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Illustration for article titled Go Somewhere New for a Run or Hike
Photo: JGA (Shutterstock)

Longtime readers will know that, for me, September is running time. It’s no longer blazing hot, so the whole day is open for runs and walks and not just the hours around dusk and dawn. (Sorry, I’m a wuss in the heat). So this month we’re doing another running and walking challenge, but with a twist.

This week, the challenge is to get out there, but to pick a route that you’ve never done before. Or at least, that you haven’t done this year. I know I can’t be the only one who’s been walking the same loop in my neighborhood near-daily all quarantine.

Yesterday I hopped in the car and went to a popular park at an unpopular time. I haven’t run the trails there in months, maybe years, and it was great to be back. (I brought a mask but did not wear it; I passed two hiking couples and one mountain biker during the 30 minutes I was on the trail.)

If you haven’t been running, that’s okay. Couch to 5K is a good program if you’re starting from scratch. If you’ve run in the past and are still reasonably fit, you can just kinda wing it. Myself, I borrowed from this plan for returning to running after an injury. I’m not injured, I just wanted a run/walk structure to ease me back in. I’ve done these so far:

  • Walk 10 minutes, run 5, walk 5, run 5
  • Walk 5, run 5, repeat three times
  • Walk 3, run 7, repeat three times
  • Walk 2, run 8, repeat three times

The walks are more of a mental break for me than a physical one. Sometimes you have to trick yourself into good habits. I’ve also taken to out-and-backs (I just turn around when my watch says 15 minutes) even though I used to prefer loops.

So your challenge for this week, if you choose to accept it: head out for a run (or a walk, or a hike) in a way that breaks from tradition for you. Go someplace new. Structure your run differently. If you’re bored of walking but don’t want to run, throw on a heavy backpack on and tell all your friends you’re rucking.

I do recommend ignoring your pace. You might not be as fast as you used to be, or your new route may have more hills. We’ll get a little bit spicier in future weeks of this challenge, but for now, ease yourself back in and try to enjoy it.

CEVAP VER

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