We have a love-hate relationship with running. Some days we can’t wait to go for a run. Other days we can barely drag ourselves out the door. There are some runs where we feel good and enjoy the fresh air and the workout. And yet there are other days where we are constantly counting down the time or mileage until it’s over. But no matter how great we feel post-run, we still struggle to fall in love with the sport as beginners.
Even if we struggle to say we love to run the truth of the matter is we must enjoy it if we keep coming back for more. The reasons why we run may differ, but secretly we flirt with the idea that we at least like to run. And over time we might very well start a long-term relationship with the sport. Here’s the best tip to help fall in love with running.
Just Keep Running
It takes practice to become a star basketball player or dancer or pianist. And the same is true when it comes to running. We may not be looking to be an Olympian, or even marathoner for that matter but the more we “practice,” the better we get at the sport. That means being consistent and getting out there are going for a run. Beginners should know that with hard work they can run a mile without stopping and build themselves up to running longer and without stopping. It takes time. A mile might seem long, and the dread creeps in. Just keep at it and keep running. You won’t regret it.
And often the better we become at something, the more we start to enjoy that activity. If the runner feels and sees their progress like getting faster miles, placing in a 5k, or gaining the stamina to now run longer runs, they will start to look forward to going for run. Especially once other benefits like lower stress, boost confidence and mood, and a stronger mind and body come into play.
That doesn’t mean that the runs get easier or less difficult. Some runs require more effort and energy, whereas others come easy. There will be that day when everyone falls into place and the runner can say they really enjoy going for a run.
Go The Scenic Route
Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration. And being outside in nature is all it takes. Pick a scenic route to listen to the waves crash against the shore or view the changing colors in the forest in the fall. Run early to watch the sunrise or through a picturesque neighborhood to see the architecture. Make running a chance to explore. A beautiful sight is sometimes all we need to be able to appreciate how lucky we are to run and to experience a good run.
Write It Down
When struggling to get a run done, plan it out in advance. Write it down on a calendar or post it online to keep accountability. Having a set plan makes it easier to fit a run in throughout the busyness of a week. While this won’t necessarily mean the runner will all of a sudden love the activity, it will make sure to carve out time to run.
Make It Fun
This sometimes also means to strip away pressures and expectations. Some more novice runners start to not look forward to runs when they often follow strict training programs or put too much stress on themselves to have a certain time for a race. If the love starts to fade, take a few days off and start over fresh with a new outlook. Let all that pressure go and just go back to having fun.
A good tip is to go for a run without a fitness tracker. Don’t worry about time or distance. Just go out and enjoy the fresh air. Run sometimes without music to be present at the moment. Others find that simply updating their running playlist can be all they need to make a run more enjoyable.
Sign up of a fun run like a Color Run or obstacle race event that isn’t timed. Recruit your running friends and make a day out of it.
Buying new workout gear is one of the best ways to stay motivated about fitness goals. A new running outfit or new sneakers is a game changer for motivation. It makes the runner want to head to the gym, track or park. Researchers from a 2012 study called with “enclothed cognition,” where our mindset changes based on if we are wearing a certain type of clothing like activewear.
Sometimes all we need to do is dress the part to feel the part. That means getting those new workout leggings. There are some things runners should spend the money on like new sneakers when it’s time for a new pair to avoid an injury. It’s also important to get the right kind of running socks to avoid blisters. Options like Rockay’s Accelerate Running Socks also have a compression fit to support the arches to lower discomfort of plantar fasciitis.
Joining a running group or finding others who run is a great tip to help fall in love with running. Often there are other new runners and more seasoned runners in groups that consist of various paces. This means relating to newcomers and learning from those who’ve been running for a long time. Talking and sharing runs is a great way to make it fun, make connections and get a good run in. The miles will fly by when busy in a good conversation. Sign up for 5ks with family and friends and make it a social gathering.
Setting goals is a great way to keep running and build a healthy relationship with the sport. Once completing a small goal, the runner will feel a sense of accomplishment and want to push for a great goal. Keep setting goals to keep up with running and to advance in the sport. This can be anything from running for 5 minutes without walking to completing a couch to half marathon. Once achieving a big goal the runner will be hooked on the sport and want to yet set another larger goal like completing a marathon.
Just remember that running has many health benefits and will make you feel so good afterward, even with it doesn’t feel during it. This only makes runners appreciate a good day’s run more, so happy running.
- How to Fall—and Stay—in Love with Running, Runners World
- The Secret To Fall In Love With Running, Ashley Lauretta,January 8, 2018, Map My Run
- Psychology of Lululemon: How Fashion Affects Fitness, The Atlantic