Running has never been more popular than it is right now. You see people of all ages and sizes running for exercise and competing in 5ks and half marathons across the country. Parents even run while pushing strollers to find a way to incorporate some exercise in their schedules without hiring a babysitter.
If you’ve always hated running, it might be time to give it another chance. It’s good for your lungs, heart, body and mind. Plus, you’ll be setting a great example for your child. Here are 5 ways to kick your hatred for running to the curb.
Running isn’t something you can master in a day – it takes time to reach your goals. If you try to do too much, you’ll feel discouraged and you’ll give up.
If you’re going out on your first run ever, you need to take it slow. Start with a goal of running for 30 seconds straight, followed by a few minutes of walking. Then repeat that formula.
There are many great free running programs, like the Couch to 5k program, that show you how to reach your running goals slowly and safely.
Make it a Habit
Don’t let yourself quit until you’ve given running a real try. One or two weeks isn’t enough time to fully gauge your interest level or ability.
Make it a habit by running three times a week for at least one or two months, and then you can reevaluate how you feel about it. You might be surprised at how much you begin to look forward to your running sessions.
Note Your Progress
Nothing can make you love something more than seeing the rewards you’re getting from your effort. Every two or three weeks, take a careful look at the progress you’ve made.
Some of it won’t be obvious in the beginning – you likely won’t be able to run three miles straight in the first two weeks. But you will notice by the third or fourth week of running that you’re able to run longer and breathe easier than you were when you started. That can be a powerful motivation to continue along your path.
Give Yourself a Reward
Indulge in something that will make you feel good about your effort. Set a goal and reward yourself once you reach it. Buy yourself a new running outfit once you can run one mile, or celebrate your victory with a hot fudge sundae.
Sign Up for Your First Race
The excitement and feelings of accomplishment that your first race brings is a great motivator to continue running. It’s hard to describe how much fun you’ll have at your first race. Sure, there will be plenty of hard work and second guessing yourself, but runners are a friendly group. They’re great at encouraging newcomers and welcoming them to the hobby. And the feeling you’ll get when you cross your first finish line is something you’ll never forget.