Summer: the days are longer, the sun is shining, and it’s the perfect time to run outside. But, the epic sunshine and extended daylight hours don’t matter—if you’ve been jogging the same route day after day for months (or years!), you’re going to get bored.
Luckily, summer is also the perfect time to get out of your running comfort zone and make things more exciting. Here are six tips to spice up your outdoor jogging routine this summer and squeeze the most fun out of your Aaptiv summer runs.
Switch up your route
If you’ve been jogging the same three-mile outdoor running route for the past few months (or years!), there’s nothing new or exciting to look forward to—and it can be hard to motivate yourself to get outside and run. A change of scenery can be just what you need to inject new life into your outdoor jogging routine and make running fun again.
“Running the same routes over and over again can feel quite boring after a while. Sometimes you need to shake up your routine,” says Martise Moore, the Run Faster coach and author of Stay Awesome Sports Journal: Crush It All Season Long.
If you spend most of your time running in your neighborhood, try exploring a new route on the other side of town. If you tend to do most of your outdoor jogging in the city, consider giving trail running a try. If your go-to route is flat and fast, challenge yourself with some hilly terrain. When you switch up your route, your runs will start to feel exciting again. “When you change your surroundings, you change your energy,” says Moore. “Seek out a new running location and watch your exploratory instincts take over. Your newfound curious perspective is sure to spark joy.”
Enlist a running buddy
Is outdoor jogging a solo activity? If so, enlisting a running buddy can be a great way to make your runs feel fun and exciting. Having someone to talk to and keep you company on your runs can make the time go faster—and keep you from feeling bored as you increase your mileage.
Obviously, you can enlist a fellow running enthusiast to tag along on your jogs—but, keep in mind that your four-legged friends can be running buddies, too! “Dogs are great running partners. They love to run,” says Moore. “When you run with a dog, you have an excited running buddy—and their energy is contagious.”
Make it a race…against yourself
A little healthy competition is a great way to make outdoor jogging more exciting. And, the best part? You don’t need anyone to compete against but yourself.
“Trying to beat your best time can be a means to spice up your jog,” says Thea Boatswain, owner, fitness specialist, and health coach at Elan Fitness and Nutrition. “The internal self-motivation can help you stay motivated [on[ the task at hand [and] help push you through the run.”
Time your runs and see if you can shave a few seconds off each time you head outside to jog. The faster you get, the more motivated you’ll be to keep going—and the more excited you’ll feel every time you lace up your running shoes and head outside.
Throw in some intervals
Running at a steady pace for miles (or hours!) at a time can feel like a drag. Intervals are a great way to break up the monotony of a long run—and make outdoor jogging feel more fun (and challenging!).
“Interval training is an under-utilized gem that can spice up your workout with little effort. When jogging outside, try using physical markers as your ‘sprint distance lines,’” says Mariah Heller, owner and creator of Pain-Free Fitness. “So, if you’re jogging on the street, tell yourself to jog or walk to the nearest corner, and sprint to the next, and then jog or walk to the corner after that, and sprint…rinse, repeat.”
If intervals don’t inject quite enough excitement into your runs, you can also add in different body weight exercises to mix things up. “Still bored? Mix some other movements into your running,” says Heller. “Go for a two or three mile jog, but every stop sign you see, you have to stop next to it and do ten burpees. Trade out different movements, different benchmarks…just have fun with it!”
Sign up for a race
It can be easy to feel bored with your outdoor jogging routine if you don’t have a goal in mind. So, if you want to get excited about running again, give yourself a goal!
Signing up for a race can be a great way to inject some excitement into your day-to-day running routine. When you know you’re running for a reason (whether that’s getting a new personal best running time at an upcoming 5K or completing your first marathon), you’ll be more motivated to get outside and run—and your jogs will feel more purposeful and exciting.
Get excited about outdoor jogging with Aaptiv
Want to keep your runs exciting all summer long? With Aaptiv, you get access to thousands of workouts—including outdoor jogging. And, with more than 30 new classes each week, there’s always something new and exciting to try!