I used to be one of those people who hate running. Getting out of breath really fast, having a sharp pain in my sides after just a few minutes already – I just thought it simply wasn’t something for me, so for a long time I didn’t even try.
However, when fitness became an important part of my life I realized that I not only had to incorporate more cardio into my workout routine, but that running was one of the most effective ways for improving my cardio skills and endurance outside. Yes, I could have stuck to other cardio machines inside, in the gym, but I am also the kind of person that cannot bear being inside between walls when it’s nice and sunny outside. So I decided to push myself and start running.
I feel it is easy to get discouraged with running at the beginning, because even if you are fit from being active and doing other kind of sports, if you are inexperienced with running and your legs, lungs and heart are not used to this kind of workload, it will be hard. It will be hard and not very enjoyable, the first time, the second, and even longer. The key: do it smartly and do not give up!
At the beginning I honestly hated running. But I knew it was good for me and being as stubborn as I am, giving up was not an option. I was determined to keep going and make it a habit and for that I needed to learn to enjoy it. I also knew that to enjoy it I need to get better at it, so I spent a lot of time researching running. I educated myself about running techniques, shoes, what and when you should eat before and after running. When I felt my knowledge about running improved enough, I started going out to the park 2-3 times a week and ran 2 kilometers. And oh boy, how long that distance felt! But I pushed through those first hard times!
When I was sitting at home, really not feeling it, I always turned to Tumblr for some fitness motivation. Searching for fitness, running or fitblr always gave me lots of results with fit girls outside, running, stretching, working out and it always gave me a boost of motivation. I suddenly had all the energy I needed accompanied with great mood, so I picked up my mp3 player and earphones, laced up my running shoes and was out the door. I found for me the best way to get myself to go and run was to get a boost of motivation, then don’t think just GO.
Another amazing motivation was buying my TomTom Runner GPS watch. Previously, I was using the Mapmyfitness app on my phone for tracking my runs, but every time I wanted to check my pace, distance or time, I had to unlock my phone which always slowed me down and was just too much trouble. So I decided to invest in a GPS watch and that yet again gave me such a motivation boost that day by day I was eager to hit the roads and run. I could easily see and adjust my pace, could do intervals, and even race myself based on the data from my previous runs.
And since I was going running consistently, feeling motivated, listening to a carefully put together running playlist –I feel choosing music with suitable rhythm is particularly important for running- I started improving. I found my pace, wasn’t getting out of breath so easily, and the 2 kilometers became three, then four and five – and the runs that seemed never ending at the beginning became my short runs. As you get better you not only start enjoying it during the run itself –especially if you get to the point of achieving the runners’ high-, but will smash your own personal records one by one, always improving, and what could be more motivating than that?!
In the course of a year I learned to love running so much that running in the mornings became one of my favorite activities, I reached my goal of running 10 kilometers in the city and even went running in the snow – which was an amazing experience! I learned that if you do it smartly and always try to put yourself in the right mindset before, running really doesn’t have to be a dreadful way of torturing yourself, but can become a refreshing and deliberating activity that always makes me happy and just feel so alive.
So if you are also struggling with running, try to learn more about it, get yourself motivated, start slowly at your own pace and slowly work your way up. And don’t forget: no matter how slow you go, you are still beating everybody slouching on the couch.