Running Confort Zone
Whether you’re just getting started as a runner, or are planning your next marathon race, you might be wondering whether you’re really pushing yourself enough when it comes to training and racing. Once we find something we’re good, it’s often difficult to push ourselves out of that comfort zone and discover a new aspect to our running abilities. If you’re finding that your training routine isn’t pushing you enough, then take a look at our 5 tips to go beyond your comfort zone when running.
1. Try A New Route
Fed up of the same scenery or bored of the treadmill at the gym? Mix it up a little and try a new running route. Whether you jog, run, or sprint, having a change of scenery is a guaranteed way to ensure you’re body doesn’t get used to things. Running is often perceived as a boring activity, but it doesn’t have to be, especially when there are so many free routes, parks, and roads to cover. Try hill sprints if you’re looking to work on your speed and resistance, and have a go at road running if you’re used to an indoor treadmill. Whatever route you choose, make sure it has different elements to it, so you’re not just running a flat track, but really pushing your body to exert the effort on inclines, rough terrain, and even water. You’ll find that you’ll feel more satisfied at the end of your run and prepared for whatever else your route decides to throw at you. New routes and challenges should fill you with excitement, not fear, as they’ll make you a better runner and stop you from getting bored.
2. Sign Up For A Different Distance Race
Marathon runners are known for their ability to run long distances, keep that pace, and maintain their stride. However, if you’re used to running great lengths, why not try a shorter race, such as a 5k or 10k? This will challenge you to increase your speed, but no overexert yourself. Similarly, if you’re used to shorter, faster races, why not mix up your training and add some longer runs into your week? Yes, it will be challenging, but it will certainly take you out of your comfort zone and you might even surprise yourself. Signing up to different races is also a great way to motivate yourself to actually run. If you’re a beginner, sign up to a 5k, which will give you something concrete to work towards. Having goals is a great way to go beyond your comfort zone as you really have to push yourself to get there. Keep track of all your personal best (PB) times, so that you can use this as a measure for when you’re signing up to new races. No one needs to know these; your competition is yourself.
3. Find A Running Buddy Or Group
Running can be a lonely activity and finding a friend, or even a running group, is a great way to improve your social life, push yourself to keep up with others and have fun at the same time. You’ll not only find yourself encouraging others, but being encouraged yourself, and you’ll find that you’ll have outrun that comfort zone in no time at all. Running groups often have a range of different abilities too, which means you won’t always be the slowest or the fastest, so this creates healthy competition. Don’t judge yourself based on other people’s performance, but do use it as a motivator to push yourself even harder next time. You’ll also find that these groups time your races, which means you can easily keep track of your PBs. Try and find a group that mixes up its routes every now and again, as you don’t want to fall into the same pattern and not push your body.
4. Have A Positive Mindset
Being physically fit is one thing, but believing in yourself is another. If you don’t feel confident or motivated enough to push yourself out of your comfort zone, then it simply won’t happen. You’ve invested in the right running shoes, so now it’s time to invest in yourself. It’s more than likely that the first time you try a longer distance or attempt those hill sprints, that you won’t necessarily achieve what you’re aiming for – but the key is to preserve and believe that with each training session, you’ll get better and better. Being a runner means overcoming your mental belief that you can’t go on. Recognize that although you might be aching and tired, you are still running and moving and the end is in sight. During your training, once you have pushed past those barriers and got through the bad sessions, you’ll find your comfort zone has widened and you’ll need to set yourself new goals and challenges to push yourself further again.
5. Get A Running Coach
If you’re really serious about pushing yourself harder with your running, you might need some help along the way. A running coach could answer, as you’ll gain real insight from a professional, who’ll not only provide you with new training methods, running routes, and exercise tips, but also which running shoes, shorts, leggings, fitness trackers, or even running socks you might need. You might not think it, but the technique is a big part of running and, whether you’re an expert or a novice, getting this right is crucial.
- 5 Tips to Slip Beyond Your Comfort Zone/ 5 ways Slipping beyond your comfort zone leads to PR’s – Believe In the Run
- Extending Your Comfort Zone – The Flying Runner