When most people find out I’m a runner, the first thing they usually say (if they don’t run) is I wish I could do that or I could never do that, and followed by how do you not get bored being by yourself for that long?
And for someone who is not a “fast” runner, I’m out there for a long time when marathon training. My long runs range from 2 hours to 4 hours (this used to be as long as 6 hours for my first marathon!!!) and for the most part I run alone. Strangely enough I actually prefer to be alone most of the time, although I do enjoy when I can meet up with someone at the start or know I’m meeting them for brunch afterwards. I know many people prefer to run with others, so for you crazy people that like social interaction I recommend a running group (with people you actually like, running with people you can’t stand is not so fun and can make you a very ragey person afterwards).
So what did I do to survive those long runs and not want to cry (there was a lot of that during my first marathon training cycle) or be bored to death? This last cycle I came up with a couple things to help break up the boredom.
- Signed up for Spotify Premium. I actually did this earlier in the year, but I LOVE IT! With premium you can download music to your phone and not have to use all your cell phone data plan to stream music while you run. I usually added a couple new songs a week and use their top music charts and new music to find new songs. I highly recommend the Empire (the tv show) sound track from each week. I usually found at least one song a week from that week’s episode. I also listen to Sirius radio in my car and their hits channel usually gave me good ideas as well. I also add any songs that make me smile or laugh (The Lonely Island is good for this!) so whenever it comes on it gives me a random boost. Current fav songs: Missy Elliott featuring Pharell- WTF; Alessia Cara- Seventeen; Empire Cast (Yazz and Timberland)- Dynasty.
Why yes I have been listening to the new Justin Bieber album.
- Listening to podcasts has become my newest long run boredom buster. I started with Serial and made my way through Undisclosed and now Truth and Justice. These saved me during my 21 milers! The story of Adnan is so intriguing and kept me interested for a couple hours. I also really enjoy the Runner’s Connect podcast. They’re really informative and Tina’s British accent is always enjoyable. For these though I have to find the topic to be really interesting or listening to a podcast about running while running can get a little old. Another favorite is Mystery Show- the host, Starlee Kine, is hilarious and her story telling is great!! She tries to solve these weird mystery occurrences from her friends’ lives. The stuff she gets into and the way she tells the story usually has me laughing while alone on a trail.
The podcasts I’m currently subscribed to.
- Finding new routes to run is also key. While I normally try to find the route with the least amount of hills, I tried to pick different areas of the city to run in to keep things interesting and I avoided the one spot where I had a lot of bad runs in my first marathon training cycle.
- And when I get really desperate I call people. While I enjoy being along, that long without human interaction can be really isolating and I just need to talk to someone. So I’ll spend like 3-5 min on the phone with my mom and then I feel more like a normal human.
So none of these things are innovative but they keep me entertained on a long run and I usually start to look forward to my podcasts that are waiting for me!
I’d love any podcasts recommendations you have! I love all things mystery/crime or just good story telling.