Friday Five

Friday Five: Five Things To Do While Running

Hi everyone!  It’s Friday, which means 2 things:  the Twilight 12K is happening tonight in Anchorage (my first 12K and first night race!  Although 7:00 is hardly nighttime here in Alaska) and it’s the Friday Five Linkup with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney!  This week’s theme is honoring National Running Day (for my post on that, click here) and I decided to have a little fun with mine.  So many people hate running and think it’s boring.  But it’s not!  I see running as a chance for some “me” time, which ends up turning into time for me to brainstorm, unwind, and have fun.  And sometimes that comes in the form of multitasking.  There are so many things you can do while running to make it more than just a workout, and here are my 5 favorites:

thingstodowhilerunning

  1. Running Scavenger Hunts:  I’ve done a few of these on my blog (like this one last summer), but if you don’t have time to make a list you can easily come up with stuff before you start running.  My favorites are holiday themed:  finding the best Christmas lights, the craziest Halloween decorations, etc.  It keeps me looking around at my surroundings instead of thinking about how tired I am, and it really makes time fly!
  2. Working on my posture:  I have the worst running posture ever, but ever since working with the HTH training group I’ve been learning some little tweaks that I can do to run more efficiently – most notably, keeping my shoulders back and arms lower.  But fixing something that I did for years doesn’t happen overnight, so I have been spending most of my recent runs reminding myself to work on my posture.  I love when I tell myself to check in with my body, and it’s actually doing the right thing!
  3. Planning time:  Think of it as a large chunk of time for you to plan your shopping list, mentally write blog posts, and work on writing any to-do lists that you might need.  Just remember to write everything down when you get back home!
  4. Fartleks:  This is a really fun way to add speed work into your runs!  As you’re running, pick a landmark up ahead – a specific tree, a mailbox, etc.  Run fast to that landmark, and then slow down for a bit until you find another landmark to run to.  The cool thing about this kind of speed work is that it changes constantly and can be used on any running route since you’re the one controlling it.  It makes running more interactive and less of an autopilot workout.
  5. Using running as therapy:  When you’re out there alone for hours it’s the perfect time to talk through things with yourself.  I always feel better mentally after a run because I’ve had time to dissect things that are bringing me down and really clear my head.  It seriously is therapy for me!

I love running and it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten bored on a run because there are so many great ways to make running fun.

What do you do while you’re running?  How did you celebrate National Running Day?

26 thoughts on “Friday Five: Five Things To Do While Running

  1. I love fartleks! Breaks up the monotony of a run sometimes. I like to pick a pretty spot and take pictures along the way if I am doing an easy paced run. For longer/faster runs, I try to actually do fartleks – once I’m warmed up, I push the first minute of each mile to get my turnover going. Seems to work most times!

    1. Yes that’s what started it! I couldn’t really participate because I lived in the smallest town on earth and there was nothing there on the list, so I made up my own. It’s so much fun!

  2. I try to take in the sights as much as possible and just appreciate being outside. I work in an office all year round, so the fresh air and sunshine is wonderful!

  3. I love running scavenger hunts! I did one last year and it was awesome… definitely kept me from getting bored 🙂

    1. Oh you should! I did an Alaskan one last summer to see if people could find stuff I saw on my runs (moose, glacier, etc) and people had so much fun with it. You could easily do a desert one!

  4. I do a lot of thinking on my runs, and even seem to solve some relatively complex problems, but unfortunately also forget a lot of what I figure out on those runs. Argh!

  5. I was at Twilight too, but I ran the 6K. I don’t think I saw you though. I left as soon as I ate my pizza and checked my results, because I was COLD and my car was parked so far away. Next year I’ll be parking by the finish instead!

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