As a runner habits can be your friend. Developing a habit of getting up and running 3 days a week is a good thing. Developing a habit to get up and run with Run Richmond on Saturdays is a great thing 🙂
Some habits though can take away from one major benefit of running…experiencing nature. There are some pretty amazing things to see in the world. There are some pretty spectacular things to see in Madison County.
Having a set course that you know and run frequently is a good thing. You can get in and out of your run quickly. No real preparation is necessary so it can be a mindless thing. Go-Run-Get Done. That is needed for people with busy schedules trying to figure out how to get their workouts in, their kids to practices, their family meals cooked, etc. We need ways to make running easy; routine creates that.
Sometimes though you just have to go out and experience a run at a new place. It can be a road you have driven 1000 times, but I assure you running gives you a whole new perspective. Things look different when they aren’t flying by at a minimum of 25MPH. You can see the beauty of the town, state or country we live in.
Yesterday, I had a cross train on my schedule for marathon training. I know I need to get serious about cross training and that focusing on my core will be a huge asset to my marathon results, but I enjoy running. Not so much the cross training. So instead of just going for another run I decided to head out on a new path. Do something different so that I could (at least in my mind) call it cross training. I went to a small country road that I have driven numerous times and didn’t have a plan. I remembered a long steep hill and decided to pull of the side of the road and run from there. For the cross train part I did a 3 mile run out and back to get my legs a little tired and then did the hill as a sprint. I haven’t done hill sprints at all in my training so I can officially call that cross training, right?
The training was great and the run was productive, but what I really enjoyed was 40 minutes or so on a Sunday after noon running along a small creek. The running water, the water falls and just being surrounded by nature in general. Maybe your runs are almost all in nature like this. Maybe you need to drive to Richmond or Lexington and run the city streets. There are some pretty cool experiences with that as well. The point is that we can easily get stuck in a routine that will not only be less productive it can even go as far as to fuel burn out. Mix it up from time to time. Blaze a new trail and see things you have never seen before, or experience places in a way you never have before.