5 Ways To Keep Your Runs Interesting

Cheers to another day my friends! I have gotten a few messages from folks who have started running recently who are struggling to stay motivated in their new journey. It’s new to them and what is still fresh in their heads is how much they have always hated running. Further, if they haven’t run a race yet, they may not have had the opportunity to witness the positive enthusiasm that running can bring to keep them motivated during their workouts. So this morning I thought I would share some ways that can keep running interesting. For me I can’t say that running is ever boring for me, even after all these years. Maybe the reason it isn’t boring is because I call upon some of these every now and then to “keep things interesting”! Here are just a few of those!

Run with headphones. Whether they are wired or bluetooth, running with headphones is a game changer. I have a few playlists that I fire up when I go for my runs. For me it’s 90’s alternative since that’s what I was listening to in high school when I first picked up running years ago and quite frankly, I still love those tunes too! But I have a few other playlists too, like some old school hip hop and another with latin vibes. But music isn’t the only thing you can listen to. Podcasts have become favorites of runners, or maybe even a newscast. All of these can and will make your run go by a lot faster!

Some songs from my 90’s/Alternative Rock Playlist

Mix Up Your Running Routes This is one that I like to do a lot. Let’s be honest here, if you are running the same route over and over again, this will get boring. I always say that running can lead you to be a sightseer whether it’s when your travelling or even in your own neighborhood. Take a look at your runs, if you’re doing the same ones over and over again, mix them up please or consider changing the length of your runs if you must use the same routes.

Track Your Runs. There are a number of running apps out on the market today that track your runs from your phone by use of GPS. I am a fan of Map My Fitness & Strava, but I must say that Strava is quickly becoming my favorite. These apps have information that keeps me wanting to come back and run again and again. One of the reasons Strava is becoming my favorite is because of all the info they give you out of just one run. They will calculate portions of your run and compare them to similar portions you have run before and tell you how you compared to those. Further Strava is quickly becoming another community but solely made up of runners, which means you can follow your friends and compare how you do. I always say numbers can tell a story and Strava’s stats tell you your story while keeping you motivated. Map My Fitness is always coming up with challenges to keep you motivated and thats part of the reason I continue to use them as well as Strava!

Just a few of the stats from Strava that keep my running interesting!

Run With A Group. This is something that I personally had not tried until this week. I’ve always run alone in my neighborhood but since creating a facebook group for the United NYC Half Marathon, I’ve met a lot of runners online in preparing for that race. Some who live close to me, and when I say close I mean New York City (lol), expressed interest in running as a group to prepare for our race in March together. I ran with the group for the first time this week. We had 6 people in the running group and it was an awesome experience. I’ve always heard that group running is fantastic but it was hard to vouch for that without a group to run with. I highly recommend that if you need a change a pace in your running, find a group or even just a friend and go for a run with them. While your chatting away, those miles will trickle by with ease!

Good chats, good friends and good running within a group!

Mix Up The Type Of Runs You Do. Running doesn’t always have to be about going out and running the same distance. As I mentioned up above, the same route can get boring but also the same type of run can get boring. I always like to get a track workout into my routine if not once a week, at least every other week. This allows me to do intervals on the track which in turn help me build my speed. Hopefully most people have a community or high school track near by that they can have access to. If so, I encourage a track work out! Other times, I like to go find a decent sized hill by me and just run up that hill 10-20 times. This will no doubt challenge you but it will be different from your usual run. Plus hill work will make you a stronger runner in general and that is always a plus when running a race! Tempo runs are also a good way to mix things up. Tempo runs involve running portions of a long run much faster than other portions. For example on a 5 mile run, running miles 1,3 & 5 easy but cranking it up for miles 2 & 4. These are just some ways you can mix up the type of runs you do.

When you look at the above, in my opinion, running can indeed be fun! Like with any other task if you do the same thing over and over again you will naturally lose interest. I’ll update this from time to time when I find new ways to keep running interesting. Want to be updated – follow my blog!! lol

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Display Your Pride For New York City!

Happy Monday to all!

New York City has just gone thru one hell of a cold spell. The temperature has not been near freezing for over a week. Wind chills have had it feeling below zero for quite some time. Still, I have seen so many posts on social media of people running in this cold weather.Seeing this is quite inspirational. It shows a drive and determination that you just don’t see in too many place.

I myself ran a 5k on New Year’s day in zero degree weather. New Yorkers for lack of a better term can be crazy at times with their running. For me, it has to do with a very busy schedule so my time to run is limited. That being said, whenever I plan on getting a run in, I hold myself to that no matter what it is doing outside. For others, as well as myself, there is a great sense of pride to running in New York City. That can also be said for the hundreds of thousands that flock to New York City each year to run races here.

With all of the above in mind, I had an idea to make accessories and shirts with the hashtag #irunnyc on them. For me it is one of my favorite running hashtags. I’m proud to be from New York City and I love running thru out the streets of New York! I have had several runners, both from New York and from out of town express the same pride. I’ve started a page on this blog that has a few items on it that display the hashtag. I am hoping that you will give it a visit and check it out. If you do, check back often as  I will be adding more things from time to time. If anyone has something that they would like to see with the #irunnyc hashtag on it, let me know and I will try my best to make it happen! If nothing else, I will have fun wearing some of these items over time to some of my upcoming races!

