There comes a time when every runner or fitness enthusiast needs to let loose. You don’t want to take another lap around the track, and even the most beautiful park trail is somehow uninspiring. These are great times to break your routine and play a game. You may also want to include your children or friends in your exercise routine, and a game is the perfect way to make exercise fun. Whether you designate one day each week as game day or you use this to stay focused as needed, the following running game ideas will keep your motivation high.
The Cup Challenge
This is a flexible game that you can play alone or with others. You need a stack of cones that you can see easily from the ground, but Solo cups will provide a greater challenge since you must bend lower to reach them. There are two ways to play:
- 1 Person – Set the cones on the ground in a circle or crazy-eight pattern. Start with the cones close together, and time yourself running through the course and knocking them all over. Either continue racing to beat your own time, or gradually move the cones further apart so that you must run longer with each round. Most fitness watches have timers that will help you track your progress.
- 2 People – Set the cones in a random pattern, covering a larger area. Split the players into two teams. One team races to knock the cones over while the other team races to position them upright. At the end of a designated period of time, the team with the most cones in their designated position wins.
Winds of Change
Start running in a large field or another area where you can turn in any direction at any moment. Set a timer to sound at random intervals, and make a sharp turn each time it sounds. Most smartphones will allow you to set multiple timers or alarms to sound without further attention. Mix up the time intervals so that you can’t predict the next turn.
Alternatively, have a partner call “right” or “left” at random times, forcing you to run in the direction of their choosing. Your partner can do squats or hold a plank while calling out to you. After a designated period of time, switch places.
If you have multiple runners, everyone should start at a different spot on the field. Try not to run into one another as you make those turns.
GPS App Competitions
If you have a smartphone, you can download a GPS app that allows you to connect with other runners. This is similar to the network established for FitBit users, so you can connect with people you know or make new friends from around the world. Set up challenges or simply identify someone who impresses you and make a personal game of beating their times or matching their distances.
With smartphones, fitness watches and GPS apps, there’s no excuse for struggling through boring exercise sessions. If you have an iPhone or Android phone, there are many fitness game apps that you can download for free. When motivation starts to slump, keep your feet moving with a game day.