9 Creative Ways To Spice Up Your Run

No matter how much you love running, sometimes you need to shake up your routine.

A person with natural hair and a sports bra wears a black mask while running outside. Your run doesn...
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Turn Off The Tunes

As a personal trainer, I know the value of working out to (loud) music. But when I'm training for a lifting competition or a race, I switch off my headphones — without the external motivation of a thumping bass, you'll have to dig deep to rack up those miles.

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Get New Gear

Changing your wardrobe can give your run the extra kick it needs. If your wallet can handle it, grab yourself a new running jacket or even new kicks. Running low on funds? Arrange a socially-distant clothing swap (post-laundry, of course) with a running buddy.

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Switch Up Your Route

Do you pound the pavement in the same direction every day? Hit a local trail instead. Try looping through the neighborhood down different blocks. Your body will get a challenge and your mind will avoid boredom with your new stomping grounds.

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Turn Off Your Step Counter

If you usually track your miles or steps, switch your counter off. Let your mind drift instead of focusing on numbers. Sure, it's good to track your progress, but it's just as vital to tap into a sense of fun that doesn't depend on your stats.

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Run To A Guided Meditation

Make a goal of soothing your mind with your next jog. Girl Trek's Black History Bootcamp has bite-sized, empowering episodes meant to accompany your walk or run, and the Nike Run Club app has some solid meditative runs for all skill levels.

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Go Super Slow

If you've been pushing yourself to shave those five seconds off your mile time, you might benefit from slowing the heck down. Go for a relaxed run (or three!) where you focus on nothing but your breathing and your form.

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Be Silly

"Fartlek" is a silly word (it means "speed play" in Swedish), and it'll bring some much-needed creativity to your routine. Pick a landmark — that tree, that stop sign. Sprint to it. Then walk until you pass that big rock. Choose a new landmark and start again.

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Change Your Playlist

Do you usually angst it up with your runs? (Mood.) Try for something peppy instead. Or, if your music slants loud and inspirational, try something slow and soft. (I can't be the only one who likes 10k runs while sobbing to Sam Smith.)

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Full Speed Ahead

Tempo runs aren't easy, but they'll definitely keep you focused. After a warm-up jog, go at a full effort for three minutes, a mile, two miles... whatever you choose. Keep track of your time and effort. Repeat in a few weeks to see how you've improved.

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