Every New England runner has run (no pun intended) into the problem of monotony during the winter months. We succumb to the same road loops, and out-and-backs.
“Maybe, let’s do that 5 mile loop backwards this time. How does that sound?”
We’re constantly tiptoeing, avoiding black ice, leaping over snow mounds and dodging water-filled potholes. Even worse, let’s hop on the dreaded treadmill. Sometimes we just don’t seem to grasp the motivation to get out the door. It creeps up slowly but sprints away, causing us to miss our window of opportunity.
Over the eight years that I’ve lived in Keene, I’ve found it helps to venture outside of town, especially when Mother Nature seems to be the one deciding my runs, rather than my coach. Though we may all be tied to a weekly schedule, finding time to drive to a new destination for a run will be worth it. It will make your running a lot more exciting, trust me!
If you have friends you run with, choose a different part of town to run. If you love trails, don’t be afraid to strap on some micro spikes, and get after it at Goose Pond, or nearby Pisgah State Park in Chesterfield. I have fallen in love with the long dirt roads in Putney, Vt., or the neighboring roads of Dublin. Both carry nice views of the countryside and farmland, and the mountains of Vermont or Mount Monadnock.
I recently came back from what I call a “run-cation.” I had the opportunity to travel and explore Colorado with my running. I made a point to run everywhere I explored, from Colorado Springs, to Steamboat Springs, to Boulder, reuniting myself with friends, and also making new ones! Now, I am not saying you need to go on a long trip to enjoy running, but it certainly helps. Don’t be afraid to step a little further from starting at your driveway, and plan a mini running trip to somewhere beautiful, somewhere different, somewhere that will make you realize why you still run.
Thomas Paquette is the owner and personal running coach for Next Level Running and can be reached email@example.com.