3. Slow down. “Don’t even think about pace at the beginning,” says Amanda Loudin, the voice behind Miss Zippy. “Many people get discouraged at first because they want to run ‘fast.’ So they go out and kill themselves, then feel dejected and discouraged.” Coach Ryan Knapp of Out and Back emphasizes running at a conversational pace, meaning you should be able to talk on-the-go. While it may go against the “No pain. No gain.” mentality, it “ensures you are building your aerobic endurance and teaching your body to become more efficient, which is the key to running,” he says.
4. Buddy up. Yes, it can be isolating to run alone, but we say there’s plenty of road to share. “Ask a friend you haven’t seen in a while to run with you,” says Jocelyn Bonneau, better known as Enthusiastic Runner. “Catch up while running and the miles will fly by as you chat!” Julie Curtis of ROJ Running adds that your date could also be a romantic one. “Studies have shown couples who run together, stay together,” she says. “Take your crush out for a little jog or reignite passion in your long term relationship. That post-workout glow could lead to a few more calories burned—if you know what I’m saying.”
5. Play a game. Remember all those silly road trip games your parents would use to entertain and distract you on long car rides? Even on your feet, you can still take them on the road! Play “20 Questions” with a friend or try to find all of the letters of the alphabet on the street signs you pass if you’re running solo.
6. Discover the road not taken. If you ate the same food for lunch every day, you’d inevitably get bored, and it’s the same with running! “Slogging along the same path every day can get old really fast,” says Feller. Blogger Gabrielle Kotkov of Marathons and Macaronssuggests picking a place that feels special. “It could be as simple as the foliage in the park, or the sunset along the river,” she says. “I first fell in love with running in the park in autumn.” Theodora Blanchfield, coach and creator of Losing Weight in the City agrees, adding that even if you have to travel to your new route first, “running is the best way to see new spots and explore somewhere new on foot!”