How to Start Running if You Hate it: A Guide to Overcome Negative Feelings and Enjoy the Benefits of Running

how to get into running when you hate it


Running is one of the most popular and effective forms of exercise, but not everyone loves it. Some people may find it boring, exhausting, or even painful. If you are one of those people who hate running, you may wonder how to start running and stick to it.


The good news is that you can learn to enjoy running and reap its many benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, stress relief, and mood enhancement. In this post, I will share with you some tips and tricks on how to start running if you hate it, and how to overcome the negative feelings that may hold you back.


Find Your Motivation


The first step to start running is to find your motivation. Why do you want to run? What are your goals? How will running benefit you? These are some questions that you should ask yourself and write down the answers. Having a clear and specific motivation will help you stay focused and committed to your running plan.


Some possible motivations for running are:


- To improve your health and fitness

- To lose weight or maintain a healthy weight

- To challenge yourself and achieve a personal goal

- To relieve stress and boost your mood

- To have fun and socialize with other runners


Choose a Running Plan


The next step is to choose a running plan that suits your level and needs. A running plan is a structured program that tells you how often, how long, and how fast to run. It also includes rest days and recovery sessions to prevent injuries and overtraining.


There are many running plans available online, such as Couch to 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, or Marathon. You can also create your own running plan based on your preferences and schedule. The key is to start slow and gradually increase your distance and intensity over time.


A general guideline for beginners is to run three times a week, with at least one rest day between each run. You can start with a run-walk method, where you alternate between running and walking for a certain amount of time. For example, you can run for one minute and walk for two minutes, and repeat this cycle for 20 to 30 minutes. As you get fitter, you can increase the running time and decrease the walking time, until you can run continuously for your desired distance.


Get the Right Gear


Another important step to start running is to get the right gear. The most essential piece of gear is a pair of running shoes that fit well and provide adequate cushioning and support for your feet. You can visit a specialty running store and get a professional fitting and advice on the best shoes for your foot type and running style.


You should also wear comfortable and breathable clothing that keeps you cool and dry. Avoid cotton fabrics that can cause chafing and irritation. You may also need some accessories, such as a water bottle, a hat, sunglasses, headphones, and a running app or watch to track your progress and performance.


Warm Up and Cool Down


Before you start running, you should always warm up your muscles and joints with some dynamic stretches and exercises, such as leg swings, lunges, squats, arm circles, and jumping jacks. This will help you prevent injuries and improve your range of motion and blood flow.


After you finish running, you should also cool down with some static stretches and exercises, such as hamstring stretch, quad stretch, calf stretch, hip flexor stretch, and chest stretch. This will help you reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, and enhance your recovery and flexibility.


 Run with Proper Form


Running with proper form will help you run more efficiently and avoid injuries. Here are some tips on how to run with proper form:


- Keep your head up and look ahead, not down at your feet

- Relax your shoulders and neck, and avoid shrugging or tensing them

- Swing your arms naturally and in sync with your legs, and avoid crossing them in front of your chest

- Keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, and avoid clenching your fists or flaring your hands

- Maintain a straight posture and engage your core muscles, and avoid leaning forward or backward

- Land on your midfoot or forefoot, and roll through to your toes, and avoid landing on your heels or toes

- Take short and quick steps, and avoid overstriding or bouncing

- Breathe deeply and rhythmically, and avoid holding your breath or panting


 Listen to Your Body


One of the most important tips on how to start running is to listen to your body. You should run at a pace that feels comfortable and sustainable for you, and avoid pushing yourself too hard or too fast. You should be able to carry on a conversation while running, or use the talk test to gauge your intensity. If you can speak in full sentences, you are running at a moderate pace. If you can only say a few words, you are running at a vigorous pace. If you can't speak at all, you are running too hard.


You should also pay attention to any signs of pain, discomfort, or fatigue, and stop or slow down if you feel them. Don't ignore or push through them, as they may indicate an injury or a health issue. You should consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions or concerns that may affect your running.


Have Fun and Celebrate Your Progress


Finally, you should have fun and celebrate your progress as you start running. Running can be an enjoyable and rewarding activity, if you find ways to make it fun and interesting. You can try different routes, terrains, and scenery, or join a running club, group, or event. You can also listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks, or run with a friend, partner, or pet.


You should also track and celebrate your progress and achievements, no matter how small or big they are. You can use a running app, journal, or calendar to record your distance, time, pace, calories, and mood. You can also set and reward yourself with realistic and specific goals, such as running a certain distance, time, or frequency, or completing a race or challenge. Celebrating your progress will help you stay motivated and proud of yourself.


 Conclusion


Running is a great way to improve your physical and mental health, but it can also be challenging and daunting for some people. If you are one of those people who hate running, you can follow these tips and tricks on how to start running and overcome the negative feelings that may stop you. Remember to find your motivation, choose a running plan, get the right gear, warm up and cool down, run with proper form, listen to your body, have fun, and celebrate your progress. You will soon discover the joys and benefits of running, and maybe even fall in love with it. Happy running! 🏃‍♂️


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