How good is running?! Baaaah kidding.
Running hurts, it’s boring and walking is just SO much easier! So can running actually be fun?… Truth be told, it can, sporadically for a few minutes at a time. Most the time however, it really isn’t all that fun in your usual instant gratification kind of way. Lets be honest. To this very day, every single morning I go for a run I dread it, I ask myself why the hell I agreed to doing it and wish it was over before it started.
Right about now you’re probably like .. Ahh didn’t she say this was about learning to love running?? So what the hell is there to love about this?
The love comes after the run. It is that feeling of accomplishing something you couldn’t do before, the feeling of knowing you achieved something that is hard. Running is peaceful, it’s a time to unplug from our busy world. I mean – peaceful is a bit of a stretch (for me) it’s usually gasping for air while dealing with sweat in my eyes but there is peace in unplugging, peace in doing something selfish, something just for you. Oh and apparently exercise is good for you too.
Running is also fab if you are time poor (and finically poor!). It is free. Okay yes investing in some good runners is worth it but there is no membership or ongoing fees and all you need is 10 minutes. Have you tried running as hard/fast as you can for just 10 mins? It’s not all that easy!
These are some tips that I used when I started running and still use to this day to get me through those runs where all you want to do is stop and walk.
- It probably won’t be love at first sight. Keep expectations low and just keep showing up. My first few months of running there was barely any enjoyment at all aside from the relief that it was over. Now being a little more ‘running fit’ there are those moments in a run I can think “this isn’t so bad”.
- Set small goals – Don’t expect to run 10km on your very first run. Before you tie your laces on each run decide where exactly you will run to and make that a non-negotiable keep running even at a crawling pace until you hit that goal.
- Forget speed – Start slow, set the distance you want to hit and run at whatever speed you can until you hit that. The key here is don’t stop and walk just keep slowing down to a slow jog. Next run do the same distance and try and take just few minutes off your time.
- Get outdoors – I honestly don’t know how people can run on treadmills. As I mentioned part of the enjoyment of running is the peacefulness. Even running in the rain is more peaceful than on a tready.
- Find a running buddy – I cannot recommend this enough. My solo runs are half the effort of my buddied (is that a word?) runs. Even better though, get a running buddy who is better at running than you so they can push you when every voice in your head is telling you to just walk.
- Go naked – not actually, although this could be interesting. Get rid of the devices. Don’t worry about tracking your run, your calories, your speed. Just run. Enjoy being outdoors.
- Get out of your head – This is so hard when every part of your body hurts and you’re pretty sure your lungs are about to come out your mouth but it helps. Keep distracting yourself from what is going on inside by talking to yourself about what is going on outside. Notice the buildings, the trees, the sky, the others runners – whatever you can focus on that is not your pain
- Just keep running … So has anyone seen Finding Nemo and remembers Dory’s song “just keep swimming”? I am a little embarrassed to admit this but when things get tough I sing in my head “just keep running, just keep running” it is a good way for me to distract myself from the voice telling me I’m a crazy woman for even contemplating going on a run.
All in all, if you don’t love running even after trying to love it, that is fine. There are so many other exercise options out there so don’t feel like you have to love it. For me it was less about loving running and more about not hating it as much. Making running tolerable!
I would love to hear your tips for running so please comment below or if you have a friend who you think would benefit from reading this, please share it with them or on your social media.