I know more people who say they hate running than I know regular runners. Even a few of my friends that I convinced to run still have a hard time getting out the door. If you think you hate running but want to start running for the physical benefits, maybe the below ideas can help you make progress towards your running and fitness goals.
1. Slow Down
Your heart is pounding. Your breath is uneven and raggedy. Your body hurts and you don’t think you can go much further. If you are new to running or maybe just coming back to running as an adult and what I just described sounds like a normal run for you, you may want to consider slowing down.
When you are just getting started running, your focus should be time on feet and getting your body used to the action of running. Take things slow. During your first few weeks of regular running, you can check your pace not with a fancy watch, but by trying to hold a conversation (even if it’s with yourself). If you are struggling to talk while you are running, you might find the experience more enjoyable if you slow down.
Increasing your volume and work load too quickly, could put you at risk of developing an injury.
2. Find Your People
Under normal circumstances, finding a local running club or running group is a fantastic way to make running fun. Talking to new people, feeling like you belong and maybe grabbing a bite to eat, a beer or cup of coffee post run, makes it an experience to look forward to. Given the current circumstances, however, there are still ways you can connect with other runners, even if you do not feel safe joining a group run just yet.
If you are a fan of Facebook, there is likely a Facebook group for a local club in your area. You can also check with the Road Runner’s Club of America to find out the names of any local clubs and if they have a website.
If Instagram is your thing, look for a local hashtag you can search for to find runners in your area to connect with. For example, one hashtag I follow is #AZRunners.
Don’t be scared to reach out to local runners online to chat. Most of them are happy to connect, and once you feel safe again, you may have a real in-person running buddy to run with. That said, when meeting with anyone you met online in person for the first time, make sure not to give out too much personal information and to meet during daylight hours and in a public place.
3. Find Inspiration
One way to psych yourself up to run is by continuing to motivate yourself with visualizations of where you are now and where you want to be. Look for stories of people real or fictional who remind you of yourself and the journey you are embarking on.
You can listen to podcasts like Part-Time Athletes to hear how real everyday athletes just like you got started and how they keep themselves motivated.
Find movies like Brittany Runs a Marathon to keep running on the brain even when you’re on the couch.
If you are a reader, there are tons of outstanding books to keep you inspired. Three books that I enjoyed are:
- Mirna Valerio’s A Beautiful Work in Progress
- Alexandra Heminsley’s Run Like a Girl
- Peter Sagal’s The Incomplete Book of Running
I hope these ideas help you fall in love with running. Let me know in the comments if any of them worked for you.