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As long as it\'s fun - The Lunch hour Athlete

Training Log For: 11/27/09

long distance runs, marathon training, running ability. Click Here.

Posted by Matthew

It is common knowledge that building muscle requires not only heavy weights and great effort, but also variety. As muscles perform routine movements over the span of days and weeks, your mind and muscles sync in a way to make that movement require less effort, less thought. This "syncing" is commonly referred to as the mind-muscle or mind-body connection. Part of keeping your muscles growing is changing the ways in which they work. Keeping your muscles guessing as to how they will be used helps prevent them from losing the ability to be tested, injured and grown stronger.

Now that I am running more often I have found that the mind itself can reach a plateau. When I run the same path over and over, day after day, my mind becomes bored, my muscles become lazy. It almost the same as driving to work in the morning and taking the same route. After a few months you can drive the same route and not even remember taking turns or what is around you. You just follow the path and end at your destination. There is no real enjoyment.

Recently Mike and I started changing up our running paths. As we were running we would see something that looked interesting. Sometimes it was a road that lead up into a hill or a street that ran through a park. Taking these new paths often reignited the spark that made running "fun" or "interesting" in the first place. While on these new routes, my mind became more alert of the things around me. I shifted my focus from the aches in my body to my natural surroundings. Not only did this change in routine free my mind, but I also found that I could run faster and had more endurance. It could have all been made up in my mind, but I felt more energized.

Maybe others experience with running is different, but to me running is boring. It always has been. Adding changes to where I go running has added an element of interest or fun to my runs. Not only is running just about sweating, burning calories and building endurance. Running can be about leaving the windowless workspace at lunch and running through an outdoors trail. Running can be an opportunity to get away from the boring routine of the day.