For now, be proud of your city and display your pride with #irunnyc accessories and apparel!

Ready To Take On 2018!

I looked at the calendar yesterday at work and couldn’t believe that pretty much a whole week has gone by in December already! With the holiday festivities starting up and with hopefully some vacation time for many of you, December will be gone before you know it!

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Are You Ready For 2018?

If you are sitting back and you continue to say to yourself ” I am going to get into a workout routine soon”, please start! I’ve been trying to preach that December is actually a great month to start a workout routine. See my previous post here .

For those of you out there that are already working out, or better yet running, are you ready for 2018? Have you started to think about what goals you have in 2018? Have you made some plans as to what races you will run in 2018?

For me, its an interesting year. I will finally get to conquer (or at least I hope to) the New York City Marathon after so many years of trying to run the race. Of course that race is not until November! I plan to slowly start building up my miles likely around July. Up until then, I plan on keeping busy with a steady diet of races. It’s early but so far in 2018, I have a 10k to run in January and as of right now, my next race after that is not until mid March when I run the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon on March 18th. Would love to get a race under my belt in February, but if that doesn’t happen then I will settle with another race after the half marathon.

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The United NYC Half Marathon Runners Were Picked On Wednesday!

A quick side note about the United NYC Half. Yesterday, so many people found out that they were selected for the race after awaiting the results of the race lottery. If you were one of those many people that got accepted yesterday, CONGRATULATIONS! Its always exciting to hear the joyful expressions of people when they get selected for a big race such as the United NYC Half. The facebook group that I created for the race is closing in on 200 members, all of whom are running the race. Needless to say, I’ m pretty excited about this race and I am sure all runners in the race are as well.

Back to my goals for 2018. As I prepare for the NYC Marathon, I would like to get the 9 races required to run the NYC Marathon again in 2019. With 2018 being my first marathon being run, there is of course the possibility that I  may not want to bounce back in 2019 and run it again based on what some are saying about their first experience lol. That is ok. I believe I can always defer my qualification a year if I do gain acceptance into the 2019 edition.  I plan on doing at least nine races in addition to the marathon this year. Which ones they will be is still to be determined. There are two races that I am definitely hoping to do. The Brooklyn Half Marathon in May and the Fifth Avenue Mile in September. The Brooklyn Half, because I missed it last year so I want to do it this year. The Fifth Avenue mile was probably my favorite race of all the races I ran last year. First because its the shortest and second because, well I never get to run a mile all out!

As for other personal goals, going under 1:50 in a half marathon is at the top of my list. With the cold weather here, I don’t know if I will get adequate training in to go under that in March at the NYC Half but maybe I can tackle that goal in May at the Brooklyn Half marathon. As for the NYC Marathon, I’ve never 26.2 miles before so I don’t know what to expect. But if I can break 4 hours, I will be fine with that! Finally that 5th Avenue Mile tricked me last year. I could see the finish line at the half mile marker and I started to kick. Way too early though so I was gassed in the last 1/4 mile! Will try to run smarter this year and God willing go under 6:00!

All in all, I’m excited to get 2018 going already. With no race for me in December, I guess you can say I bored! Thankfully running for my charity on Charity Miles is keeping me going!

What are your goals for 2018? What races do you want to run? I want to know – let me know in the comments section below!

Have a great Thursday my friends!

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Loved The Fifth Avenue Mile!

United NYC Half Facebook Group

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March and the United NYC Half Will Be Here Before You Know It!

 

The calendar says that it is only November but I already have the United Airlines New York City Half Marathon on my mind. I ran the 2017 version of the race earlier this year and while I know I have not run the full New York City Marathon, I can tell you that the United NYC Half was a lot of fun and I was very impressed with the organization and promoting done for the race.

This year, they have decided to change the course up and make this a true New York City Half Marathon. In previous years, the race was run exclusively in Manhattan. This year, the race is starting in Brooklyn, and going over the Manhattan Bridge and into Manhattan up the east side, thru Times Square and ultimately ending in Central Park. Many people have expressed their excitement over the new course as it gives the race a mini feel of the New York City Marathon.

New Course Starts The Race In Brooklyn & Ends It in Manhattan!

 

One thing that I do remember about the 2017 NYC Half was the vibe that I felt days before the race at the expo, before the race on race day and of course during the race itself. I realized running this race, that there is a strong running community out there. When you come across another runner, you can usually engage in lots of conversation. Soon you find that some of your concerns, your excitements and other feelings that you thought were unique to you, are actually shared by other people.

So in the spirit of the running community, I decided to start a Facebook group that is dedicated to the 2018 version of the United NYC Half. The group is closed but just request to join the group and you will be allowed in. You can find that group here – 2018 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon. I started this because I remember getting ready for the race and not knowing what to expect, not knowing where to go, not knowing what to wear and so many other things. Now as a returning runner, I still have questions running thru my head about this race. Clearly this group can serve as a benefit to any runner so hopefully I will see you in the group if you are indeed running the race.

The group belongs to all those running the race, its not just my group. If you have a question or comment – fire away! Hope to see and meet some new faces running the 2018 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon!

MarathonFoto Always Captures Great Shots!