Running is one of the best forms of cardio activity around. But, many people struggle to succeed, or even find the motivation to get moving. Running’s no joke! It’s hard work, but even if you desipise the beginning stages of running, using some of these tips will help get you started on the right foot.
I have always loved runners. My uncle and sister were runners, and I was always so envious of the smooth and easy way their bodies moved when they ran. Running to me always seemed like such a chore, one that I dreaded ever having to do. That is, until I started training for a half marathon, around the time that I was getting ready to get married. It was definitely tough, in the beginning, but after training for a few weeks, I found my groove and never looked back!
Obviously, I’m not currently running, and I’m struggling to get the motivation to get moving again, so I want to share with you my tips on how to enjoy running even if you think you hate it!
How to Run – When You THINK You Hate Running
- Stop the Negative Self Talk – I’d bet this is probably one of the top reasons why you’re not out there running. You keep telling yourself that you can’t do it, or that you think you’re going to feel awful. Do me a favor, stop listening to that voice and just get out there and JOG!
- Read Motivation Quotes/Books – Doesn’t matter if you search motivation quotes on Google and read those, or if you have a book that you’re reading that is all about running – When it comes time to run, think about what you’ve read, and then hit the pavement.
- You can start with walking! You DO NOT need to get out there and immediately try running for miles and miles. Start with a walk, add in some jogging / running, as you go. You want yourself to succeed, not quit as soon as you get started. One great running program that begins this way, is Cool Running’s Couch to 5K running program. It literally takes you from being a couch potato to being an active runner. I’ve used this MANY times in the past, with great success!
- Set a Goal! Nothing is more motivating then setting a difficult goal, and then crushing it. There will be no hesitation when it comes time to head out the door, if you have that BIG goal holding your focus.
- Envision Yourself Crossing the Finish Line! NOTHING is more powerful than taking time to actually picture, in your mind, what it is that you want to achieve. The mind is a VERY powerful thing, so taking time to picture yourself running strong throughout the day, or during a race, then picture yourself crossing the finish line. TRULY picture it! Do you feel that? That excitement, that feeling of being proud, and like you can accomplish anything? Yeah? Multiply that by 100 (at least), that’s what it feels like on a race day. So, go run!
- Find a friend. Either run with that friend, use him or her for motivation to get out the door, or communicate frequently via text or email about your accomplishments, if you guys are unable to run together. The power of friendship, and the motivation you get there, goes untouched!
- Find a New Trail. Have you been running the same loop for weeks, or maybe you’re a treadmill junkie, either way, try to get outdoors on a NEW path or trail. Granted, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the treadmill or the same loop, I’m simply saying that a new loop might refresh and re-motivate!
- Pump Up the Music! Personally, I’m not much of a runner with music, I prefer the silence of my thoughts, but if you are, find the songs where, when you hear them, you just can’t help but move…and then MOVE IT!
- Spoil Yourself Rotten. If you can afford it, why not make a list of rewards that you’ll give to yourself as you complete certain goals. (ie: First time I ran an entire mile = new running top) Be creative! And, make the rewards things that you actually want, it will increase the motivation.
- Share the Journey. You’re starting your journey into running. You’re lacing up your shoes almost daily, that’s exciting, and you NEED to find someone who will be excited and will celebrate with you. Because, every single step you take, is getting you healthier, and THAT deserves a celebration!
- Start or Join a Running Challenge. Have you heard of those individuals who vow to run at least 1 mile everyday for a month, or a year, etc? Think about how successful they are – there’s no way they can run that consistently and not be in great health and lose weight (if they have weight to lose).
- Breathe Deeply and Enjoy Every Moment. You’re a runner! There’s no rule that says, you have to have run XX amount of miles before you can call yourself a runner, if you are jogging, you’re a runner and you need to celebrate that. Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments and happily tell people, “I’m a runner!
As I mentioned earlier, I was able to complete a half marathon, and I never liked, or even considered myself a runner. But, I trained hard and I stayed focused on my goals. I didn’t run the entire half, but I DID run 7 miles of it (with no walking), and then the remaining 6 or so, I mixed some walking in with the running. Didn’t matter to me, though. I was SO proud of myself for doing the hard work to prepare for this race, and then completing it. I cried as I crossed the finish line!
This is ever so slightly off topic from the original post, but I really want to share a story with you…
The half marathon I completed was in Erie, PA, which is about a 2 hour drive from Buffalo. Since, I had never run a half before, I told Seamus not to worry about coming and being at the finish line. I had no idea how long it would take me, and it was going to be a heck of a drive for him.
I should mention, that all of my siblings and I completed the race together, as well as my cousins. We did it in honor of my uncle, who was a runner and passed away while doing what he loved most, running. So, I wasn’t going to be alone.
Back to the story – Around the 7 mile mark, I needed to start alternating walking with my running. I was fine with this, and actually quite proud that I had RUN 7 miles straight. That’s around the point when I realized what I was accomplishing, and started to tear up with pride and happiness. I staved off the bawling, because I knew that would take up some of my valuable energy.
However, as I approached the finish line, my entire family including Seamus, was there cheering me on. I was a blubbering mess. I couldn’t see out of my eyes, because of all the tears. I remember it SO vividly! I was proud of myself, and moved that Seamus was there, despite my telling him not to worry about it. He told me later that there was NO WAY, he was missing this huge event in my life. THIS is (one of the many) reason I love him!
Sorry for that little aside, but it’s important to share it with you. If you’re struggling, remember it will get easier and you WILL accomplish whatever you set your mind to, just stick with it!
Do you struggle with motivation to begin running?
Were you once stuck, and unable to run, but now you’re a pro? I’d love if you shared how you got there!
Share in the comments below!
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