Don't you get bored?

Comments (17)
By Peter Hadzipetros

Sitting around a table at a local watering hole the other day, chilling out after one of those action-packed CBC softball league games during which no one pulled any muscles, took a line drive in the face or collided with an outfielder while screaming "I got it, I got it, I got it, oops!", the topic turned to other forms of exercise.

And — as is sometimes the case during these malted beverage discussions — I got peppered with the why's and wherefore's of long-distance running.

Randi — who favours inline skating and throwing the ball hard enough to leave a nasty red welt in the palm of your catching hand — said she could understand running a bit. Maybe a few kilometres.

"Don't you get bored?" she asked.

"Yeah, sometimes," I said. "Parts of 'The English Patient' and 'Brokeback Mountain' had me on the fasttrack to snoozeville. But getting bored while running?"

Thing is, there's lots to keep you occupied during a run.

You can:

  • Focus on your form.
  • Concentrate on your breathing technique.
  • Work on increasing your stride rate.
  • Picture yourself running your goal race.

Or, you could just have fun.

You can drink in your surroundings, clear your head, listen to your breathing or the sound of your feet hitting the ground. You can even just smell the roses.

I have stopped to watch deer grazing, fish jumping and hawks circling. Or were they vultures? Still not sure.

I've listened to waves breaking and watched the power of flowing water. I've planned out dinner menus, gone over several drafts of a 20-minute speech and even written this post. Well, I didn't actually write it — the paper would have gotten soaked from the sweat and all the words would have disappeared.

Sometimes you can just shut everything down, go on cruise control and emerge rejuvenated at the end of it.

Running is exercise and exercise is a celebration of life. Celebrating a couple hours of life is never boring.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments (17)

Miranda Dixon-Luinenburg

I love distance swimming too. While the rest of my swim team does sprints and butterfly (don't get me wrong, I love butterfly, but it's NOT relaxing!) I go off in my own lane and spend some time with myself in my head. I don't usually get bored, and if all else fails i still have to count my laps. That's the one thing that gets me about pool's impossible to get into a really good daydream when you have to add to your tally every time you get to the end of the pool. I love lakes...I do laps around the lake at my cottage, each lap is 1.2 km, and sometimes i do 7 or 8 laps just because I'm so deep into a daydream that i don't want to stop, and i know that the minute i get out of the water, the rest of my family will be bothering me again. Also it's an awesome excuse not to do chores, and when I'm stressed about tests or exams or whatever, I go over the stuff in my head. And in lakes I never start getting worried that my splits are too slow or whatever. It's like meditation or something, and there's one cottage with kids and they always cheer and wave when i go past! It's like oh, here she comes again! I hate it when i smell someone's barbecue, though. It makes me so hungry!

Posted September 23, 2007 06:33 PM

John G. Lyng


Me, I like to do laps in the pool.

I just love staring at a painted line underwater for an hour.

Posted June 26, 2007 09:25 PM

David Taylor

Long runs are a gift. Even here in a huge, polluted city, my weekly long runs on a 3k loop in Chapultepec Park give me a chance to see Mexicans at play, the hills around the city (which aren't lost in the smog on a Sunday morning), and noodle over whatever is on my mind. And as I exit the park for the last 2.5k to my apartment, it's time to kick it up and enjoy a nice surge to the end. There is nothing like finishing strong after being on your feet for a couple of hours. Boring? Never.

Posted June 26, 2007 07:45 PM




To say that "the kind of people who announce that running is "boring" are likely pretty boring", is complete BS. 100% It's also generalizing.

ie. I think that people who have blonde hair are airheads. See what I mean.

It's called subjective opinion. You are entitled to yours, as is everyone else. Individualism is a trait that cannot be avoided.

Running is NOT a necessity, it's a choice.

Posted June 22, 2007 02:35 PM



Invariably, the kind of people who announce that running is "boring" are likely pretty boring. It's kind of like saying you don't like a particular mirror because of what it reflects. Running is a mirror of ourselves and our minds. Whatever we bring to running, it reflects back to us.

Running is a sport that involves your entire self - body, mind, spirit as well as your surroundings. The way I see it, if you say you are bored, then you are bored with yourself and your world (i.e., disconnected). Take heart - most of us these days ARE disconnected - from our bodies and each other, which is why we're so unhealthy and continually grabbing for the next treat, stimulant or fix (whether that's the TV remote, a beer or that favourite snack. This is the very reason you SHOULD be running. For if you require constant stimulation and disconnection from your own thoughts and mind, time alone with yourself is precisely what you need. Some time away from the computer, the TV, the playstation, the cel phone and all those other distractions that form a wall between ourselves, each other and our world.

Posted June 22, 2007 12:21 PM

Nick Kovacs


One word "IPOD". I just put on the tunes and off I go. Of course if I get tired of the music, its nice to just hear the wind, listen the birds and keeping an eye on on the rustling in the bushes (just in case). My run is also a great time to think about what I want to do for the weekend or if I am having a good run, try pushing that much harder for a personal best.

