Maybe you know people like me who just like to run and we find it fun, and you want to get into running, but you’re not quite sure that it’s fun, but you know, you should do it. And if you’re going to do it, you want to enjoy it. So, today, I’m going to hopefully help you figure out how to make running fun.
Since, you’re here to make running fun, and I know you want to stick with it for the long haul, you’re going to want to stick with me for all the tips and tricks I can share with you over my 20 years of competitive distance running to make you not only a runner that enjoys their time, but gets better and better with time. So, that being said, you’re going to want to hit that subscribe button to stick around with me here on this channel.
Now, when we’re talking about fun, you have to figure out, well, first, Jesse, do you know what is fun? The idea of fun is a little ambiguous, right? When I say what is fun? You go, well, yeah, what is fun? Now, you may think, what do you know about fun? You run a company that makes soap, soap isn’t fun. That’s true. That’s very true. Soap isn’t necessarily fun by itself. But the first company I started, actually, is where I design games. I make educational games, I make learning fun. So, I have a little idea about what is fun. And I even read things like this book, the Theory of Fun for Game Design. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my copy. I scoured all on my bookshelves, I don’t know where it’s gotten to. But fun comes in different forms.
So, the first thing to understand about how to make running fun is to know that it may not necessarily be the type of fun that you think it’s going to be, though it probably can be. And so when we understand that fun comes in two basic forms, type one and type two fun, that we can help make our runs more enjoyable. So, type one fun, is where I’m laughing, I’m enjoying myself right now in this very moment. This is maybe what you’re missing. And what you’re used to when things are fun and you’re going running is not that it’s not, it’s not fun. I don’t like it.
Type two fun, is the things that maybe are challenging or difficult. And then we look back on them and enjoy that we went through them. Often, the people that stick with running, really enjoy type two fun, because there are going to be plenty of times when things just suck. So, being able to embrace the fun in the past tense, the things that already happened is going to be the key to that. But I’ll share with you a few tips on maybe how to bring in a little bit more that type one fun into your running life.
The first tip is really just this, get social. Find a running club. It’s going to be much more enjoyable if you’re going out and doing these things with other people, because we like other people. We’re social animals. We like spending time with other people, we like doing things with other people, we like talking to other people, even the introverts. Maybe you like smaller groups, and that’s perfectly okay. But, we’re still social animals.
You know, you may recharge your batteries on your own, versus somebody who is extroverted and recharges their batteries by being with others. But we all ultimately create some kind of connection. And doing that, having conversations while you’re out running, connecting with people, making friends, helps bring that type one fun into that running atmosphere.
Now, that isn’t the only thing you can do. If you have those friends, and you can do these on your own too, but mix it up. Do something challenging, play a game. You can take running and do cross-training. We played Ultimate Frisbee in college when it was like we’ve done too many miles and coach wanted to give us a break, but we still needed to get a workout in. Play a game. You’re still running, you’re still getting fitness in, but you’re disguising it in a game.
And playing a game, a challenge that can be overcome, or there’s obstacles that you feel like you can take on, that is fun because you’re stretching yourself to new abilities. And that is part of the crux of sticking with running, understanding that it’s a challenge to take yourself to new abilities and you can overcome it.
When you use that type one kind of fun to keep yourself consistent, then you have the ability to look back and have that type two fun on the days where man, it was tough, it was challenging. I had my friends, my running mates to help me through those tough challenges that I can look back on them, and enjoy them. There are lots of things like this that we go through, we don’t enjoy it in the moment, and then we look back on, and begin to enjoy.
There is another way to have a little bit of fun with running. But this one, it takes even longer than that type two fun. And that’s gaining fitness, and realizing how much easier your everyday life is. Knowing that this improved fitness just makes living easier, there’s an ease of movement, it’s so simple, yet so profound when you’re in shape and you can just move around without a ton of effort. You know, other people are getting winded doing something that seems very simple and you’re not. And it’s not a game of comparison so much as a realization that like, hey, life is a little bit easier because I put all this work in.
It’s so so subtle, and it is a moment that you won’t have all the time. But there’s this profound sense of joy, at least that I’ve experienced when I get through something, even if I’m maybe working on my own. I mean, I’m working on the house or working on a project, whatever it is, doing something that’s physical, and going I’m glad I have the stamina for this, I’m glad that I can do this. I have this sense of joy, this sense of fun because I spend all this time running, working out, and maintaining my fitness.
So, those are the three ways you can have been running. There are other things you can do too, like, listen to music. I’m not a big fan, but maybe it’s for you. And it’s one way to keep you consistent. I don’t like to be too dogmatic about some of these things like this. If it keeps you consistent, and it makes it enjoyable for you, go for it. It’s your show. So, what questions do you have for me about running, about other ways you can take running to the next level? Leave them in the comments below. I’d like to make a video just for you. I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.