There’s something about running that can almost feel magical when everything falls into place: the music in your ears, your heart pounding, sweat soaking into your shirt. Sometimes, however, running can seem boring or repetitive. You’re hitting the same course day after day, running over the same familiar terrain, and you may struggle with the desire to shake it up. Looking to inject more fun into your run? Here are four tips on how to shake up your routine.

Train for a race

Training for a race helps you kick up your pace as it creates a new goal to strive for. Even if you’re a casual runner who isn’t interested in being at the front of the pack, there are plenty of races available where the finish time isn’t the main goal.

Looking for something even more interesting? Check out the fun runs in your area, from color runs where you’ll come off the course covered in a dazzling display of paint and chalk to inflatable obstacle courses that are designed to have you laughing through the entire course.

Remix your playlist

Running while listening to music can help you keep a steady pace, and take your mind off of what you’re doing. If you’ve never run to music or have been running to music for a long time, it might be time to change it up. Instead of marking the miles by what’s playing on your iPod, check out some of these great runners’ playlist options:

• Fitness Magazine’s best workout playlists
• Women’s Running’s the best marathon playlist ever
• Popsugar’s array of great workout playlists
• Runner’s World’s running playlist section

See new sights

Have you been running the same old, tired path every day? Are you so familiar with the cracks in the road around your neighborhood that you’re starting to count them? Finding a new place to run, whether it’s checking out a new park or running your usual route backwards is a great way to change things up. The new, different challenge will feel exhilarating.

Partner up

There’s something about running with a partner beside you that keeps it fresh and interesting. The best running partner is someone around your fitness level or a little above: a partner who will challenge you, push you to new heights, and encourage you to lace up your running shoes even when you’re pretty sure you’d rather collapse on the couch. Running with a friend makes the miles pass faster and gives you a little added incentive: after all, you don’t want to be the first one to give up!

Running is great cardio exercise and a great way to burn some tension and frustration or get your mind in the right place to go about your day. Injecting a little fun into your routine once in a while will keep it challenging, which means that you’ll be more likely to get out there and get moving.

Sources:

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/music/popular-playlists/our-best-workout-playlists/
http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/01/just-for-fun/the-best-marathon-playlist-ever_52321
http://www.popsugar.com/latest/Workout-Music
http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/running-playlists