Keeping Things Fresh – Alex Looks for New Adventures

With over 30,000 people set to run the Manchester Marathon this October, we’ve been following the journeys of a small team of you, and dubbed them the Jog Division!

Today Alex considers mixing up his training runs…

Keeping things fresh – Finding adventure in each run  

One of my favourite aspects of running is the opportunity it provides to discover somewhere new, be it on your doorstep or further afield. Taking in the sounds, sights and smells along the routes can provide a moment of tranquillity and peace, a welcome break within our busy lives. Taking new turns and seeing somewhere different really helps me pass time and miles.

But I’ve found that following a training plan can sometimes sap this feeling of adventure from running; perhaps it’s due to sticking with what’s familiar, or because it seems easier just to follow a route I know.

Yet I’ve found that running the same routes over and over again can be detrimental. Without that excitement of heading out, it seems to take as much energy to get me out of the door as to do the actual run.

Now sure, whilst I’m out there I still enjoy it, but I think if I’m to complete the next 16 weeks of training in a way which is both rewarding and enjoyable in every aspect, it’ll hopefully take the strain out of the harder runs.

I realise that nothing I’ve written here is exactly revolutionary, out of two options you’d expect to always take the more enjoyable run, surely? But finding new routes regularly can take a lot of time – and there’s certainly not a bottomless pit of different routes which are both on the doorstep and fit the training plan. So, what’s the perfect balance?

I haven’t really got any solid answers, but I’ve devised the following plan to try and mix the runs up and keep things fresh:


Take on a new weekly challenge, something along the lines of: a sun rise run, running to the highest point in the area, running in a new county, negative splits, running with a friend etc etc.


Plan out my long run on the weekend – maybe get dropped off somewhere and run home, rather than doing a circuit.


Try not to bury myself in the stats – keep up with the training plan but trying not to overthink the numbers


Don’t run the same route for two consecutive days


Fingers crossed these steps work, please feel free to reach out to me on my socials if you’ve got any more tips… I’m very new to all of this!

Happy running,