Friday Five: 5 Fave Running Hacks

It’s Friday, so I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the new Friday Five 2.0. This week’s topic is “Running Hacks.” What’s a running hack? Well, it’s like a life hack for running. It’s basically a tip to make running easier every time you lace up.

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Source: Urban Dictionary (and it’s not even dirty!)

My 5 Fave Running “Hacks” for Happier and Stronger Running

1. Find a Buddy (or Several). If your friends are waiting outside in the cold or at the gym for you, it is MUCH more likely that you will meet your running commitments. Find a friend who wants to train for a race or help you to train for one. Trade in a few of your usual coffee or drink dates for a some miles. It’s a great way to catch up with friends and to stay fit. A win-win! Want to get faster? Run with a faster friend on his/her easier days. Extra credit if you ask him/her to push you.

2. Pair Running with Guilty Pleasures. Think TV, audio books or podcasts. Check out this Freakonomics podcast on temptation bundling. Like TV, but hate the gym? Start watching your favorite shows on the ‘mill. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks on the run when I’m alone. Why? It makes the time fly. You may catch me keeping up with the Kardashians at the gym, but I almost never turn the TV on at home. This is a good habit and a great way to get fitter while having some fun.

3. Try Running Intervals to Increase Your Speed. One of my favorite “tricks” for increasing overall speed to to run intervals on the treadmill. Warm up, run your usual pace and then add .5 or even 1.0 to your speed for 1 minute (or 30 seconds or 2 minutes or whatever you feel you can manage). Then go back to your base pace for the same amount of time. After a few sessions, add time to your interval and/or increase to a higher speed. Over time, try to move your base pace up, too. If you need a more definitive approach, google or look for interval workouts on Pinterest. They work! Check out Rachel’s hacks and interval workout HERE.

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4. Think Positive Thoughts and Find a Mantra. This may sound a bit “woo – woo,” but mantras and positive thinking really work. While running is very physical, it’s also VERY mental. I’ve sunk my running ship many times by convincing myself I couldn’t. One of my favorite quotes is “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford. I also have a mantra that I repeat when I am running an “A” race which is “my kind of race, my kind of day.” Want to know where that came from? Check out my Phoenix Marathon recap HERE. More on mantras from Runner’s World HERE.

5. Remember the “why.” We runners can be pretty hard on ourselves. We’re looking for a personal best, to beat last time and to get it all right. Many of us are “Type A” personalities. About 15 years ago, I was very upset about my performance in a half marathon. One of my teammates asked me “did someone pay you to come here today?” No, I paid for that race and many others. I wasn’t there for my job. I was there for fun, camaraderie and fitness. I’ve had ups and downs in my running. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to run fast and do well. But I try to remember the “why” and to be grateful that I “get” to run. This is a very important lesson and it’s definitely made running more fun for me.

What are your favorite ways to make running easier and more fun? Please leave them in the comments!

Have a great weekend!

PS. Don’t forget my great giveaways!

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12 Comments

  1. Rachel says:

    Great post. I use many of these! And I agree, finding your why is super important.

  2. I fully agree with finding running buddies! I love my solo runs but running with friends gives me an extra push to get out the door some days.

  3. Amy Lauren says:

    I agree with all of these! And I have several running buddies… I have people who push me and I have people who I push. Good to have a variety of people to run with and enjoy it. For me the sport is all about socializing :).

  4. I feel like if there is a running trick, you will know it. You are like a running MacGyver

  5. Kimberly G says:

    Finding a mantra has been very important for me, especially on those long runs that seem to never end!

  6. Erin says:

    I’d never really used a mantra before but I used one at the Miami Marathon and it really worked!! I kept repeating “no bonk, no wall” (after I saw a sign about funny/sarcastic sign about Trump and his wall) and it really helped me through a few rough spots.

    Of course, my “hack” is to lift a lot of weights so that you can still run well without having to run as much 🙂 This is especially helpful when the weather is cruddy!

  7. Amber Ludwig says:

    I loving having a mantra!! Such a great idea!! Now I need to find one that is inspiring and equally badass 😉 My hack was to always find a good distraction or focus when I hit my hardest points!!

  8. I have been downloading podcasts recently to get me through my long runs.

  9. I still have not found a mantra I like! Finding a group of friends to run with is key for sure

  10. Erin R. says:

    I like the one about inviting a friend out for a run (walk, in my case) instead of lunch. Ask someone if they want to go for a walk and 9 times out of 10 they’ll think it’s a great idea. My husb and I have always gone for nightly walks with our dog (sometimes without her now that she’s so old) and it’s the best time to talk or even just be together quietly with no distractions. And it helps me sleep, which is a bonus.

  11. Deb E says:

    I don’t have a mantra and guess I better get one! I do think it helps to think positive thoughts. I’m usually thinking I’m almost done! and that helps a lot, lol.

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