I run but I get bored quickly : – (

I have one of those minds that spins like a top (Uhm… more like a wobbly top that is starting to slow down). My thoughts bounce around in my head like a gangster spraying bullets in a speakeasy. This is why I like to write. I need to get all of those juicy thoughts down on paper. With such a mind, monotonous activities tend to bore me. Chiefly among them can be running.

If you are not an active runner, not yet hooked on the runners “high”, how do you get over the hump of plain old boredom?

For us beginners after the first mile our muscles begin to complain. Our sides start to hurt and our breathing becomes labored. It is so easy to quit at this point isn’t it? This is especially true if you have a mind that is easily distracted like mine. So, how do you keep going?

I would love to hear from all the runners out there. How you are able to overcome not only the physical challenges but the mental challenges of your run? Here is what I do:

  • I don’t listen to music. I focus instead on my thoughts and my surroundings.
  • I yearn for peaceful places to run. Dodging traffic and pedestrians is a major distraction. The stress takes away the enjoyment of the experience.
  • I take the time to try to solve problems. I keep my mind engaged in everything but the fact that I am running. How can I do better at work? What are the top things I need to do when I get back?
  • Periodically I fully acknowledge the pain. I concentrate on listening to my body: my breathing, my footfalls, where I hurt. I try to tell myself that I am still in prime condition. “You got this!” I then ask myself what part of my body is going to be the first to quit?
  • I pray. I enjoy getting out and running so much I feel I need to thank God for the beautiful day and for my ability to run. The fact that I am healthy AND have the time to get out and exercise is really something to be cherished. This is as good a time as any to commune with God.

What do you do to keep your busy mind distracted from all the pain you are bringing to your body? How do you keep from getting bored when running?

For more tips and tricks read: The Diet for a Busy Life by Phillip Gerard.

One thought on “I run but I get bored quickly : – (”

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head with “Here’s what I do:” In the end, activity and in this case cardiovascular (aerobic) activity is the point. So first find something to do that will raise your heart rate and improve your fitness. For some (and for various reasons, including injury) it may never be running. I don’t like swimming for fitness, mostly because it feels as ugly to me as I’m sure it is to watch (all that flailing and splashing for 4 minutes of work). Now I know I could work on my swimming techniques, go easier on my joints and eventually swim for longer periods of time. Point is, I’d rather run. I’m not a cardio fan to begin with. I’m all about the resistance and speed training, but I know what’s good for me and aerobic activity is necessary to maintain the quality of life I enjoy. And I’ve found my ways to embrace the “suck” that is cardio and get it over quickly by running.

    I’m fairly rigid OCD/Type A. So I track stuff. I track my routes on the roads. I track my time and speed on the treadmill. I track distances. I track. I’m competitive, so I am also trying to do a little better than last time. A little faster, a little farther, a little longer or all 3. Makes it interesting and I can track my progress! I like music on the treadmill and I like high intensity. I like to run trails and outdoor routes with friends and socialize at a lower intensity.

    I run more than I would if I didn’t have my “cardio support group”, also known as my running buddies. Although at our pace “jogging” is probably a more accurate term. I’ve learned to find my sweet spot in as many different ways as possible and above all make it easy. Got sneakers. Check. Place to run. Check. Good to go. I don’t want to overcome a ton of challenges to do something I don’t love. My buddy will drive into the mountains to trail run. Me, not so much.

    So, here’s what I would suggest everyone do in order to get the heart pumping:

    Do something. Run, cycle, kayak, hike, walk, swim, cross-country ski, use an elliptical or all of the above. Make it as enjoyable or interesting to you as possible and find your sweet spots. Just make sure you’ll do it and that you’ll do it again. And again and again. The key to success is consistency.

    It’s like investing. My other buddy says “you gotta pay yourself first”. In other words invest in this stuff now and the the payoff is in a higher quality and greater quantity of life.

    Dr. A

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