Running Lessons: Running Around the Christmas Tree

Each morning, when I head out for my run,  I venture through Faneuil Hall and then turn left or right at the other end – towards my routes on the South side of the city or towards the routes on the north side. For the most part, I honestly don’t know which way I am going to turn till I get there – I guess whatever feels “right” for the given morning. The great part of running in Boston is the various routes that can be taken and as I tweeted once, no route is ever the same! Yesterday, I turned right and ran a completely new route seeing a host of new things to see and getting a different perspective on the things that are already familiar to me. 

This is what drives my running; the opportunity to see things that are “new” to me. I was speaking with a colleague a few nights ago and he mentioned that when running became too much for him years ago, he turned to mountain biking and the experiences he had and the new things he saw, were amazing (which has me seriously thinking of buying a mountain bike and doing the same…story for another day). Yesterday morning (not today as I was not really looking with my speed work) another one where I got in early and ran another good distance, I had a great view of the sunrise and the Boston Harbor; views of castle island (from afar as I did not get out to that locale) and the old base; as well as the continued development of fan pier (once dirt, now full of buildings). 

These views make the running more enjoyable. And when a run is more enjoyable, one can run longer and faster because one’s mood is better. Running longer and faster makes more more “fit.” Being more “fit” allows one to live a life that is more enjoyable because they can move around better. And this state also leads to a better mood. Bottom line here – if you run routes with much to see, you benefit! 

So what are the “secrets” to running a route? As I mentioned, I attempt to always run a different course each time out on the road. How do I mix it up? Here are a few ways

  1. Always look for routes that run along trails or waterways: I have found there is always something interesting to see when running through the woods and along lakes, rivers and oceans. Something always changes on these routes whether it is Foliage, animals or trees. And when on a trail, one needs to be aware of the footing so they don’t trip – this keeps the mind thinking!
  2. Looks for hills toghether: For hill work, don’t run up and down the same hill over and over. See if you can find a series of hills to do your hill work on. Changing the view makes the climbing easier, relatively speaking
  3. Reverse the Route! This one is simple…run the opposite way on one of your existing routes. It is amazing what new things you see when doing so (I did such this morning).
  4. Snap pics: One trick they I use is to find the perfect picture. Is there a perfect picture out there? Probably but I have not found it yet. That is why I am constantly looking while at the same time doing fartleks, higher tempo training or whatever else I can do on the training side.
  5. Listen to Audio Books: There is an Audible ad on the radio and it talks about how the listener is taken into the story. Well, when running, I have had that experience – especially with a book I have been listening to of late…The Game. The book has the chance to mix up your viewpoint of a route. Give is a shot!

So that is about all I can offer today. These work for me and I am sure there are others that I have forgotten or you use yourself! In fact, fee free to share them with me in the comments section if you have time!

Thank you for reading as always!


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