How Running the Same Loop Over and Over Again Keeps Me Sane

I know. You either think I’m crazy or think: finally, someone gets me.

This is counterintuitive to many, including my fiancé. Peter is an avid road and trail runner, and he can’t imagine anything worst than running a loop over and over again. Part of the reason why running is so enjoyable to him is that he feels like he’s going somewhere: he isn’t static, he discovers news buildings, murals, or trees, and seeing the distance he’s traveled is incredibly rewarding. Mapping out a run is also super fun to him. He runs from point A to point B.

I, on the other hand, love the monotony of running around a track, or even running up and down the same street.

Am I crazy? No, this actually keeps me sane (again, my boyfriend might have a difference of opinion here). Instead of running to a specific location and having to focus on the route and the new surroundings, I am more easily able to get lost in my own thoughts and body when I don’t have to think about getting to point B. Because I’m not really going anywhere, I don’t have to bother with paying attention to street names or making the next right.

Not having to focus on the route allows me to notice how my mind wanders, and what it wanders to.

Perhaps this resonates with you. For new runners, another pro to running a loop continuously is being able to count the remaining loops you have left until you reach your goal. When you run a new route, everything is new! This can be helpful because it makes the run exciting, or it can make the run seem never-ending since there are no reference points. Instead of rejoicing because you have only two loops left until you reach a new milestone, you can be stuck wondering how much you’ve got left, which can make it appealing to stop. “I don’t know how much I’ve got left, I might just take a break and walk.” The task seems more daunting when you have no measure.

So, here is some food for thought: do you tend to run the same route or do you map out new runs? How does it make you feel?

The Tip Club tip: If you plan on running a new distance, consider how running a new path, or how sticking to your good ole’ trusty path, will affect you psychologically. It might be worth laying out a new route, or like me, it might be worth running up and down the same street like a crazy, not-so-crazy person.

One Comment

  • I do like track running. But for road and trail, I like new scenery. But I understand about getting lost in your thoughts. Meditative running is the best!

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