If you just started running, it may not feel like the most fun thing in the world. First off, we’re here to tell you THAT IS OK! Sometimes it’s downright not fun. BUT, we want you to know that it gets better. And yes, it even gets FUN. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the fun, so here are our favorite ways to keep running enjoyable.

Run easy!!!

There’s a common misconception that you need to run really hard or really fast to be “running”. Thankfully, that’s a misconception! Especially when starting out, you want to keep your miles at a very easy pace. You will probably need to take walking breaks as well. That’s ok!! As you gain experience, you’ll find you can run further and further without breaks. But remember, keep the pace EASY. Even the most experienced runners keep the bulk of their miles at an easy pace. In fact, no more 20% of your miles in a week should be done hard (learn more here). What is hard? Any pace that is fast enough you can’t hold a conversation. This is wonderful news, because it means that an easy pace is a conversational pace! We love to chat when we’re out running, so this is a good reminder to keep runs easy and fun!

Run with friends

Grab a running buddy and hit the trails! Photo: Anastasia Wilde

Friends make everything better! Getting a friend to run with you helps the time pass quickly and enjoyably. Plus, a fun time running is even better when shared with a friend. We find running with friends also helps with accountability and sticking with our goals.

Explore new routes

Running the same route everyday can be convenient, but we love mixing it up to keep things exciting! Try a new road, trail, or path. By trying a different route, it also makes comparison to past runs more difficult. We could all use a bit less comparison in our lives, and more exploration and fun! Missoula has a huge network of urban trails, singletrack trails, and great roads to run. Grab a map and get exploring!

Missoula is full of trails, both urban and dirt. Find your new favorite on your next run! Photo: Anastasia Wilde

Try the coffee run (or beer run, or brunch run, or…)

There’s nothing better than celebrating a run with a nice hot coffee in the morning. Or a cold beer in the afternoon. Or perhaps a nice sit-down brunch. Or whipping up a big meal. Basically, tying running in with your preferred eating/drinking activity can make for a wonderful pairing. We love meeting friends for a run and coffee, or hopping in the Run Wild Missoula Last Wednesday Beer Run to enjoy a fresh brew with new folks.

Enjoying RE’s annual Scavenger Haunt with friends.

Appreciate what you are capable of!

This one can be easy to forget, so we want to remind you of it. If you’re just getting started, remember, you’re doing the thing!! Just getting out the door or on the treadmill is worth celebrating. You are out moving your body and that is worth celebrating! Appreciate the neat things that you’re able to do! When we appreciate what we’re capable, it is easier to enjoy the process and keep running fun.

What else makes running fun? Fun socks!!! Photo: Anastasia Wilde