Posted June 21, 2007 06:29 PM

Max Air

I find creating a mental rhythm, like internal singing that Lynn was talking about, really makes my leisurely runs more enjoyable. Your creativity seems heightened when you're out in nature...

However, for the intense/near race-pace runs, where you want a steely focus, I rhythmically cycle 1 or 2 focus words related to form through my mind while switching the words up when I get bored.

When you do get too bored, just envision you're being chased by a rabid wolf or tiger...You know much fear speeds you up - I know I'm not the only one who jolts their speed up when they hear rustling in the woods beside them...Or you could just change where you run.

Posted June 21, 2007 02:32 PM

Lee Hewitt


I've felt exhausted, elated, in agony, out of sync, hungry, sick, optimistic, awed, relaxed, confident and just plain goofy on long runs. But never, ever bored.

If you don't like to watch and ponder like some others have mentioned here, run with a buddy or a group. You'll be amazed how much you can learn about someone while you're on the road.

Posted June 20, 2007 01:58 PM

Michael Brennan


Peter, I agree with you... runs can be a great time to de-stress, to plot and plan, to sort things out. Many an issue or puzzle on one's mind before a run is much reduced after a run.

And how about dreaming about winning a local marathon or even Boston? How will all your friends view you now, with your picture and achievement all over the news? Dreaming doesn't cost a cent but it's often overlooked as a superb way to pass the time running, driving, whatever. It's 'fantasizing' that gets you in trouble!

Posted June 20, 2007 12:42 PM

David Silver


Ourdoor running never gets booring, but on a treadmill I can almost fall asleep. The endorphins just don't pump hard enough while running in place.

Posted June 20, 2007 11:35 AM



Oh man are you going to get slammed for "gushing" like that. I agree, but it was supposed to be a secret. As far as I'm concerned, you will never be more organic than when you connect to surroundings and self on a long run or bike ride. When I bike the highways and trails of Northern Ontario, I'm always amazed at the wildlife that I see when I go 25km/hr as opposed to 100. If there is any one reason why you wont get me into a gym (weights, treadmill, bike, etc.) for my primary workout, it is the joy of being outside, getting a "chi" fillup. And if that doesn't work, there is the odd snarling mutt to get your attention in a hurry.

Posted June 20, 2007 09:01 AM

Lynn Johnson


I sing. Billie Jean. One Night in Bangkok. Summer of 69. Crazy. Whatever crosses my mind. If I forget some words, I just make them up. Naturally, I use my inner voice. I'd probably get arrested bolting down the boulevard singing Michael
Jackson songs at the top of my lungs.

Posted June 20, 2007 08:10 AM

Nathan Granger


Like meditation, it takes a while to settle into it. Ever since I got a dog, a setter, spaniel, retriever cross, I began running, about 2-3 hours a day. In the beginning, it felt much longer. Now, time compresses, and I only know I've been running that long because of the distance I've covered, or because the sun is setting. My mind just empties and I feel connected to my surroundings.

Posted June 20, 2007 08:01 AM

Samson Mageaux


Me, I dont care to know nothing. Yea, I bored, but so what. Thats life and anyobdy that says no is lying.

Posted June 20, 2007 07:25 AM

Colin Wood

Sad that, as a society, we don't know how to handle leisure anymore. That's why everyone works all the time; that's why people come back from vacation early. They have nothing to say to themselves. Their inner dialogue is one big awkward silence. But we are told leisure is synonymous with laziness and ambition gone missing. Another contributor to making Canada dumb, fat and stressed. Sad.

Posted June 20, 2007 07:22 AM

J P Lalonde


If you're getting bored, you obviously don't have enough going on up there; so don't despair, do something about it. Read something. Fill your head with new ideas. Lift yourself from the stagnation that you're regular joe and joes think is human existence. Propagate the philosophy that knowing something is a good thing; and it can be anything at all. Really. We glorify idiocy and simple-mindedness in this mired PC society. I haven't been bored since the mid 80s, and that had more to do with the 80s than anything else.

Posted June 20, 2007 07:15 AM



My solo runs are times to think, or not think. Both are good. My longer run on the weekend tends to be the time when I work out the progression my sermon will take on Sunday morning.

Posted June 19, 2007 09:30 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment


Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Back of the Pack »

About the Author

Peter HadzipetrosPeter Hadzipetros is a producer for the Consumer and Health sites of CBC News Online. Until he got off the couch and got into long distance running a few years ago, he was a net importer of calories.

More from Peter Hadzipetros »

Recent Posts

Hardcore admission
Peter Hadzipetros
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The calorie-burning game
Peter Hadzipetros
Friday, August 24, 2007
Taking a guilt-free break
Peter Hadzipetros
Friday, August 3, 2007
Obesity — it's who you know
Peter Hadzipetros
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Take a break, burn more fat
Peter Hadzipetros
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Subscribe to this blog

Recent Comments

I love distance swimming too. While the rest of my swim t...
Don't you get bored?
Me, I like to do laps in the pool. I just love s...
Don't you get bored?
Long runs are a gift. Even here in a huge, polluted city,...
Don't you get bored?
chandrasutra: To say that "the kind of people who...
Don't you get bored?
Invariably, the kind of people who announce that running ...
Don't you get bored?


