3 Ways To Make a Stale Running Routine Feel Fresh

Fitbit ambassador Dean Karnazes running trails

Many runners rely on the same running course as a way to effectively manage time and make training easier. But traveling along the same pathseeing the same scenery, hearing the same sounds, tackling the same terrain—can get monotonous and might even lead you to press pause on cardio.

While running a new route is a great way to keep things fresh, as an ultramarathoner I know that’s not always possible. But here’s the good news: Even in this on-the-go world where fitness is often squeezed in as an afterthought, there are some steps you can take to stay enthusiastic about your fitness goals. Below, my top tips for making the most of any “commonplace” run.

Join a Running Group

Many people find that being part of a community of like-minded individuals keeps them motivated and accountable. While I’ve been a Fitbit Ambassador for many years, I only recently joined the running group in Fitbit community. I wish I’d joined earlier! Running can be such a solitary sport, but this virtual community makes it feel like an inclusive group activity. The members are supportive and encouraging—more like a tight-knit band of brothers and sisters than individual runners. And I really like how the group is integrated into the Fitbit app. Anytime you check your stats, you’re only a few taps away from sharing your workouts, photos, and thoughts with others, as well as being able to like and respond to other people’s posts. On days when training’s got you down, let the running group know and you’ll get lots of collective willpower in return.

Listen to an Audiobook

I have hundreds of audiobooks on a playlist; they can really help distract you from the numbing tedium of a familiar route. When I ran across America (40 to 50 miles a day for 75 days) I listened to nearly 25 books. Mostly I like non-fiction adventure stories, like Jon Krakauer’s classic Into Thin Air or the timeless epic of Ernest Shackleton’s legendary Antarctic expedition, The Endurance. My Fitbit Flyer wireless headphones help make the listening experience hassle free.

Pick a New Go Time

It’s easy to fall into a rut when you lace up at the same time each day. Change things up by adjusting when you run. If you usually run after work, wake up early or knock out a couple of miles on your lunch break. If you’re already a early riser, get going in the evening (just make sure you’re wearing a headlamp and reflective running gear). The new sights and sounds will help keep things interesting.

Still feeling bored when you run? Here are four more expert tips that can help!

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