Keeping running interesting

There is nothing that bores me more than a flat, straight stretch of road when it comes to running.  I’m not someone that thrives on knowing I can bash out mile after mile at exactly the same pace and run in exactly the same way to achieve this each time.

I much prefer hilly routes, bendy routes and running off road.  Yes, I did just say I prefer hills to flat!  I know hills aren’t for everyone but I love the adrenaline of pushing myself up the hill and then allowing myself to relax and let my legs glide along on the ride back down.  If I can see for miles into the distance on a run I get bored.  I don’t want to know what I’m going to see on my run a mile before I ever get there.  And I absolutely adore the child-like carefree running that involves scrambling up banks and splashing through the muddy puddles which are most often found with trail running.

Tonight I headed out for a run on my own.
At night when I run on my own I don’t have a lot of choice when it comes to where to go.  A lot of the routes I run from home are off-road and if I want to stay in a street-lit area I’m limited to running around the outskirts of town (about a three mile route).  Fine to run once but I object to repeating it several times over to get in a long run at night.  I don’t have any issues running in the dark but I’m not sure that heading out on a long run on my own past daylight hours is the safest move with the world the way it currently is, so I tend to stick to 3-4 miles around the outskirts of town and through some sidestreets to make up any extra mileage.

Today I decided I was going to make it more interesting by running one mile steady, one mile tempo, one mile very easy and another mile tempo.

IntervalsNothing wildly exciting, but little things like this keep me focused when I’m out on my own and make it a little more exciting for me.

I returned to find Dan had been experimenting in the kitchen and had made me a burger (which was actually a mushroom!)

Mushroom burgerI had a handful of chips he’d placed on the side and a side salad, but I loved eating my mushroom burger topped with orange pepper and red onion.  Plates should always be as colourful as this!

I made a real effort at lunch today as well after making do with a Cuppa Soup and some tangerines yesterday.  My lunchbox contained a large salad made up of leaves, cherry tomatoes, mushroom, orange pepper, a carrot and a few chunks of cheddar cheese.

Mushroom saladFor dessert I savoured a Cashew Cookie bar over the best part of an hour, every so often nibbling little bits from around the edges.  I was very happy to see this on the back of the packet…

Cashew cookie

…although more on that another day.

I popped onto the nakd website earlier this evening after enjoying my mushroom burger as I knew nakd were promoting Veganuary – going vegan for January.  I have no intentions of going completely vegan, but at the same time it’s no secret that I tend to enjoy vegetarian or vegan dishes much more than I do meat ones.  Every time I have a delicious meal I feel all enthused about trying out some new recipes and that’s where I am right now.

How do you mix your running routines up?
Are you a nakd bar fan?
Do you eat vegan foods?
 If so, please share your favourite vegan meals with me!

16 thoughts on “Keeping running interesting

  1. I’m with you when it comes to running routes. If I wanted to run the same flat stretch all the time, I would have run on the treadmill for my entire life, because to my mind there isn’t a lot of difference. I like to switch up my routes as often as possible, whether that means trying to find a new trail or just running a familiar route in reverse or at a different speed. I like the element of play involved in your runs – I’ve always loved your free spirit when it comes to running.

    Well, all of my food is vegan 😉 But I’m no culinary genius, as I am sure my blog has made apparent. I do love the recipes on the blog Coconut and Berries though, and also the high-carb vegan creations on this YouTube channel:

    Am I a Nakd Bar fan? Well, the amount of drooling I was doing over that Bakewell Tart bar on Twitter might provide a clue 😉 I agree with you that the simple ingredients list is a huge selling point for me. I love the majority of the flavours, particularly the more ‘natural’ ones like the Cashew Cookie. I am definitely a sucker for the chocolate variations too though. Even their protein Trek bars are so much cleaner and less full of junk than all of the others out there. I’ve been eating Nakd/Trek bars for so long I can’t imagine life without them!
    Jess recently posted…The Year of the Monkey?My Profile

    1. When I’m on my own I do like to jazz things up although I do wonder if perhaps this is why I haven’t succeeded to tick off my marathon time goals yet as marathons can be very monotonous when it gets to the second half of the race. One lady from our club literally goes out around a one mile loop every week. If her plan says 20 miles for that week she runs it 20 times! I think she must be so mentally strong.
      I’ve just bookmarked the Coconut and Berries blog and had a quick scroll through as I’m on my lunch break at work right now. Already spotted a few recipes that I want to pin to try! Thanks for the suggestion.
      I have been a big fan of Nakd bars – they helped me along my ultra journey in 2014. So far my favourites have been the Bakewell Tart, Cocoa Orange and the Berry Delight. I didn’t like the Gingerbread one very much and I still have a few flavours left to try…only a few though as I’ve picking at a new one each day this week! Yum!

