Running, while an easy exercise to pick up, isn’t for everyone; one person’s meditative mile is another’s boredom-inducing march… I remember when I was a swimmer we always had to run for conditioning. While I loved it right away, most of my teammates despised it. I guess I was always a runner in disguise 🙂
While some of us love to run right away, some other people have a hard time finding the love for the sport. My husband is one of those people (I guess he is just aqua man, he finds at peace in the water and he doesn’t eat fish, not for a particular reason other than he doesn’t like it… although he says he doesn’t eat his own kind… whatever)… Going back to the topic, I know some of my triathlete friends relate to this: they love the swim part, they love the bike part and by the time they get to run not only they are tired but, well, it’s not their cup of tea.
I also have friends that are not really active yet. Or that want to run but don’t know how or where to start. They have been walking for awhile and they don’t quite know how to make the transition.
So, for all my friends and friends to be that want to start to run , and for all of you who you want to run (or have to run) and can’t quite seem to get into the sport, make sure you read these tips before you write off your new hobby for good:
1 Don’t go overboard: You may be ready to pound the pavement with the best of them (at least in your mind), but enthusiasm and skill don’t always match up — which can lead to discouragement and injuries that can set you back. Don’t push yourself too far or fast when you first start running; just focus on learning the right form and how to breathe while you run rather than your pace when you first start. Once you’re comfortable with how running feels, try following a plan designed to make you a faster, better runner, like this beginner’s 5K training plan.
2 Go at the right time: When you run when you have the most energy, you’ll be more likely to actually like your new hobby. Try out different times to run to see when you feel your best. You may find that running those three miles in the morning is a breeze compared to mustering up enough energy to hit the treadmill after work.
3 Fuel right: You need energy for your run, but slipping on your sneakers right after a big meal is a recipe for disaster. Stop the stomach aches by planning out your meals with your running times. You should wait at least two to three hours after a main meal before you go for a run. If it’s been longer, have a small, easily digestible pre-workout snack at least 30 minutes before you go.
4 Warm up: Every runner has been there — the feeling of lead-filled legs that just make running that much more of a chore. While there are many reasons why you can be feeling low energy before a run, one sure way to start off on the wrong foot is to not ease into your run. Take a few minutes to jog slowly to warm up your body before you ramp up your speed.
5 Entertain yourself: While running itself can be an endorphin-boosting, stress-relieving hobby, let’s face it — it’s incredibly repetitive. If you’re bored out of your mind running, switch up your route, get off the treadmill and on the trail, and make sure you load up your phone with enough adrenaline-inducing workout playlists to take you through your workouts. I love repeating mantras and visualize what I want to achieve in my life when I run.
6 Run with a friend and make this your “happy hour”. We work, we have families to tend to, we have a lot of obligations in our day and, a lot of times, we don’t get to talk to our friends as much as we would like to. To me, running has become my happy hour: I love running with my friends and just being able to talk and catch up about our daily lives (or our favorite TV show). Needless to say the time flies by when I run with someone! it’s like getting a two for one deal: catching up with friends and getting your workout at the same time!
7 Listen to your body. Don’t try to go too fast if you are not feeling it that day. Sometimes when we push and our body is not ready for it we end up not only not enjoying it but getting injured as well. I have workouts planned that sometimes don’t go as planned and I am okay with it. If you are a new runner or don’t feel like running the whole time just walk in a fast pace or alternate walk/jog until it feels better.
8 Remember that you GET TO run. Overtime I am feeling like I don’t want to go out, or I just can’t go any longer, or something doesn’t feel easy, I think of a very good friend of mine who had an ATV accident and is now in a wheelchair (she was an Olympic Swimming Champion so, yes, she was active). I think she would gove anything to be able to complain about not liking running, instead of grinding it every day trying to walk again. See, we get to run, it really is a privilege being able to do it.
hanks for reading! Remember you can get more inspirational quotes and motivation on instagram (insightfulrunner) and twitter (@terezacher)
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