Novelty Runs: Breaking the Monotony of Running

Some people call it a rut. Some call it a plateau. But getting bored with your workout and not seeing those results continue can kill your morale and cause you to workout less or not at all. This is especially true for runners. Doing the same trail, distance, or pace can get old. We don’t have to let it though. You can have fun while you run by trying novelty runs.

Novelty runs are those that include a little something extra into that 5K or 10K. These can include mud runs, challenge runs, and themed runs. Each of these is a little different, but they all add in a task or a station of some kind to break up the monotony of pounding the pavement.

The purpose of a mud run is to test your mettle. It will be challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally. You should expect to get dirty. Many races accept your filthy shoes as a donation to help a worthy cause. Races encourage you to enter as a team, but you can run and complete the race solo.

In a challenge race, runners will be pushed to complete tasks that vary widely in difficulty. Color runs have you run through a gauntlet of volunteers with handfuls of dyed cornstarch. For a ruck challenge, you will be tested physically by carrying a weighted rucksack. But typically, these are less about running and more about working together as a team to complete each station’s challenge.

Themed races break up the monotony of running by adding joy and an atmosphere of fun around the race. Costumes play a huge role in themed races. As the race is usually on the closest weekend to a major holiday, you can dress accordingly to get yourself into the holiday spirit. These races usually include a fun run for kids, so there is a strong family friendly vibe throughout.

Use these races as a way to remind yourself of the fun you had when you first started running. The miles will add up whether you’re in a costume or not, climbing over hills or crawling under barbed wire, carrying a rucksack full of orienteering gear or covered in colored cornstarch.

With some of the obstacle, challenge and themed runs coming up in Virginia and the surrounding area. Cut them out and post them on the fridge.

About the author

Christopher LaPointe

Christopher teaches English at the college level as well as being an avid runner, cyclist, and swimmer. He also enjoys sailing, photography, and hiking.