  2. With you on running routes. I HATE running the same route.. although, I do like flat routes, I hate hills, there aren’t many in my area anyway. Like you said though, it’s not safe to venture out on off-road tracks atm so I’m sticking to shorter runs.

    I had a shock this morning when I went to go out for a run only to see that it was still dark out. I ended up skipping it, I’m not a massive fan of running in the dark but I need to give my headtorch another whirl!

    I’m definitely a Nakd Bar fa, I absolutely LOVE the Bakewell flavour. I was a fan of the Christmas Pud too but I doubt I can get my hands on that now!
    Laura @ Laura : Fat2Fit recently posted…#Janathon – Days 9-12!My Profile

    1. Some days I love heading out with my head torch for a spin around town, although I know I need to be really conscious about where I’m heading on my own. Here’s something about knowing it’s just you out there and you can run exactly how you want without judgement that I always find reassuring.
      I didn’t get any of the Christmas Pud flavour in my pack but I’m not a fan of he actual puds so I don’t think I would have liked it anyway. Loving the Bakewell Tart flavour though! Now I just need to find out which stores near me stock them!

  3. I don’t mind the same routes as I can chill out a bit and not have to worry about remembering where to go- I can get lost very easily. But I do like runs with the club where I don’t have to think of the route, I just get told where to go next.
    I must say that a cup of soup or anything powdery is not my thing at all- I would be starving if I just ate that for lunch! I tend to have easy lunches like ryvita with hummus and an apple, or a nice salad in the summer. I did go through a phase last year of having a warm salad of cooked sweet potato, squash, tomatoes, spinach and lentils (I got the ones in the packet already cooked with herbs)- but they took so long to get ready that I have not got time at the moment. Or I haven’t made time.
    The bakewell nakd bar is my absolute fave :)
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Teapigs matcha challenge week 2My Profile

    1. I got into a rut with cuppa soups a while back. I don’t like doing it but it is more of a time thing at the moment – like you, me not making the time.
      I did make the time last night though to make a batch of leek and potato soup and enjoyed that for my lunch today and will do the same again tomorrow!

  4. I actually don’t mind running on boring roads. Don’t get me wrong I love beautiful scenery, undulating terrain to keep things fun, but I don’t mind just going out for a run on a route I’ve used hundreds of times and letting my mind wander or listening to a podcast. I don’t get bored. In the summer though I do have a big park which I can run in and get loads of miles out of (it’s like a conservation park thing with lots of trails and tracks for horses, families and kids so it’s pretty varied and fun.
    Haha if I came home to Ben having cooked me a meal without my instruction I think I would faint on the spot. If I need him to help make dinner CLEAR instructions need to be set out, including what plates etc to use *sighs*.
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…Rants and Raves #6My Profile

    1. I would imagine you have quite a few trails to choose from in your part of the UK and I’m very jealous! I’ve almost explored everything within a running distance from my doorstep and will have to start driving out to explore some new routes!
      I love that Ben would require instructions on the type of plates that he would need! Dan’s not quite that bad, but he does usually skimp/miss out on the veg and that makes me sad. :(

    1. I’ve requested a stir fry for one of the meals when I head back to my parents this weekend. It’s my Dad’s favourite meal and I love the variety of the dish. I have seen Deliciously Ella before but I’ve not checked anything out for a little while. I shall be perusing over the weekend. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

    1. I lost my iPod a while back and so I’ve been without music on my runs for a while now. I know exactly what you mean about it keeping upbeat and motivated. Can’t say I have ever sung along on a run though! 😛

  5. It’s weird: sometimes I’m a creature of habit, sometimes I CRAVE change – same with workouts! Totally depends on mindset. Oh and I literally treated myself to some nakd bar bites yesterday (I was really anal and worked out they were cheaper than the bars – !) the cocoa flavour – my fave is the pecan one though! Gotta love their ingredients list 😉
    Cat recently posted…Pre-Workout Green Apple Gelatin GummiesMy Profile

    1. Pecan is the only one I have left to try now! Will take that one with me to work tomorrow.
      I’ve not seen any of the nakd bar bites on sale anywhere (apart from online) but I’ll have to keep an eye out for them.

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