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I'm a 25-yr-old, healthy male.

For the past 7 years or so I've been running every day (except 1-4 times / year when health or other things got in the way)

If I don't run on a certain day:

  • I feel really cranky and depressed, everything has a negative edge to it
  • I have trouble sleeping that night
  • My legs feel worked up, like I want to use them (If I got aerobic exercise other ways I think my legs would still feel worked up)

So now I run every morning - just for 20-25 minutes, at around 6.5 - 7mph. Usually on a treadmill, sometimes outside.

It's nice to burn the calories and boost my metabolism, but it's annoying to have to run every day!

Is there a way for me to stop running, or just run less, but not experience the bad symptoms I described above? Maybe a drug I can take?

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If the choice is between taking anti-depressants or running, obviously running is the better choice! Me, I have to do both. Consider yourself lucky. –  alord1689 Feb 8 '12 at 22:03
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4 Answers

You're running and you're consumed with the running but do you have any goals? Many high-caliber athletes suffer from obsessive-compulsive like orders (http://commons.pacificu.edu/pa/30/) and personal experience, though it's not always a bad thing but that what helps push through bad periods of training. Someone above mentioned social running. That might help but you could also try racing. You have the motivation, ability and drive but you're doing something without reaping any benefits in return. Thus my answer is an alternative, find a goal for the running you are doing. Otherwise you might feel like the time is wasted.

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You could try heavy lifting. I used to be addicted to playing running sports (e. g. Ultimate frisbee) five days a week. Lifting heavy definitely took the edge off, even days between workouts.

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+1. Does not have to be heavy lifting, though; just go get some exercise elsewhere. (I'm guessing you work at a desk job.) Find some way to exercise, whether that be chopping firewood, shoveling snow, mowing the grass, yoga (ugh!), or hitting the gym. ...hey! Maybe a motorcycle! :) –  jp2code Feb 3 '12 at 15:19
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I'm 26 and male. I too get bored doing the same workout all the time.

If you are looking for new personal goals to achieve then sit down and set some specific goals. Ones you can measure and achieve. Maybe it's weight lifting. Perhaps look into an adventure race which incorporates crosstraining? Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder registration season is now.

Maybe variation for you doesn't involve fitness at all. In 25-30 mins a day you can plow through a Pimsleur language lesson.

If you are happy running but unhappy with the grind try making running more social and varied. In Washington DC there are Hash House Harrier runs every night. Not sure if there are similar social running clubs in your local area. But that could add an element of variation to your workout and keep things fresh. You definitely sound like you have the fitness to hang with the FRB's.

OnOn

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Consider running faster and harder (that is with a greater incline or over more challenging terrain), possibly for a shorter period. High intensity exercise has various advantages as compared to lower intensity health-wise, such as increased tendency towards visceral fat burning and encouraging strength as well as cardio-vascular adaptation.

You may find that the overloading you receive will not only make you a better runner but will leave you sufficiently sore/depleted that you do not feel a restless energy the next day.

Personally I use 800m 'sprints' (bit long for a true sprint perhaps) alternated with 400m recovery jogs. Currently I sprint at around 17.5 km/h (about 11 mph). The whole exercise lasts for around 10 minutes. I'm not particularly focussed on running, but I find the effect of this type of training quite pleasing and complementary to other things

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