Hate Running? 10 Easy Ways to Fall in Love With Running (Again)
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with running. But, whether you are new to running or just trying to fall in love again, we can help!
Read on for 10 easy ways to find the joy in running.
Can You Become a Runner If You Hate Running?
Of course, you can become a runner, even if you hate running! First, many of us do things just because we know they are suitable for us. For example, I make sure I eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, even though I would much rather eat cake and ice cream. Why? Because I understand that eating healthy will help my overall well-being.
The same can be true of running. If you are looking to improve your cardiovascular health or run for other health reasons, you can make yourself do it. How? You just commit to putting one foot in front of the other. There are many great running tips for beginners that can help you find you are leaning toward liking running.
My best advice for people who really want to run but simply don’t enjoy it is to set out to run for a specific amount of time. Don’t try to tackle a set distance. Deciding that no matter what, the workout will be over in 30 minutes, for example, may help your mental mindset.
Can Anyone Learn to Enjoy Running?
Absolutely you can learn to like running. Just follow these easy steps and pieces of advice as you turn yourself into a runner. Part of the problem is that it is difficult to love something that causes you to struggle. Remember learning to read? Before becoming a reader, it was hard! Did you enjoy it?
You likely did not.
However, once you got good at it, it became much easier to enjoy it. The same is true of running. If you put in the time and energy to improve, you are more likely to enjoy running!
How Long Does it Take to Enjoy Running If You’re a Beginner?
I would like to promise you that if you do X, Y & Z, you will love running in a week (or 2 weeks or a month). But, unfortunately, I can’t do that. Some people fall in love with running quickly, while others never seem to find that euphoric feeling.
I can tell you that if you follow our advice, you will slowly find yourself in moments where running just feels good or natural. For some of you, that might be enough.
10 Things to Try to Fall In Love With Running (The First Time)
1. Slow Down! A common mistake of new runners is they start out too fast. If you slow down and take things easy, you are more likely to stick with it.
2. Music: Find yourself some music that inspires you and give it a whirl. Keeping your brain engaged is a great way to motivate yourself to run.
3. Find a Buddy: An accountability partner can also be very motivating. For example, if you can find yourself a running buddy, you may find you don’t dread pounding the pavement as much as you might if you were to run alone.
4. Join a Running Group: On second thought, maybe you should find a running group! Many running groups have multiple opportunities each week for group runs and/or meet-ups. Groups are also a great way to learn tips and tricks of the sport.
5. Treat Yourself! Whether you desire a new pair of running shoes or a cute new tank top, buying yourself new running gear can be very inspiring!
6. Positive Self Talk: Find yourself a mantra to get you through the challenging parts of a run. If you often tell yourself how strong and courageous you are, you are more likely to believe it.
7. Mix it Up! Running the same way and/or place can get boring. If you are a treadmill runner, try hitting the road. Maybe add some trail running to vary your route and routine. Mixing it up keeps your brain busy and your body guessing.
8. Run Naked: This does not mean literally to run naked, although you sure can if you want to. Leaving the smartwatch, music and other devices behind is very liberating for some runners. Give it a try!
9. Try Different Times: Switching up the time of day that you run may help with your motivation. Enjoying a sunrise or sunset, for example, gives you something beautiful to look forward to.
10. Toe the Line: This helps some runners but does inhibit others. Signing up for a race might help you stay disciplined through your training process. You also might enjoy the race atmosphere.
What Do You Do if You Still Hate Running?
The question you have to ask yourself is why you hate it. The response to solve your problem varies depending on your answer to that question.
Why do you ask?
If you hate it because it is difficult for you, getting into better conditioning can help with that! What if you find it boring? An easy solution to that, also. Maybe listen to music, an audiobook, or a podcast. Do you hate running because you get too hot? Join an air-conditioned gym!
Some runners find the treadmill to be mind-numbing and tedious. The best solution is to run outside. Find a beautiful trail to enjoy!
If you hate running and can get to the bottom of why you feel that way, you may be able to solve your own problem! What if you used to love running and suddenly don’t anymore?
Athlete Marie Davis has this to say on the topic: I felt this way about running until I started trail running. I am in love with trail running! Even running the same trails, they are different every time! The woods are constantly changing!
Carolan Garceau: I think it’s simply because of my schedule, so it feels forced when I hate it right now. Sometimes I have all of the time in the world, and it is beautiful. I also feel like I have to run at a certain pace because I have to get back for a meeting or pick up my kids. So that takes the fun out of it.
Seasoned Runners: Why Do You Suddenly Hate Running?
A common reason runners give for falling out of love with running is that the deep training cycle has become very challenging.
According to runner Jeanmarie Mullaly-Richards, “I am definitely in a love-hate relationship with running right now. I love it because it keeps my mind clear. Hate it because my body hurts.
Kaitlln Bengyak says, “I hate running when it’s so hot and humid that I can barely move, or when it is March, and it is still 20 below zero.
“Late in the training cycle, I hate running. Or maybe it’s just getting out of bed to train,” said Diana Ellard. And that makes sense, doesn’t it? When you are deep, deep in the cycle, your body and brain are both exhausted; it just gets to feel like work.
Runners who were interviewed had various solutions to these problems. For some, taking a break helped. Committing to cross-training is another tactic that helps some people. Yet other runners just need a new goal to recalibrate their focus.
Personally, I often find myself in a love-hate relationship with running. See the selfie of me above? My favorite headband reads, “I love running, I hate running” over and over and over. Guess what? Most runners I meet chuckle and comment that the statement really resonates with them.
How Do You Get Yourself To Enjoy Running Again?
Whenever I feel disenchanted with running, I find a way to recalibrate and rejuvenate my experience. It might involve setting a goal or creating a new training program.
A couple of years ago, I struggled with my running when I stumbled upon a trail race series. Once each month from April until October, a running club about 3 hours from me hosted a trail race series in various distances. If you signed up for the series, it would rank you by race date and overall standing.
Suddenly, I found new life in my running. Having both a goal and a new challenge breathed new life into my running. I ended up with 1st place for 10K among women in my age group for the entire series. But I would argue I earned a lot more than a shiny medal. I found a love for all things trail!
The secret I employed to enjoy running again was to find a new challenge. Maybe that could be yours, also?
Falling In Love With Running (For the 1st, 2nd or 100th Time)
Whether you are asking yourself how to learn to love running for the first, second, or 100th time, there are many things you can do. Just remember that, above all, you need to be patient with yourself.
Nothing worth having comes easy or quickly. Hard things take work. And you are worth the effort!