8 ways to learn to love running. It seems that wherever I look of late, there are more and more people taking up running, which makes sense. Running is a relatively easy sport to start, you don’t need any special equipment and pretty much anyone can do it, pretty much any time. Here’s the thing though, what if you hate it? I remember when I first decided to start running. It was painful and I seriously thought that I was going to die, right there, on the spot. Even worse, I was so self conscious that there was no way you’d see me on the street, and instead I would sneak down to the gym in my condo tower and workout only when I was sure that no one else was going to be there. It was a pitiful existence, but I persevered mainly because I knew that it was good for me and now, while you still won’t see me training for a marathon any time soon, I’m pretty happy going for a good run.
8 WAYS TO LEARN TO LOVE RUNNING
Go in with an open mind. First of all, clear your mind. If you’ve tried running before and hated it then it stands to reason that all those memories will come flooding back and congratulations, you’ve just set yourself up for failure. From this moment on, you have no memories of having run (except good ones) and this is a new challenge that you are eager to take on.
Go slow, very slow. Pick up any running magazine, talk to any runners and you’re sure to start hearing about pace and technique and personal records. Well, forget about all of that, right now. It doesn’t matter and you can deal with that later. Right now, you just want to get out there and start running very slowly. Actually, scrap that. Jogging very slowly, just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other.
Buy a new gadget. How fun is it when you get a new phone and start discovering all the cool new features? It gets you excited to use it even more. Well, your gadget can be a heart rate monitor, a new pair of shoes, a new outfit or anything really that gets you excited to use it.
Reward yourself. Years and years ago, when I was preparing for a major hike, my then boyfriend and I would go for huge 20km walks and wind up at the local ice cream shop. Hey, it’s what got us through the walks. Of course, this is a bit extreme and I’m certainly not advocating you finish off a 30 minute run with a large, fat fueled meal, but you can finish a run with a yummy coffee or a new magazine or anything that makes you feel good.
Read about it. When you immerse yourself in something new, it becomes exciting. Pick up a few running magazines and skip right to the inspirational, feel good stories. Not only will you feel like you’re a part of a larger movement and an international community, but you’ll also be inspired to make some lifestyle changes yourself.
Have a killer playlist. When it comes to running, my main motivator is my super secret, guilty pleasure playlist. Seriously. No one gets to hear the full playlist, except me. There’s a wide variety of songs that I actually look forward to hearing every week. Some are from my childhood, some are new, but each one makes me want to sing out loud and just move.
Distract yourself. Let’s not kid ourselves, running is hard and can be painful and when it feels like you can’t catch your breath, even unpleasant. Remember though that your body is well versed in telling you that you can’t do it and your mind will happily convince you that you are about to fall over. So let’s remember this is mind over matter and you need to distract yourself. I make up all sorts of stories in my head when I’m running. I choreograph dance pieces, I plan vacations, I redecorate my home. Anything that keeps me from thinking that this would be the ideal time to stop and reasoning that I’ll make it up later is fair game.
Set micro (attainable) goals. I’m not even talking about goals like I will run a mile in under 10 minutes. The goals I’m referring to are: I will make it to that next lamp post. I can do anything for 2 minutes. I can pass that pedestrian. These are all tiny goals that will make you forget about the pain and that give you instant gratification.
These are all tools that I use on a regular basis when my enthusiasm begins to wane and there are definitely days when I need more. Don’t beat yourself up if you start and it’s hard, understand that it’s okay and that you just have to work through it slowly. If you need a little more inspiration or are just getting started then download my running guide today!
Are you a runner? How do you keep yourself motivated?
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