Running Doesn’t Have to Suck: 9 Easy Tricks to Make It Fun (Seriously)

Running benefits your heart health, mental health, calorie burn, muscles, lungs, and more. 

So lace up your shoes! What’s that? You find running boring? 

To spice things up, I’ve collected recommendations from Reddit (and added a few of my own). 

Try these games, strategies, and route upgrades to never nod off during a run again.

Adjust Your Pace

A boring run is one thing. A boring, hard run is worse. Don’t confuse a tempo run with your daily jogs. 

Most runs should feel like work but not torture. Slow down your jogging pace or alternate between jogging and power walking. Enjoyable runs are key to consistency.

Take the Scenic Route

Bored on the treadmill or track? Time for an adventure. Several redditors mentioned changing their running routes to keep things fresh. Run to a destination like an ice cream shop or a brewery.

Or run without a destination. Redditor DietCokeCanz suggests running freely and using a car share program to get back home.

Urban runners may want to run every street in their city or neighborhood using apps like CityStrides. One summer, I aimed to run every trail in a huge local park, culminating in a long run around the park’s perimeter.

Trail running can be another great adventure. Some runners get hooked and never jog on roads again. Redditor dymogeek says, “Throw pace out the window. Hike the uphills. Bomb the downhills. Breathe in nature. Be wild.”

Run with Friends

Running with friends makes runs more enjoyable. Chat with your partner, trade off route planning duties, and foster friendly competition. If your friend can’t join every run, be accountability buddies and aim for weekly mileage goals together.

No friends into running? Join local running groups run by stores, gyms, and clubs. Redditor 76ab mentions fun themed run clubs ending at breweries, coffee shops, and ice cream parlors, attracting more casual runners.

Play Mind Games While Running

Several redditors admitted to playing games like road trip bingo while running. ACornACone says, “I’m always counting squirrels, rabbits, or dogs. One time I counted how many people smiled at me or nodded during my run.”

Our own Meredith Dietz plays “Run Until,” where you run until you see a designated item, like someone holding an iced coffee.

Run in the Rain

Some redditors find running in the rain freeing. Proper-Scallion-252 says, “I love going for a rain run. It makes me leave my electronics behind and feels so nice.” Pro tip: Wear a hat or visor to keep rain out of your eyes.

Set Some Training Goals

If fun and games aren’t working, try “type 2” fun—activities that aren’t fun in the moment but satisfying in the end. Consider these goals:

Sign up for a race at a new distance (first 5K or a 10K if you’ve done 5Ks).

Beat your best recent time at a distance you’ve already raced.

Aim for a specific number of miles each week or month (a 100-mile month is a great beginner goal).

Increase your weekend long run time.

Start hill sprints or track repeats and increase the number over time.

Let your running watch track metrics to motivate you. Redditor Giggles924 says, “Tracking my runs has been huge for my enjoyment/motivation. Seeing progress over months encourages me to push myself more.”

Listen to a Good Book or Podcast

Listening to something engaging can make the miles fly by. “I zone out with my podcast or music and cruise for miles,” says redditor GilderoyPopDropNLock.

Borrow audiobooks from your local library, and pick a book or podcast to only listen to while running for added motivation.

Let an App Tell You How to Run

Apps can guide you through runs with pep talks and coaching cues. Redditors recommend Nike Run Club’s guided runs and Zombies, Run! with its “zombies are chasing you” scenarios to make you pick up the pace.

Embrace the Challenge

Sometimes, the joy of running comes from the challenge itself. Redditor hpierce301 says, “If I can run hard, in the cold or rain, someone yelling at me at work seems trivial. I run to pre-stress my day, so the rest is easy.”

Running can be fun with the right strategies. Try these methods to find what makes running enjoyable for you.


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