It’s not too often that we deviate from our usual routine and venture down new paths. We runners tend to be creatures of habit. We tend to run the same routes, follow the same training plan at the same time of day on particular days year after year. The only thing that changes is that time marches on and we move up in age categories. Those who are content with this should just continue on. However, if you’re tired of ‘running to stand still’, you should break new ground and venture down a new road.
- Start with a fresh training plan: run either a completely different route, your standard route in the reverse direction, or start in one direction and turn around shortly after half the target time. This helps to train your body (and your mind) to run faster during the second half of a run.
- Consciously seek out hills instead of trying to avoid them. Running in hilly terrain is basically strength training. While it may be more difficult during training, your body will thank you when it comes time to race.
- Find new races to run. How about a trail run, or a race in an area where you’ve never been to before? Not every race should be about running a PR. Each competition you participate in will better prepare you for your main competition down the road. The experiences found in new races will broaden your horizons.
- Don’t always be a slave to your watch/heart rate monitor/gps. At least once a week, trust yourself and listen to your body while your run carefree (and device free!).
- Plan some change in your workouts. Train early in the morning instead of always in the evening if that’s what you do. Change your training days – if you always run every other day, try running three days in a row skipping a rest day.
Change and variety is the key to keeping things fresh in both your life and in your training!