How to Become a Runner When You Hate Running?
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There isn’t only one answer to the question “How to become a runner when you hate running”. We need to dig a bit deeper to solve this one. For starters, most people hate running because it’s too difficult to start. We’ll give you some tips on the best ways to get into running which will serve as encouragement.
When you actually start running, there’s a big chance you will like it. Not in the first couple of weeks, of course, but in a month or two. You heard right! It takes a lot of time and patience to fall in love with exercise. Let’s just take one step at the time.
Before we get to the article, we’d just like to mention this:
- The first step for starting with anything is having a positive attitude. Enthusiasm and strong will can go a long way.
- Did you know that it’s very beneficial for families to exercise together? Encourage your partner and kids to start jogging too! You can support each other and explore your neighborhood. They might not like the idea, just like you don’t like running. However, once you find the benefits and reasons why you should start, you’ll all be motivated to become more active.
- Find your local running community and join them. You’ll hear personal stories of people who love to run, so you’ll become more inspired. These communities are very supportive of new runners, so there’s nothing to be afraid of.
- If you don’t have any experience with running, you should see your doctor. Check your blood pressure, heart health, and ask for his/her advice on how to become more physically active.
- Proper breathing is essential for running. You need to use your nose to breathe instead of your mouth.
Find a reason why you run
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You’ll never love running if you don’t see the point of this activity. You need strong reasons for starting in the first place. Find specific reasons because “I want to be in good shape” isn’t motivating enough. Register for a 5k race or find a charity cause for running. Generosity activities are always motivating, so if you have something to fight for, running will become easier. You’ll be inspired to continue even if things get tough.
Set realistic goals
In most cases, people hate running because they don’t achieve a set goal. If you go for something out of your reach, you’ll most likely fail. For example, if you start with 1-hour training and you don’t have any previous experience, you’ll experience burnout. Your back will start hurting, your legs will be sore, and you’ll end up hating this form of exercise because it’s too painful. To prevent this from happening, you need to ease into running.
Most beginners can’t run for 15 minutes straight, so why force yourself? Start with reasonable goals such as 10 minutes runs 3 times a week. Slowly increase the time, and in a month you’ll be able to finish 30-minute workouts with no difficulties. Trust us, you probably won’t hate running if it isn’t painful.
When you achieve small goals, you’ll feel amazing and you might start to like running. Guess what? People like doing things they’re good at! However, becoming good (at running or anything else) doesn’t happen overnight. You need to endure, be patient, and practice a lot.
You won’t have impressive mileage and speed during your first month. In the beginning, you just need to learn how to become a runner. Focus on doing what makes you comfortable – running slow for short periods. Just give yourself time for improvement.
Making a plan can help you get through the first couple of months. Take into account your capabilities and also your wishes. If you’ve never run before, you can find lots of programs online. Most beginner programs consist of 15-30 minutes workouts that include both walking and running intervals.
If you set a goal to keep yourself motivated, you might need some help in monitoring your progress. Most people think that the best way to get into running is by having light workouts. To keep things slow and relaxed, find a running application. It will measure your time, distance, heart rate, and keep track of many other things, so you don’t need to worry about anything.
Some apps have an option to describe each of your runs and take pictures afterward. The first workouts will be the most difficult ones but as you progress, it’ll get easier. You can remind yourself of this by checking out your notes, pics, and other data.
Also, try to find an app with a detailed program for beginners. The most popular program is “Couch to 5k”. The goal is, as the name says, learning how to start running for exercise when you don’t have any experience. You’ll start with light workouts for the first couple of weeks. Running intervals are always shorter than rest periods, so you don’t feel pressured. Lots of apps also provide a music playlist with a narrator telling you when to run/walk.
After 6-12 weeks (depending on the program) you’ll become able to run a 5k race. We suggest you find a 12-week program. Cardio for people who hate running should be as light as possible and the more weeks it lasts, the transition to 5k becomes easier.
Find a running partner
Having a running partner can be inspiring. You’ll learn how to not hate running if you find someone who loves it! Running with a partner or with a group of friends is such a rewarding experience. You’ll forget all about discomfort and just chat with your buddies. Your running pace should be conversational. That means you should be able to hold a conversation with your partner without gasping for air.
