Five Ways to Revamp Your Running Routine

It’s National Running Day, y’all! While the weather this morning was a little too gloomy for my running taste, I’m hoping to get a short run in during my lunch break or on my way to barre class tonight.

Before my trip to Oregon (read more about Wednesday/Thursday’s events here – more to come!), I was dangerously close to getting into a running rut. I needed a shakeup. If you’re feeling the same way, here are five tips to change up your running routine:

1. Change your route. When I started working in Wicker Park, I made it a semi-weekly habit to get in a quick run on my lunch break. It’s definitely a different scene than my normal Lincoln Park/Lakefront runs, but it’s a great way to explore Chicago and get a change of pace (pun totally intended). If you can’t find time to break out of your neighborhood, try running your normal route backwards. A new perspective might be just what you need!

2. Gear up. If your wallet allows, treat yo’self to a new tank top or a new pair of shoes. Especially if you’re gearing up for marathon training, take the time to go into a running store (Fleet Feet, the new Asics in Bucktown, or Nike are all good options) and have your gait professionally analyzed on a treadmill. A professional can then recommend a type of shoe for you. Don’t fall into the trap of just picking out shoes based on color – I did that once and it resulted in a broken heel! Shop smart, people.

3. Enlist a friend. At Fab Fit Chicago, we are all about multitasking (see: Sweatworking), so if you’re struggling to get in a run or are trying to make plans with a busy friend, go for a run together! It doesn’t have to be your speediest or longest workout, but any run is better than no run, right? It may turn out that you really enjoy running with a friend or group, and if so, you’re in luck – Chicago has TONS of running clubs, so you’re sure to find one to suit your neighborhood and schedule! May I suggest the CRW?

4. Take the road less traveled on. Okay, so trail running isn’t the easiest thing to find in Chicago, but with a short Metra ride or drive outside the city to Lake Forest or Lincolnshire, you can hit the trails and become one with nature on your run. I had the pleasure of doing a trail run this past weekend, and while it was at times (two miles uphill, HELLO calves), the feeling of running with the wind whistling in your ears and nothing else to distract you is honestly amazing. I’m checking out Chicago’s nearest trails this weekend, so I’ll report back with some tips and tricks!

trail running in oregon fab fit chicago

5. Get the joy back. Whether it’s running in the rain, chasing a bus, or doing some sprints to break up your pace, try to find a way to make your run fun. I think Phoebe from Friends has the right idea about how to approach running:

When it comes down to it, it really doesn’t matter what you wear, how fast you run, how far you go or where you run – just getting a run in is an accomplishment and something to celebrate. Happy National Running Day!

How you do get out of a running rut? What helps you find the joy in running?

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About Kristen Geil

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.

3 thoughts on “Five Ways to Revamp Your Running Routine

    1. Katie, I’m jealous! I think I’m heading to Lake Forest or Lincolnshire this weekend if you have any suggestions!

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