This TikTok trend is a great workout for running, actually – a triathlete

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Before GPS watches were ubiquitous and runners committed themselves to splitting miles and running exact distances, many took more informal fartlek-type approaches to interval training: Run hard for two street lights, easy for one. Speed ​​up to the tree in the park, run back to the start. Today, however, most triathletes feel nervous if they don’t have accurate distances and splits in their training instructions—making it all too easy to forget that this sport of ours is supposed to be entertainment.

But recently, a trend on the social media app TikTok is trying to revive the fun. If you’re of a certain age, you probably know TikTok as the app your kids use or the videos that end up in your Instagram feed (too real?). But kids are on to something – specifically with the run-to game, which has started to gain popularity as a way for runners to stop checking their watches and start having fun again.

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What is Run Until on TikTok?

Simply put, the Run To game involves choosing (or letting others choose) an object, a person, a place to – you guessed it – run until the item of interest is spotted. Think I’m Spying, just two feet away, not out the car window. The sky was the limit for the TikTok challenge, with participants recording themselves running up to everything from towed cars to pigs. While this adds an element of uncertainty to runs (and may need to be applied with certain limitations), the principles of the Run Until game come with their share of physical and mental benefits.

Benefits of “Run to” workouts.

Physically running while taking in the interesting view could very well add up to some increased mileage on the day (just make sure you’re fueled and hydrated) or just inspire you to just get out the door. Once one object is found, you may very well find yourself motivated to look for another. Those who tend to push the pace too often may benefit from using the Run Until game to slow down and search a bit.

Mentally, the Run To game takes attention away from obsessing over steps, distance, or splits and shifts it to observing our surroundings and appreciating where our run might take us. It breaks the monotony of moving along the same old routes and teaches us to find something new (or strange) even in the familiar. As those on TikTok have shown, this can also have social benefits – crowdsourcing your Run Until introduces others to your running world, especially those who might not otherwise be interested in your 8.4 mile Z2 pace run 9:24 with 381′ of elevation gain. Putting in the door without a plan set in stone or a reason to constantly be staring at your wrist can inject some creativity and fun into the routine of anyone stuck in a rut.

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How to use TikTok’s Run Until game in training

So how can you use the run to game in training? In its simplest form, pick a random “mileage to” and make it your mileage (don’t forget to factor in the return journey as well). To make it more fun for everyone who puts up with your running habit, let them join the game: Ask your kids, partner or friends to consider “running to” and send them a selfie when you reach it (or even better TikTok).

You can also encourage yourself to go a little further by coming up with a simpler “run to” as you enter the later stages of your run. For those who may want to incorporate a bit of harder running without the pressure of structured intervals, the game can be adapted to include a bit of fartlek running. Choose something or two that you might see repeatedly during your run: a traffic light, a dog on a walk, a flagpole, a swimming pool, a cyclist, a playground or swing, etc. Once you see him, run harder until he’s behind you.

You can also turn the game into a scavenger hunt challenge by devising a “while you work” list to find, either in one run or over the course of several days, a week, or even a season. This allows you to spread some fun and flexibility into your runs. To make this even more fun, share the scavenger hunt list with your exercise buddies or triclub, allowing everyone to join in on the fun. Confused for scavenger hunt ideas? Check out the scavenger hunt list below and have fun opening your eyes to what’s around and chasing landmarks instead of splits.

TikTok Run To Workout: Sample Scavenger Hunt Items

  • Hammock
  • Van with wood paneling
  • Someone is playing basketball in the driveway
  • Grass gnomes
  • Spotted dog
  • Tricycle or big wheels
  • ducks
  • A man in a pink jacket
  • Water tap
  • Pavement chalk art

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