What is 'Run Until' challenge? Experts explain why this social media trend can keep you fit

What is 'Run Until' challenge? Experts explain why this social media trend can keep you fit
(Representational photo/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: TikTok is all about creative trends! Everyone loves a good TikTok trend, whether it's a dance routine, radical outfit switches, makeup hacks, musical innovations or creative cooking. This time runners at every skill level can benefit from 'gamifying' their workout, with the help of TikTok “run until” challenge.



It is a great way to turn a run-of-the-mill jog into a heart-pumping game of “I Spy.” Here’s how the “run until” game works, and why you should give it a shot the next time you’re dreading your daily run.


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What is the 'Run Until' challenge?

“Gamification” has been in the talk for many years now. It is the way of making certain experiences into a game of sorts (sometimes by using video game lingo, techniques and rewards) and therefore making them more enjoyable. Especially when it comes to experiences that can be exhausting, boring or difficult to live through, such as a dieting or running. This is a good trick that, through challenge and reward mechanisms, keeps the user’s interest high.


A user performing
A user performing "Run Until" challenge (@InternetSensationYT)

The 'Run Until' challenge asks participants to track their runs up until they accomplish the challenge's goal. It's a "I Spy" parody with faster heartbeats. It can be anything; in the past, it has included polar bears, unicorns, and even two humans cuddling. On TikTok, the #rununtil tag has received 614 million total views. By incorporating the mechanism of treasure hunting into the running task that can be monotonous and repetitive, its sole goal is to create fun.


How did the 'Run Until' challenge kick off?

The practice allegedly started accidently when a chemical engineer, Brandon Pratt, accepted his sister-in-challenge law's to run until he spotted a duck. The game grew in popularity from that point on, in part due to comments from viewers of these videos who suggested new challenges and those who accepted said "challenges".


One of them is Nat Long, a 30-year-old British woman, who for the past year or so has been posting videos of her running “until.” So far she has found octopuses, dogs in coats, and a polar bear.


'Run until' you see an owl (Screenshot/YouTube shorts)

Long said she likes that when her followers give her a 'run until' goal as she doesn’t know where her run will take her or how long it will last. She admits it doesn’t always work out.“Sometimes, if I reach 10 miles, I say that’s it. I can’t find the thing,” she said.


What experts say about the challenge

According to Lucas Carr, an associate professor of health and human physiology at the University of Iowa, people are more likely to continue an activity if they enjoy it than if they don't. According to him, making a run into a scavenger hunt can add a little extra enjoyment to your exercise routine. If people find this kind of approach enjoyable, there are many benefits, according to Carr.

Professional runners and trainers claim that the TikTok 'Run Until' challenges have injected some humour into their otherwise dull sessions. The running game's popularity coincides with the rise in popularity of ultramarathons — races longer than the standard 26.2-mile marathon.

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 What is 'Run Until' challenge? Here is what fitness experts say