“In the future we don’t need horses. We have motorised carriages called automobiles.” says Doc, to a crowd of Wild West onlookers in a drunken state. Cackling laughter bounces around the walls in mocking reaction to his grand statement.
“If everyone’s got one of these autos what’s its, does anybody walk or run anymore?” One-man teases. Doc glares at the man,”of course we run, but for recreation or fun.”
Astounded at Doc’s claim, a card player chuckles through the question:
“Run for fun, what the hell kind of fun is that?”
The scene is from 1990’s Back to the Future three. Doctor Emmett Brown (brilliantly played by Christopher Lloyd), claims people ‘run for fun’ in modern times. If you’re like most people, you probably would’ve agreed with those chuckling at Doc’s claim.
You’d probably think Doc, along with those in the bar, was mad. “Run for fun? Yeah, that’ll be the day…”
Watch the iconic clip here to see it for yourself.
Ironically, running is one of the best forms of exercise
Ironically, running is one of the best forms of exercise available to you. It can be done virtually anywhere, is cheap, and you can run regardless of your current fitness level.
According to Bupa’s activity-calories burned counter, a 135-pound person running at 5mph for 30 minutes burns 240 calories. The same person only burns 150 calories playing tennis for 30 minutes. Running is effective for burning calories, among other things like increasing happiness, alertness and physical fitness.
Why people don’t like the idea of running for fun
Unfortunately, running is frequently associated with negative experiences like pain, discomfort and failed attempts to maintain a routine. People’s dislike of running is often a symptom of haunting past experiences.
Bad past experiences and negative beliefs on running
It could have been bailing out of a half marathon after 3 miles after stark realisation you weren’t fit enough. Feeling like you had to force yourself to run, holding yourself at metaphorical gunpoint: “get out of this bed, get those running shoes on, or else!”
Maybe you just believe that running is an irrational, excessive form of cardio exercise, and something like tennis or golf is more enjoyable and relaxed in pace.
Whatever your beliefs or past experiences, you will see running can be made fun.
This article drills down the key ways you can make running fun today
Run with others
“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” William Butler Yeats
Ever worked in a fantastic organisation with an infectiously positive work culture? Gone for an unforgettable night out with a group of mates? Travelled abroad for an incredible family holiday? Felt a thrill creating music in a band? The answer to all these questions should be an astounding yes!
Life is more fun when shared with other people. It’s a fact. You share experiences, create powerful synergies, share ideas, laugh and cry as a group, and there’s a general feeling of togetherness. There are many ways running can be more fun as a group. Here are 3 of them:
Saturday morning at 9AM hundreds of runners get together in unique location, near you, and run a weekly 5K. The event is called parkrun, and it’s completely free to register for and attend.
Register, turn up, socialise with people both new and old, run in a group, collect your time, and the fun memories are created. Parkrun is particularly fun as it relies on local communities owning the event, organising it and publicising it. Have fun not only running parkrun each week, but also enjoy helping make the event happen in the first place.
Join a club
Joining a club is a great way to get enjoyment out of running. Not only are you less tempted to skip training with weekly club runs, there’s an opportunity to meet and develop relationships with those in the club.
Some of the best friendships you make in life, can be from joining a running club. The clubs are often filed with friendly, approachable and supportive people, who all share a passion for running. Joining a club means running with others, a powerful way to make running fun.
Use this free tool to find clubs near you.
Run with people you know
Invite people you already know for a run! What a fun way to strengthen existing relationships.
Ask a colleague to accompany you for a lunch run, see if your partner fancies joining you for a chilled route in nature, create a Facebook or Whatsapp group so you can plan group runs with friends.
Running with people you already know is an easy way to run with others, and have fun running.
Make runs entertaining with music and podcasts!
It’s not the best feeling in the world when you’re out of breath, tired, sweating heavily, and all you have for entertainment is the sight and sound of people driving past you in their warm and comfortable cars. It can be easy to become bored, lack motivation, and lose interest in running.
Get the sounds going for some fun! Listen to your favourite music and run to the beat. Focus on the lyrics to the songs, analyse what the song is all about. Download an album from that artist you’ve always wanted to try, but “never got time to listen to.” Music makes running incredibly fun.
Want to learn something new? Perfect. Download a podcast, listen, and become more intelligent. Podcasts can be about anything from gardening, playing the piano, job interview skills, starting a business, learning a new language, or even learning to code. Listen to podcasts on sites like Spotify or iTunes.
“I like to challenge myself. I like to learn – so I like to try new things and try to keep growing.”David Schwimmer
What is life without a little challenge? Some would say boring, whilst others would say predictable. Challenge is good for us, and it makes things a lot more fun!
We take on challenges every single day. Make running a fun challenge
We’ve all taken on challenges before. Learning a new Mexican food recipe, raising children, studying for important exams, practicing for a music performance, searching for and buying a house, are all examples of challenges voluntarily encounter every day.
Time yourself on a 5k route, on your own or with others (parkrun is 5K), write down your time, and try to beat the time on your next run. Have an end goal in mind of what you eventually want to achieve, which will motivate you to run more and make progress.
For example, you could have a 5K target of 20 minutes or quicker. Maybe your first 5K is 26 minutes 30 seconds, the over a couple of weeks you get it down to 22 minutes 30 seconds. After lots of training and careful planning, you will eventually be able to run a sub 20-minute 5K.
Having a challenge will motivate you to run more and make it more fun. Set a time you want to achieve for a certain distance and make it your business to achieve it!
“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” Frank Borman
Leaping out of your comfort zone, discovering new places, exploring the world, is one of the greatest joys running can give you. Make it fun by mixing it up. Don’t take your usual, well-travelled route. Take the untraveled path.
Go running in the local woodland, drive down to the seaside, travel to a different city and make a weekend of it. For the serious explorers, book a marathon or half marathon in another country. You’ll be excited at the prospect of travelling to a new country and will be much more motivated to keep training.
Exploring is both entertain and educational. Make exploration a part of your runs as often as you can. Maybe go for one ‘exploration run’ a week, where you go somewhere completely new.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, there’s always a new corner to discover.