Still Hate Running? Here’s How To Make It More Enjoyable
Running: you either love it or hate it.
And for those who struggle to find it enjoyable, there is that dread that sets in when finding the motivation to get it done.
But it doesn’t have to feel forced when it comes to a relationship with the sport. Those who have given it a try and still hate running should know that there are ways to make it more enjoyable.
Chances are the runner has already tried the basics.
This includes following a run/walk plan to build endurance, getting new workout clothes and making a motivating playlist.
Some things take time. But follow these tips and the runner might just start to hate it less.
Take It Slow
Like any relationship, the runner should take things slow—espeically if they hate running. That is when it comes to pace.
For a long time, a running buddy would always declare how much she hated running. She showed up dreading it and complained when she knew we needed to get a long run in for that week of training.
She would take off as fast as she could and not stop until she met her daily mileage. Her approach was the sooner it’s over the better.
But soon something had changed.
She learned to enjoy the many benefits of running. This included being her stress reliever and building the stamina meant her body got used to the mileage.
She is really fast. But she learned over time that runs were much more enjoyable when she slowed things down slightly so it didn’t seem like a chore to push through to the end.
Take this lesson to slow down and smell the roses when it comes to running pace.
Train For A Race
It might sound silly to take on the pressure of training for a race when the person doesn’t even love to run. But doing so can actually lead to some form of liking to run.
That’s because the reward is just so great.
There is nothing like the feeling of crossing a finish line—especially for the first time.
Many runners get hooked from there on out.
Plus, training for a race means the runner needs to consistently get in those workouts. Running then becomes part of their weekly routine.
Exploring new locations is the best way to start loving and stop hating running.
Running the same loop at a park or around the neighborhood gets boring. But sightseeing during a run makes things fun and fresh.
A change in scenery might just be all a runner needs to not hate their run.
Use this as an opportunity to explore new places. Try hitting the trails instead, and the runner might just start to fall in love with nature so much that they feel like they can keep on running.
Make It A Game
Turn running into a game. Run fartleks, periods of regular pace followed by sprints to a specific landmark. This makes the miles speed on by.
Or opt to play “I spy” with oneself, trying to pick out things the runner never noticed before in the scenery.
Count how many steps are taken in a minute or run the length of a street and walk the length of the next in intervals.
Run With A Friend
Make running less about to workout and more about the socialization.
Running with a friend makes a run fly by when it’s filled with great conversation. So drag out a bestie for some after work chatting while exercising.
Talking so much means the runner is forced to slow down the pace a little, but are so distracted that the miles seem shorter.
Those who don’t have friends interested in running should look for a local running group.
Set A Goal With Rewards
Set a running goal like completing a certain amount of miles a week. Then reward oneself for sticking to the game plan and getting it done. This could be anything from one “cheat” treat to buying something desired.
Learn More About It
Pick up a running book for inspiration. Watch a running documentary or listen to a podcast.
Chances are these will further submerge the runner into their own journey. They will inspire the runner to get out there. And quotes or moments that stick out can be used when the motivation just isn’t there.
Practice Better Form
Many complain that running feels uncomfortable. The main cause of this is improper form,
Focusing on better form makes running feel more effortless. It allows the runner to do so more efficiently.
So stand tall, head up and back straight. Bend the arms 90-degrees against the waist with open palms. Don’t clench fists. Don’t overstride and try to land mid-foot.
It takes practice to get down proper running form, but focusing on this also makes a run go by faster.
Make The Run Your Own
To be honest, if a person continues to keep doing it then chances are they don’t really hate running.
The runner might hate waking up early to get it done. So if that is the case then run at night.
If the runner hates long miles, stick to the shorter distance. If they hate the pounding of the pavement, check out the trails.
The point is to make the run the runner’s own. This means finding is liked about the activity and focus on that. Make adjustments to fit the runner’s lifestyle and interests.
It might take time to make running more enjoyable, but those who hate running might often find that they secretly loved it all along.