Getting bored with the same old running route? That's a problem a lot of runners have from time to time. Most runners, myself included, have a couple of courses that we like to run. We like them because there are landmarks (that mailbox is 1 mile to go …), it feels safe, or maybe its just plain easy. But let's face it … it can get really boring after awhile. Keep in mind … boring is not motivating.

So how can you break the boredom and stay motivated? Get off your self-imposed treadmill and go exploring!

You probably have set amount of time that you run on any given day. Maybe it's an hour. Maybe it's 30 minutes. The point is rather than run the same old route, go out and just run for 30 minutes. Explore some side streets. Cross the main drag and go off exploring the other side of the neighborhood. Hop on a trail you have not explored before.

Sometimes I set my watch to count down and repeat. I set it for 15 minutes. I just run in a direction, and when the watch beeps at 15 minutes, I turn around and head home the same way to see if I can get back quicker. Other times, I just wander my neighborhood. I go down side streets I've never been down. Once, I found a great trail that heads off along a creek I was not even aware of. The point is … running this way makes it fun again rather than a chore as it can often feel like.

Other ways to jazz up your training routes include finding a running buddy. Finding someone to run with and have a conversation with is a great way to liven things up. You may even find yourself being a tour guide, or find yourself learning something new. How about running at a different time of day? I'm amazed at how different my running routines are in the early morning versus the afternoon. It can seem like a ghost town on early mornings or on Sundays. Just me and the downtown streets with nobody around is both awesome and kind of eerie. Always running on streets? Take off on some trails once in a while. Go to a big park and run barefoot. The possibilities are endless!

So next time you're feeling bored with the same old running route, just pull a Columbus and head off in a new direction and get lost. You'll be amazed at what you'll discover!