Whether you run solo or in a group of people, a long run is a long run. The rewards are many, but getting through the distance is not always an easy thing. It can be monotonous. It can be boring. It can make you question if you are cut out for running long distance. It can make you never want to run again. If you find that you are dreading your next long run, spice it up with these fun ideas.

  1. Be a super fan – Pick a route that you know has lots of other runners. Make it a point to high five every single runner you see. By cheering on other runners, the miles will fly by as you slap some skin and make their day. It quite possibly will make your day too.
  2. Skip to my Lou – Break up the monotony of running with skipping, jumping or high knees at every mile marker. How can you not have fun while skipping? You’ll feel like a kid and will look utterly ridiculous but who cares! An added bonus? You’ll be sneaking in form drills.
  3. Play dress up – Recruit a group of friends to run with you and pick a theme for the run. Maybe everyone wears feather boas or crazy hats. Be sure to leave the high heels at home. The last thing you need is a broken ankle.
  4. Play games – Every time you see a runner in a pink shirt, pick up the pace for 20 seconds. Guy in short shorts? Run at marathon pace for 5 minutes. Just don’t pick runners with black shorts. Your long run will be nothing but a sprint.
  5. Bring the good stuff – Finding the right mid-run fuel is tough especially when you take one that isn’t your favorite. Why torture yourself with gross food? While chocolate cake probably isn’t the most portable option for mid-run fuel, there are other sweet treat options. Gummy bears, margarita or mocha flavored GUs can be a close second for a sweet treat.
  6. Be a hero – Have you always wanted to be a superhero? Now is your time! Set the scene with your own persona, theme song, attitude and goal. Maybe even dress in costume if you are into that type of thing. Every time you run, let your superpowers shine to run faster than the speed of light. Or at least in your mind you will.
  7. Make post-run plans with friends – Have something fun to look forward to after your run. Brunch or drinks is always the perfect setting to replay every single mile of your run to your friends. The miles will fly by as you think about what decadent treat you will indulge in. After all, you just ran a very long time!