Measure time, not distance
The distance can be scary, so if you’re an absolute beginner forget about how many miles you’re running. Just focus on finishing your 20-30 minutes of training. This will allow you to adjust your pace without additional pressure. If training becomes “too easy” increase the time of your workout.
Also, don’t worry about how fast you run. If you just started running you need to get in shape first. Only after that you should consider picking up the pace. Starting very fast too early can only lead to hating running even more.
When you’re making your weekly schedules, make sure to leave enough time for running. You should probably set aside one hour, even if you’ll exercise for 30 minutes. You need extra time to get dressed or take a shower.
Never underestimate the importance of recovery. This is a crucial part of running for people who hate running. You need to have recovery days and also include rest periods in your jogs. People who are out of shape will be discouraged when they get too tired.
Taking walking breaks between running intervals can mean a lot! Don’t try to sit and rest. This will demotivate you to continue. Instead, keep your heart rate up and just slow down your pace or walk when you reach your limit.
You should also consult your doctor about how many rests you need. Make sure there aren’t any health problems that can prevent you from running. If you’re overweight, it’s not advised you start running right away. Instead, try walking regularly and after a couple of months start jogging a bit. Your health will benefit even from 20 minute walks.
Keep track of your progress
You shouldn’t feel pressure to perform, of course. However, keeping track of your progress is beneficial for developing a sense of accomplishment. You can use an app or better yet, write your results in a notebook. Use colorful markers and make tables/charts. This will boost your self-esteem and you’ll feel better with each blank filled in.
Journaling could also help you learn how to like running. You can write about your thoughts, struggles, and accomplishments. When you flip through the pages in a couple of weeks, you might be surprised about how far you’ve come. Every win is worth celebrating, so make sure to write all about it!
Forget about the treadmill
If you want to know how to start running when you hate running, the first thing you should do is forget about the treadmill. Most people like actual running but hate the monotony and boredom that comes with running on a treadmill. Choose outdoor runs and explore your neighborhood!
Running outside will get you out of the monotony loop because you can choose a different path every day. One day you can jog in nature (park, riverside) and another day can be filled with urban surroundings. Changing the time of the day can also be helpful. Night owls will never enjoy running early in the morning but they can benefit from evening or midnight runs.
Stop making excuses
If you really decided to run, you need to stop making excuses. It’s tempting to skip a workout, especially in the first couple of weeks when you still hate running. However, if you endure long enough, it will be worth it!
Try to rationally analyze any excuse that occurs. For example, if you don’t want to start running because you don’t have good running shoes, consider if you really need them. Someone who just started running doesn’t need expensive new shoes. You can easily find used running shoes online that are comfortable and suitable for your fitness level.
As you can see, this and any other excuse can be easily dismissed. Most people say that running is boring, so that’s why they don’t run. Is it really? Can 20 minutes of exercise be that boring that you quit from the very beginning? We think that all you need is a quality playlist or an interesting podcast. Half an hour will pass with ease! You can also change music genres to keep things interesting. Just make sure the sound isn’t too loud, so you can hear the traffic.
Preventing injuries and soreness
As we already said, you need to ease into running routine. Forcing yourself to do something out of your reach will lead you to burnout. You might injure your joints or experience soreness in legs, even back pains, headaches, etc.
Don’t risk injuring yourself and try to make a reasonable plan. Include recovery days in your schedule and adjust the difficulty as you see fit. Everyone will respond differently, so take all running programs with caution. If you notice that something doesn’t work for you, change it a bit. You can also hire a fitness instructor to make a plan following your needs. Try all methods before you call it quits.
Frequently asked questions
What do you do if you hate running?
Give yourself time to like it. Nobody fell in love with this type of exercise the first time he/she tried it. However, if you’re absolutely sure running isn’t your thing, find something else you might enjoy.
Is it okay to stop while running?
Absolutely! If you’re out of shape, don’t push yourself over the limits. Learn your boundaries, so you don’t get injured.
Is it bad to run everyday?
This depends, of course, on your experience and fitness level. Running every day can lead to injuries, especially if you’re a beginner. Rest days are very important because they allow your body to recover.
We hope that these tips can help you figure out how to become a runner when you hate running. Honestly, if you really hate running even after a couple of months, just don’t do it. There are tons of other activities that you might enjoy. Try cycling, swimming, playing football, or anything else that keeps you physically active. All you need is the right motivation to exercise.
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