10 minutes into your run and you already look at your watch. The next 5 minutes seem to crawl by.
All you wanted was to give running another try.
“How long do I still have to go? And how does everyone do this if it’s so boring?”
Many running newbies find themselves in a similar position. It’s normal that you feel like you “hate running” in your first couple of runs.
Running is not easy. But don’t give up too fast. Most runners start out feeling bored, but actually learn to love running with time.
Ready to give it one more try?
How to learn to love running in 3 easy steps
1. Replace expectations with curiosity
So what if your colleague that started running 2 months ago is already participating in a race? Or if your mom can run 30 minutes straight without any training?
People are different. Get over your ego and let go of all the expectations of what your runs should be like.
What should you do instead? Get curious. If you never liked running before, you might discover something new about yourself.
Go out and run without any rules: Stop when you feel like it and walk for a bit. Run faster for 3 minutes. Sprint up a hill. Try completely random running workouts and see what makes you happy. Maybe you will realize that you like the calm, meditative feel of slow runs. Or the adrenaline of all-out sprints. For inspiration, check out these free slow running and HIIT running training plans. Or these combinations of running and strength training in one!
Walking during your running sessions is completely fine! It doesn’t matter how much or how fast you run, what matters is that you challenge yourself based on YOUR fitness level.
Once you know which types of running workouts you like more, take the next step…
2. Set yourself ridiculously minor goals first
Instead of aiming to do a 5k or 30 minutes of easy running as soon as possible, pick a goal that can actually be achieved in a week. Yes, in just one week.
Examples of easily achievable first running goals: Run 2 minutes longer than last time. Run twice in one week. Run for 15 minutes straight. Do 3 hill sprints. No matter what you choose, write it down and make sure to cross it off.
Keep in mind:
Even small goals can be hard to achieve if you suddenly face a problem or lack motivation. Beginner runners often face unexpected challenges that can be addressed. And if you feel your motivation waning, try one of these expert tips to get pumped for a workout even when you’re not feeling it.
The key is to feel good about your achievements day in, day out – don’t wait for a major milestone to feel like you are getting somewhere. You want to establish a habit before aiming for bigger goals. Once you have that, you can get a training plan and commit to your first big milestone 😉
3. Get a tracker
No one starts running just because. You, just like everyone else, want to achieve something. Whether it’s losing weight, improving your cardiovascular health, or just being able to run a half-marathon – you need a tool that will show you your progress.
Why is a tracker worth your time and money? Put on a watch that has a GPS tracker and you will feel like a runner. It sounds shallow, but it’s true. Not only will it remind you that every time is run o’clock, it will also give you direct feedback on all the work that you put in. And this makes a huge difference. Seeing the actual kilometers and calories takes your running to the next level. It makes it so much easier to see small improvements.
Extra step: Share your misery
If you think runners always love running, you are terribly wrong.
Join a running community and you will meet a bunch of people that like to suffer together and then talk about it over a beer or homemade treats. The harder it gets, the more they enjoy it later. They may change their plans to race together or sometimes even take trips to run together outside the city – don’t feel like you have to do it alone.