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  • Love this post. It was just what I needed. I decided to get my butt in gear and sign up for my first half marathon in December. Now I have something to be excited for and can’t wait to do!

    1. Sui, it’s in Born to Run…one of the nutrition guys recommends it. The idea is that if you don’t eat a bunch of fancy stuff, you eat really well. Lentils, beans, rice, grains, fruits and vegetables, etc. And you cook stuff instead of buying it premade.
      Although nowadays, fast food is a good value in terms of how many calories you get for a buck, so it’s not a perfect rule.

      1. Oh, I see.
        To me, that (cooking food for yourself, eating simply) is more like.. “Eat like a healthy person/eat healthily” 😉
        Dang, I need to read Born to Run. None of the libraries in all of San Diego county have it available!

        1. Sui and Matt, the way I understood “Eat like a poor person” – which is what Coach Joe Vigil likes to say – means to Eat Less.
          One of the most memorable one I heard him say is the one where he usually tell his new runners at Adam State was “You don’t run, you don’t eat.”

        2. I listened to Born to Run on audiobook while I was running… it was inspirational on the spot, pushing me to go that extra mile 🙂 Highly recommend!

  • Great post! Thanks for taking the time to write this. I think I’ll print it out and keep it close-by so I’ll have no excuses for lack of motivation 🙂

  • Great list! I’m printing and posting for my co-worker running her first marathon! I’m more of a cyclist, but many of the same rules for “shaking it up” apply. Keeping the music fresh is my biggest motivation.

  • Awesome post! I’m going to bookmark it and go back and read all the links slowly. One thing that has helped me is concentrating on my goals and not wondering why I’m not running as fast or as far or as frequently as others. My pace, my distances, and my frequency are all keeping me running regularly. And I’m improving!

  • I get bored on long runs so I started listening to books while I run. I download them onto my ipod from the library. Sometimes they are so good I want to keep running because I have to know what happens next. I am a book nerd though.

    1. That never even occured to me but I’m a total sucker for a good book. I think way to much about how fast I run and I think this would help a lot.

  • I started listening to audiobooks and podcasts on longer runs. Endurance Planet has a cool podcast called Marathon and Beyond Monday — hard to feel sorry for yourself when you’re listening to stories about people kicking ass and taking names on ultras!

  • This was super helpful, thanks Matt. Sometimes we don’t even realise we’re in a rut until someone gives us advice how to get out of it.
    I would add running from A to B to meet someone. I love taking myself off somewhere on foot, rather then getting the bus / train / car etc. Of course it means my friends have to hang with me in my running gear (and a bit sweaty too!), but it feels really cool to have transported myself via the medium of running 🙂

  • I am 7 weeks away from my first marathon and am in a rut – didn’t realize I was in a rut until I read today’s blog. Thanks for the ideas – I’m ready to mix it up!

  • Thank you so much for all of this incredibly helpful information. Though I’ve been running almost a year now there is still SOOO much I still have to learn!

  • #64 Take a break from running 🙂 Kidding, sort of.
    First, EXCELLENT list. I’ve done a lot of these (changed up my running form this year, for instance) and I’m a big fan of heart-rate monitor training. I do need to rotate my play list more (thanks for the reminder, I’m running 11 miles tomorrow and need new music or maybe a podcast). I’ve come up with many of my blog posts while out on a long run, as well as framing papers I’m writing for a class, so I especially like the “create” idea.
    But back to #64. Sometimes shaking up my run means stopping. I’m 2 weeks away from my third and final half-marathon of the year. I’ve been training for halfs since January. I’m exhausted and burnt out. I plan to shake up my running Oct – Dec by doing very little of it (I’ll keep a 9-ish mile base)
    Great post, as always!

  • GREAT list! I need to start working on my speed more…and I love number 55. I feel like I come up with brilliant ideas while I run!

  • Wow! Great site and I only just now found it! I look so forward to following. SO much in common, wow…
    Great list, you are amazing to post it and help so many. 🙂
    Take care,

  • Nice survey–quick and to the point.
    By the way, WATCH LOST! Love it!
    The parody isn’t great, but I like Brooks shorts so much, I’ll forgive them.

  • I love this post! So much to think about. When I am in a funk (which I was all last week with a half mara looming on Sat) I just turned my brain off and took off with the hound. If I felt like running, I ran. I mostly walked, but I knocked 2 minutes off my half marathon time on sat as I was completely relaxed!

  • I love the first couple of words of this post because it is the absolute truth. I use to think there was some magic thing I could do or some gadget I could buy to get better at running but the boring and sad truth is that running more will lead to running better but these tips are cool too!

