5 Painless Ways to Make Your Run More Rewarding | #MondayMorningMotivaton Recipe #2

Studies show running is good for overall mental health as the body releases chemicals  which helps you feel more happy. This recipe is to prevent injury, stay motivated and help you push through when the legs are beggin’ you to stop.

5 Painless Ways To Make Your Run More Rewarding

#1 Start With a 3 Minute Warm-up:

I never used to warm up before going for a run, and as you might expect, I would wake up more frequently with a muscle injury the following morning. The payoff of doing this 3 minute warm-up routine is it has kept me injury free.

  • Five meter (15 feet) Jog | 30 seconds – Set up two cones 5 meters (15 feet) apart. Jog forward to cone #1 , touch it. Pivot and jog to cone #2.
  • Air Squats | 30 seconds – Reach and hold hands straight out in front of body. Feet should width apart, toes pointing forward. Keep a tall chest and tight core as you complete a squat. Repeat.
  • Jumping Jacks | 30 seconds
  • Knee Push-Ups | 30 seconds – Same as a regular push-up but support your lower body on your knees instead of toes.
  • Burpees | 30 seconds
  • Hopscotch | 30 seconds – Yes that hopscotch – without throwing the stone.

#2 Combine with a Good Groove

My formula in the past was to listen to quick playful music while running. I still like my running music to be energetic, however I prefer it to be more of a groove. I find it helps me relax as I run.

Listening to music

This version is of Finally Moving by Pretty Lights is an example of the groove I’m referring to.  It basically puts me in a running trance.  What songs are on your running playlist? Please share in the comments.

#3 Stir in Some Variety

I learned to have more fun when I run after reading Mark Sisson’s blog. His suggestion is to look to add variety to your workouts instead of being chained to the time on your stopwatch.

Now I stop at a park to do a few pull-ups or balance on a climber mid-run. As of late, I discovered stairs that lead down to a beautiful ravine to run through. I never knew it was on my run route until I stopped focusing on my watch.

View of the lake on my run route

And sometimes I’ll slow down to a stroll along the lakefront to take in the view.

#4 Add a Pinch of Self Talk

When I choose to push the pace, and it feels like the legs want to quit, I find if I say “keep going” out loud, my body responds with a stronger push – doesn’t have the same effect if I just think it in my head.

Add a pinch of self talk on your run to get past the tough sections

Not certain if there is any science behind it. I’m certain people around me think I’m strange in the event they hear me, yet I couldn’t care less – I’m running past them anyways.

#5 Finish with a Post Workout Smoothie

Post Workout Smoothie

I like to have a Almond Strawberry Smoothie pre-blended so when I get back it’s ready to drink – keeps me from diggin’ into a bag of chips. 

Recipe To Make Your Run More Rewarding

Makes: 1 Rewarding Run ~ Cost: $0.00 ~ Time: However long you like to run 


Warm-up routine
Music (optional)
Variety (recommended)
Self-Talk (recommended when tired)
Post Run Smoothie

Putting it Together

Do a 3 minute warm-up to get your muscles ready for your run.

Listen to a running playlist with a  good groove.

Keep an eye out for areas that can add variety to your run or make it visually more rewarding. 

Talk yourself out of being tired – out loud.

Pat yourself on the back for a run well done and treat yourself to a healthy smoothie!

Love It? Share It! Thanks! 

Brent Garell testing the food at College Recipe CafeBrent Garell – Brent is the guy behind College Recipe Cafe, and author of The Cook-a-Palooza Experience.  He visits local colleges to teach students cooking 101 skills, and is the author of the digital cookbook 15-Minute Money Saving Meals for Students: Cup of Recipes for When You Need Food NOW! Available now on Amazon.

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