick myself into running 3 miles / 5 km, which is the first time that I have ever run that far!

But first, let’s talk about all the other things I was doing wrong.

Running mistakes I’ve made in the past

  1. Thinking I can’t walk in between

  2. Running at the same speed continuously
  3. Going as hard as I possibly could, to the point of wanting to throw up. The next time I thought about running, I’d consciously or subconsciously have the negative memory of feeling sick at the end of my previous run.
  4. Letting myself be bored either on the treadmill or with uninspiring views. Every minute feels like an hour and the whole time I’m thinking about when I could stop. Even watching my favorite trashy reality TV didn’t help much.
  5. Not doing any other form of cardio. I ended up getting ankle pain that prevented me from continuing to run. Mixing in other activities prevents injury.

What I do now

  1. My new trick: Run outside, and run half the distance I want to run in total before turning around to go back home. For example, when I want to run 3 miles, I make myself go 1.5 miles away from my apartment before turning back around. This is easy to do because I get to look at new stuff when I’m going away from home.
  2. Instead of running at the same speed continuously, I alternate running as fast as I possibly can with walking. Running fast feels way more fun to me than running at a moderate pace, and walking is a nice way to recover so I can do it again. I also use the time to take Snapchats of nature and stuff 🙂
  3. I do HIIT workouts on days I’m not running, incorporating things like jump squats, jumping lunges, plank jacks, and mountain climbers.
  4. I train comfortably and don’t push myself to the max, so it still feels fun. The gauge is that you’re supposed to be able to talk while running, otherwise you’re going too hard.

I plan on signing up for a 5k sometime this summer to motivate me to lower my overall time. Let me know if you have any tricks for race training or running in general!

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