  • Definitely a great article! My congratulations for coming up with 63 different ways of keeping running interesting.
    For #18 specifically, about cross training, there’s definitely a lesser known benefit from this that avid runners can learn more about and appreciate. Mixing it up is self-explanatory for keeping things interesting, but cross-training for running also improves parts of your body to complete the overall exercise regimen.
    I included the link in this reply if any of you want to see the article. Again, excellent post!

  • Great article! You really got in everything that could possibly be helpful! I recently have been training for a marathon, but I have gotten one injury after another. I’m going to slow down and start training again more slowly…
    thanks– I can’t wait to read each of the links in the article…

  • Loved this! I actually want to go home and run now, lots of things to try. Thanks for the motivation!

  • Had been struggling to re-invigorate my marathon training, and glad I stumbled on this excellent post. Loads of things I now want to try, not just for the marathon, but for the long term – duly bookmarked thanks!
    PS Also very nicely written.

  • I just started running about 4 moths ago and am training for the Nike womens marathon in October. It has completely changed my life. Reading all of these useful tips makes me realize why I am now a runner. Thank you so much for posting this!

  • Something I just discovered is Geocaching, and the town I live in has tons of caches! Running to them, trying to find them, and running back is a unique challenge. It not only shakes up your route, but it takes you places you never thought you’d go.

  • Lots of great advice here, and some amazing resources too!
    What’s been working great for me is a combo of “consistence practice”, “listen to your body” and “walk/run”. For someone who started running a measly 6 months ago and couldn’t keep it up more than 200 meters at the time, I’ve been doing some interesting progress.
    I think progress in running is all about pushing yourself just enough during practice.. not too hard, and not too easy. It’s all about finding your own rhythm and building up on it!
    Geocaching is also a great twist, I should try that! When I manage to run 10 miles without stopping, I’ll present myself with a GPS watch, as a commitment to keep running farther and faster each day!

    1. I’m a beginner and am hate starting slow, but I’m finding that doing it the way you are, is the on,y way I’ll ever get past shin splints. I’m about to start cross training. Shin and calf exercises too. I build muscle easily so I want to focus more on high reps.

  • Amazing blog! A lot of great advice. Every ‘mistake’ I made, or discouraging feelings I had, or thinking ‘is this normal?’.. You wrote it all. Keep up the great work Matt!

  • I love your blog! I’m a longtime runner but have always held back from the really long distance races. Your tips will help me spring to action and just run more. Thanks!

  • here are a few things i do:
    1. double days: split a 12 miler into two 6’s, (if you have time)
    2. sprint intervals to loud rap…so fun.
    3. sideways running/shuffling on a track, works a variety of muscles that straight doesnt.
    4. lift light, and fast, then hit the ellliptical or tmill and do 3 minute sprint, back to weights.
    5. jog to a coffee shop, walk home

  • The anti-barefoot website was interesting, but the attitude of the writer seemed nothing short of a troll. The site seems solely dedicated to bashing barefoot ideas and certainly not giving any constructive questions for the shod running community. “Anti” is very much an appropriate name for such a site. I didn’t see any proposals for better research on different variables to test if common runner’s injuries are actually linked (otherwise, why are they called classic runner’s injuries??) nor were there any suggestions for doing research on people and their genetic lineages who have been running without shoes for generations. Again, this writer is not constructive and I would not recommend (I would take down) that website for opposing opinions. Find a more constructive site to show devil’s advocate.

  • Love this post. Something for every runner here. When it comes to running books my favourite is Eat & Run by Scott Jurek, a really enjoyable read!

  • You asked about inspirational books, ‘Eat and Run’ by Scott Jurek definitely deserves a mention. Very inspirational ( and it has some good recipes too!)

  • Great list. I am always amazed at the level of detail that you put into your posts. Probably the best way to shake up your run or, at least, motivate you to run is to sign up for a race. I know, for myself, that when I have a race coming up, there’s no excuse not to hit the pavement. I also like to reward myself for my progress. I recently bought a Vitamix blender, and reward myself with a kale smoothie after each run. It’s healthy and it’s delicious. I have also ventured out to new areas for fresh scenery. That keeps things interesting for me. I hope you don’t mind me sharing, but here’s a list of ways I keep my runs fun: http://bit.ly/17RPL4a For some of us, running can be a chore. I have turned to running blogs (like yours) to keep me motivated. Staying connected with the running community has helped me more than anything. Thanks again for the great list. Happy Running everyone!

  • I love the Zombies, Run! App. I usually don’t have the chases turned on, but it breaks up my run into story segments interspersed with music segments, and I really can run longer when I have to supply Abel Township.
    The “running persona” is good too. I refuse to tell you all anything about mine. 🙂

  • Hi,
    Great article ,A very well written .I am highly impressed to read such a great article .A big thanks for sharing the article with us .

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