I have a a few loops around the streets of the little town where I live. Even though I live on top of a hill (which can make my runs more challenging), there are plenty of permutations to stretch or shorten my routes. Most of the time I lazy, but sometimes I’m not.
Having a few routes in your repertoire is never a bad thing. In fact, for the Lazy Runner, this gives you plenty of chances to be lazy, but still get a good run in. I also find that knowing exactly how much time and effort each route will take, helps to overcome your laziness.
Here are a few of my routes:
The Cop Out Route
The Cop Out Route is for when you just don’t feel like doing anything. You know you need to run, you kind of want to run, but… it’s too cold out, it’s too late, I’m kind of tired, I’ve got a lot of work to do, blah blah blah. I have a treadmill at home, and when I’m feeling extra lazy I’ll sometimes just run a mile on that. That’s right, just one mile. I’ll usually pick up my pace a little, but once I’m done, I at least feel like I ran, which is better than nothing.
The Regular Jaunt
For me, this is my typical run (especially if I run in the morning before work). I’ve got this route down to 2.84 miles. Not quite a 5k, but nowhere near as lazy as the Cop Out Route. I typically just take my time and can easily complete this in under 30 minutes (even running at a 9:30/mi pace). The good thing about this distance is that it is comfortable to run, but can easily mix in some walking without adding too much time. I find that this distance works well for me and since it is not too far, I can usually motivate myself to do this a few times a week.
The Maybe I Should Run a Little Longer Route
I am pretty comfortable with my Regular Jaunt, so every once in a while I like to turn the dial up a little, but without adding significant distance to the run. For me, this is simply adding another half mile or so to my run. This route increases my total distance to 3.41 miles. Again, we’re not talking a half marathon here, just something that pushes you past the 5k and adds another few minutes to your exercise routine. The hills in my neighborhood make this route tricky for me, in that, I need to decide if I’m running 3.41 miles or 2.84 miles right when I leave my driveway (otherwise I’d finish with a long hill). This is kind of a good thing since it forces me to choose my run distance right when I start, so if I commit to the longer run, there’s no turning back (well, figuratively speaking).
The I’m Feeling Saucy Route
So sometimes, and I do mean sometimes, I feel really motivated, I’m not in a hurry, and the weather is perfect for running. And when those stars align, I embark on a much longer journey. I have 6.62 miles route that really pushes me. Even though I run as much as I do, I still have a hard time considering myself a runner, so for me, 6.62 miles isn’t bad. This run usually takes me about an hour or so, but I feel great (and a huge sense of accomplishment) when I finish. Like my 3.41 mile run, I have to make this decision early. With this route I get about a mile warm up before I need to make up my mind, but as I said, I’ve usually already made the decision when I’m getting ready.
The Half Marathon Route
Just kidding. 🙂 I’ve yet to tackle a run such as this, but I know there are plenty of you who can. So if you’ve got a few hours and the stamina, I say, “go for it!” I’m trying to build up the motivation to do a 10 mile run, but I’m not there yet.
Do you have some regular routes? How do you use them and does it affect your motivation? I’d love to hear from you.