August 2007 (3)
July 2007 (4)
June 2007 (5)
May 2007 (3)
April 2007 (6)
March 2007 (3)
February 2007 (6)
January 2007 (7)
December 2006 (2)
November 2006 (3)
October 2006 (3)
September 2006 (4)
August 2006 (5)
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

World »

Up to 40 feared dead in California warehouse party fire video
The city of Oakland, Calif., had been investigating whether people were illegally living in a warehouse that was the site of a deadly fire that broke out during a late-night party on Friday, killing at least nine people and as many as 40, officials said on Saturday.
Live After 4-day funeral trek, Cuba saying goodbye to Fidel Castro with mass rally video
The cremated remains of Fidel Castro, which have been taken on a slow and winding journey across the island, arrived in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, where a rally was scheduled to honour the former leader.
Jill Stein's Green Party drops Pennsylvania recount bid
The Green Party is dropping its court case seeking a statewide recount of Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election. It had wanted to explore whether voting machines and systems had been hacked and the election result manipulated.
more »

Canada »

Nova Scotia to close public schools as teachers take job action
The Nova Scotia Liberal government vows to force a contract on teachers Monday, the same day the union intends to start job action.
Friends, family gather to remember Jehovah's Witness who died after giving birth
A public memorial event for Éloïse Dupuis was organized by her aunt, Manon Boyer, to celebrate Dupuis's life.
School bus with 25 students rolls near Pine Dock, Man.
25 students were in a school bus when it slid off on a highway in the north Interlake and rolled onto its side Saturday afternoon.
more »

Politics »

Air force warned readiness of fighter fleet was declining back in 2014
As the former Conservative government was leading the charge to bomb ISIS almost two years ago, the Royal Canadian Air Force was warning its CF-18 pilots were not getting enough training time and that "resource reductions" were squeezing maintenance budgets.
Ottawa seeks dismissal of Phoenix legal action forcing it to pay workers on time
Government lawyers are calling on the Federal Court to dismiss a complaint seeking to force Ottawa to pay public servants on time while it sorts out its troubled payroll system.
Ukraine's pilot heroine tells Canada: Don't be nice to Putin video
Nadiya Savchenko is a national hero in Ukraine after going AWOL to fight Russian-backed separatists and for enduring two years in a Russian jail. Freed in a prisoner swap, she's in politics now and warns against any warming in relations with Vladimir Putin's regime.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Video Programmed to thrill: sci-fi hit Westworld's finale 'satisfying,' promises star Jimmi Simpson video
For Westworld fans trading wild theories about where the headline-grabbing HBO series is headed, Jimmi Simpson has been in your shoes. 'I've seen all of them and they're amazing.' The actor talks show controversy, bonding with co-star Evan Rachel Wood and what's in store for the sci-fi hit.
Photos If I Ran the Zoo sculptures reveal the Dr. Seuss you never knew
New exhibition at Toronto's Liss Gallery presents 17 of Dr. Seuss's little-known sculptures together for the first time.
FEATURE Rare collection of 150K vintage posters needs new Vancouver home
In a small, unfinished basement room near the PNE, two men are trying to preserve the unofficial compendium of Vancouver's cultural history.
more »

Technology & Science »

Blog A planet's worth of human-made things has been weighed
The collected weight of everything human beings have made — from buildings to ballpoint pens — is staggering.
Scientists gathering in Winnipeg to focus on 'complex' changing Arctic climate
The largest single gathering of scientists focused on the rapidly changing Arctic gets underway in Winnipeg on Monday.
Is chocolate really good for you? UBC scientists make new tool to measure antioxidants
Every chocolate lover wants the headlines about antioxidants in chocolate to be true. And for better or for worse, determining just how much of the disease-fighting molecules are contained in this popular treat may be getting a little easier with a new tool created by UBC researchers.
more »

Money »

Online shopping has gone from incremental to exponential, but Canadians still lukewarm
A veteran retail analyst says growth in online shopping is exploding around the world, but Canadian retailers will have to up their game to cash in.
Day 6 How oil pipelines became one of the most divisive issues in Canadian politics audio
This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved two new oil pipelines. Critics promised civil disobedience, lawsuits and opposition by any means necessary. But pipelines haven't always been this contentious.
The best and worst ways to budget for the holidays
Some of Canada’s top personal finance experts share their best holiday budget tips, but also their biggest blunders.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Kaillie Humphries golden in season-opening World Cup
Canadian bobsleigh star Kaillie Humphries added another gold medal to her trophy case Saturday, finishing first in the season-opening World Cup on the track she won her first Olympic gold six years ago.
Hockey Night in Canada: Free live streams on CBC Sports app
For the 2016-17 season, the CBC Sports app will provide free live streams of select Hockey Night in Canada games on Saturday nights.
A medal of every colour: Historic day for Canadian lugers at Lake Placid World Cup video
Kim McCrae and Alex Gough took silver and bronze, respectively, in the World Cup luge women's event, just before McRae joined Sam Edney and the duo of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith for gold in team relay in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Saturday.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »