ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen knows firsthand the effects running can have on cardio and endurance. After all, he went five championship rounds in fast-paced tilts with Christian “The Warrior” Lee and Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes – and his gas tank never let him down.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced most gyms to close, running is one of the few workouts that are still available to everybody and requires no equipment. But the task can feel like a tiresome endeavor.
Here are the Vietnamese-Australian athlete’s top three ways to make your runs more fun.
#1 Run With A Group Of People
Sometimes, running alone can get dull and monotonous.
The thought of spending an hour or thirty minutes pounding the same streets might not entice you to lace up your running shoes and get going.
However, if it is safe and permissible where you are during the lockdown, running with a couple of friends or even a running club could make the time fly by. When people run together, it is easy to stay motivated.
“It makes the run more fun because you all have the same goal. It is a mental push, as well as a mental motivation where everyone wants to meet their goal and everyone is doing it together,” Nguyen explains.
“One person will motivate you, and you will motivate them, and seeing everyone’s hard work will be a good motivation. Also, it could be a good competition. One person wants to do better than the other person, and the other person wants to do better than you, so it is like a challenge along the way.”
If you have to run alone due to social distancing rules, try challenging your friends online with running apps to see who can hit the fastest times, and you will still feel the competitive urge to push yourself.
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#2 Focus On The Positives Instead Of The Negatives
In the moment, it is easy to think about the aching muscles and the burning lungs, but Nguyen is keen to point out that these physiological adjustments are necessary to reach your goals.
Whether it is weight loss, fitness, or preparation for a match, make sure you remind yourself of your purpose, and that will help you to break through any physical barriers.
“The importance of thinking about the positives is you set yourself a goal of where you want to be, and reaching that goal and completing your goal brings joy,” “The Situ-Asian” says.
“So you have to think about what is there for you at the end of the road, and that is the positive thing. Whether you want to lose weight or you want to become fit, it is all up to you.
“In terms of the negatives, you are going to get pain, you may have lingering injuries that demotivate you, and you may have people around you who talk badly about you and your goals. The negatives will always be there, but you’ve just got to focus on what you want, and where you want to be.”
#3 Listen To Your Favorite Music
A great way to break up the time and enjoy yourself en route is to listen to some of your favorite tracks to keep you pushing forward.
Putting your headphones in and cranking up the songs you enjoy can help to distract you from the intensity of the workout. Also, it could motivate you to run faster and for longer periods of time.
“Nothing beats a good jam. And when it comes to a workout, it takes your mind off of the world,” says Nguyen, who loves to work out to 90s records, R&B, and his walkout song, “Numb/Encore” by Linkin Park and Jay-Z.
“Plus, you could do a little bit of karaoke on the way. It makes the time go faster. Five songs in, and you are almost 20 minutes into the workout. It helps make the time go by pretty fast.”