It’s no secret that last fall I was hating running and running was hating me in the sense that I was slower than ever and not really enjoying what I was doing to boot. So what do you do when you’re like, “I want to be a lifelong runner” but the thought of running makes you exhausted and annoyed? I wouldn’t say I’m back on the running bandwagon in the sense that I’m back to running hard and PRing at everything, but here are some things I’ve done to help mitigate the running burnout…
Run to commute. Honestly, if you’re running not for recreation but to get somewhere, it’s a lot more bearable. I guess this depends on where you live, but honestly I get in a solid 4+ miles on a regular daily basis just doing this. Unlike regular “runs,” there’s a purpose beyond just I need to be faster/lose weight and that has helped a lot mentally. It’s kind of a great boost to achieve the goal of getting from point A to point B.
Run short. Don’t run for more than an hour. Don’t run for more than 30 minutes. I started running a loop that was less than 3 miles in March. For some reason, I felt like I had to run 3 or more miles otherwise it “didn’t count” and I don’t know where I got that idea from but just going out for a quickie helped me a) get out the door and b) I was happier knowing it’d be over soon. It’s a nice feeling to not have the run take up your entire evening and all your free time.
Find your joy elsewhere. I have to say, a significant part of the reason I’ve kept running and completed this year’s Dopey Challenge was by running with friends. From having people to sing with in the rain to getting to cheer someone on for their first marathon, I wouldn’t trade that shit for a PR. I forget PRs pretty quickly, honestly, but I will never forget how fun the rainiest half marathon ever was.