Don't get stuck in your comfort zone

Written by by Amanda Manthey. Posted in April

When you’ve been running the same course at the same pace for a long period, the route and scenery become boring and you might feel as though you’re on “autopilot” during your run. Most runners experience these same feelings at one time or another during their training. Challenging yourself daily with your running program will help minimize your “comfort-zone” tendencies. Here’s how:


First, runners should set personal fitness goals to improve fitness performance. Whether you are improving your time or your distance, you should be monitoring these personal goals weekly. Remember, if you do not set personal goals for yourself, you’ll never reach them. A daily running log is a great way to monitor time, distance, and running routes to notice patterns in your running and will enable you to achieve your goals.

In addition, choosing different running routes to vary the scenery and terrain will allow you to challenge yourself as a runner. But, most important, remember to choose safe running routes either in a park or on streets with sidewalks.

Adding sprints to your workout and varying your speed at different points during your run will provide a more effective, challenging workout, as well.

Cross training is another great way to vary your workout routine. Choosing at least two cross-training sports to include in your running program will provide a well-balanced, challenging fitness program.

Finally, evaluate yourself as a runner and choose one or two areas in running that you can improve upon, and focus your attention on those areas. For example, my areas of concern are hills and incline workouts. I purposely choose certain routes that concentrate on hills to challenge myself as a runner.

There are many ways to discover new challenges as a runner. Find out for yourself what you can do to minimize your “comfort-zone” tendencies. It will make you a better runner.❦

Amanda Manthey is a former collegiate runner for Eastern Michigan University. She writes about running and fitness for Dave’s Performance Footgear.

Don’t miss Dave’s races!

Runners, get ready to “take your mark” in these exciting community events sponsored by Dave’s Performance Footgear. For more information, including any applicable fees, please visit

Ed Dibble Run—Saturday, April 1, 2017, 7:30 a.m., at Oak Openings, 5230 Wilkins Rd. in Whitehouse, Ohio. This is the final tune-up for the Glass City Marathon. Oak Openings offers a variety of trails. We will be utilizing the all-purpose trail and a portion of the Wabash Cannonball Greenway Trail. Crushed stone and paved trails will be used to ensure good footing. Runners can choose any distance desired from 11, 18, or up to 22 miles.

Run to the Rapids—Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9:00 a.m. at Blue Bell Island Park, 24040 Front Street, 
Grand Rapids, Ohio. An early spring run through downtown Grand Rapids that will visit side streets and follow back to Mary Jane Thurston Park. You will cross over the bridge and sprint to the end on the tow path behind the business district. The Grand Rapids Arts Council first spring fundraiser with the proceeds shared to help raise awareness of ALS.

8th Annual Run the Res 5K/10K 
Sunday, April 9, 2017, 2:00 p.m. (Kids Fun Run at 1:00 p.m.) at Gray Park in Fostoria, Ohio. This year’s race will once again feature a 5K and 10K course and our 5th Annual “Kids Fun Run” for children ages 3 to 9. The course is on flat, paved roads around the scenic Fostoria reservoirs #2 and #3.

Mercy Health Glass City Marathon

Saturday, April 22 to Sunday, April 23, 2017, at the University of Toledo, 2801 W. Bancroft, Toledo, Ohio.

One of the fastest marathon courses in the Midwest, The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon (GCM) course will begin on Bancroft Street in front of the University of Toledo bell tower, circle campus before heading west into beautiful Ottawa Hills. The course then leads you to the area’s finest Metropark system utilizing the University Parks bike Trail. A tour through Sylvania leads you to Olander Park, passing the statue of Sy Mah, then back down the bike trail to a short tour of the UT campus concluding with the finish in the newly renovated Glass Bowl.

Events include the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, Yark 5-person Marathon Relay, Owens Corning Half Marathon, and companion Medical Mutual 5K and Findley Davies Kids Marathon. Visit for event times and further details.

Elmhurst Run Like It’s Recess 5K—Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9:00 a.m., at 4530 Elmhurst Rd., Toledo, Ohio. Elmhurst Elementary’s second annual 5K run/walk.

Dooby Du Duathlon—Sunday, April 30, 2017, 8:30 a.m., at Secor Metropark, 10001 W. Central Ave., Sylvania, Ohio. Previously a Formula 1 style event, we have changed it to a standard Sprint Duathlon. ❦

St Ursula Academy