Hate Running: Try These Tips To Make It More Enjoyable

By GetFitFocus

man running near the coast
Photo by Chander R on Unsplash

Some people love running and are absolutely addicted to it. Others tolerate it because it can help them with their fitness goals. Many struggle to understand how some people got to the point of enjoying a good run. The people that don’t like running or just tolerate it think that running is slow, painful and boring. What’s to like?

So many people try to and want to love running because they are keenly aware of its overall benefits. Running helps with being fitter, losing weight and allows you to spend more time outside. That said, for some it’s just too unbearable to stick with or do consistently.

So what can you do to help solve this problem and actually get more motivated to go out for a trot?

woman jogging
Photo by Andrew Tanglao on Unsplash

Emphasize The Positives

If you are new to running or don’t do it routinely, then adding it or becoming consistent with it will greatly improve your overall fitness level. You will burn more calories and improve your health more so than doing many other different types of fitness exercises or routines. Use this positive aspect as a motivational tool to get you out and running.

Previously mentioned, running is a great way to get you outside. Due to our commitments and work, we often spend so much of our day inside. Even today as more people are able to work from home, they still spend a large portion of their day trapped inside. This includes the individuals that routinely workout. Either they workout in their home gym or drive to their fitness center; both options keep them from being out in the fresh air. The awesome benefits of getting some extra vitamin D from the sun or just inhaling some good fresh air can motivate you to want to run more. 

Keep It Simple

As with most fitness plans and strategies we try way too hard to overachieve when we train. We are under the impression that in order to burn fat or improve our fitness, we need to be training at a level that is very uncomfortable or to an extreme. So many people dislike running simply because they are trying too hard. The key is to first learn to enjoy it and take your time. When you do that then you will eventually improve your running fitness, which means you can up your output comfortably in the future.

One true way to hate running is by going out and trying to run as fast as you can and as far as you can. Granted, this will make you feel like you have accomplished something but you will return in tatters and possibly in some discomfort. In order to enjoy it, jog at a pace that feels comfortable to you – not the pace you may see others doing. That really is one of the keys to enjoying your run, is to just be comfortable.

headphones with music on smartphone
Courtesy of Upsplash

Listen To Music

Anyone that has ever done any fitness exercise knows that music makes the experience better. This is even true for the most grueling exercises, including running. Regardless if it is strength training or very intense cardio, music seems to keep us in our zone and allows us to push through the workout.

If you are having issues with running or being consistent with it, then you should try to run while listening to your favorite tunes. Listening to music will divert some of your attention away from the task at hand, like trying to figure out why your lungs hate you as you breathe like there is no tomorrow. You can choose to listen to your favorite artist or you could listen to something upbeat and motivating. There is nothing like getting into rhythm and timing your steps to that dope trance beat.

Going for a run with your headphones does not have to be limited to music. Some people like to listen to an audiobook while they run. Again, it’s all about the diversion from the task. If you only listen to the audiobook while you run, then trust me there will be days when you look forward to your run just so you can enjoy the next chapter as you trot. 

Pick Scenic Routes

This may be harder than the other tips, but it is a great way to enjoy running. Some people can go to the local outdoor track and just go round and round. This can be quite boring for some runners, and may impact their commitment to the discipline. However, with some research you can find paths that you can use for your run. 

Perhaps, you run in your area of town or your neighborhood. The point is similar to listening to music, use the surroundings to help distract you from the actual run itself. Choosing great running locations may actually get you to the point where you enjoy going out and make you want to do it again and again.

group of runners at the beach

Find A Running Buddy

It is no secret that working out with a friend or joining a workout club can truly motivate us beyond what we think our potential is. In addition to potential, working out with others has the power to motivate us just to show up. We don’t want to disappoint our workout partners, so we are there and ready to go.

The Group Effect has many advantages when you are dealing with hard tasks. You feel as though you are not in it alone, and this can truly be motivating. Let’s face it, when we run alone then it could become boring, but having a running buddy can make it more enjoyable. You can push each other to new achievements in your fitness. Also, if you really like the person you are running with then it will definitely make it a better overall experience. Just like the other tips, running with a buddy will help take your mind off of it. You can mix running with a buddy and going for a run by yourself.

Wear Comfortable Running Gear

This seems like a no-brainer, but you will be surprised. Some people have come to dislike running because they wear the wrong shoes for running or they wear the wrong clothing. Discomfort is the easiest way to not enjoy whatever activity you are participating in. You will quickly equate your bad running experience due to your gear to just thinking you do not want to run at all. The outcome can be vastly different if you take time to research your gear so that you are comfortable.

The shoes you play hoop in are not exactly the same shoes you might wear when you go for a run. Some shoes provide support for a stop and go type of activities like basketball or tennis. Running shoes are just that – designed for the sustained activity of running. They have arch support and many are vented for airflow. The cushioning is usually tailored for running, and most importantly they are lighter so that you can be comfortable.

The same goes for clothing. Sure you can just put on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and hit the track or path, but if you are not used to running or just starting then you really need to be comfortable. This means wearing clothing that breathes or wicks away perspiration. Like shoes, the clothing needs to be light and not cumbersome. Running is an active exercise so pay attention to wearing clothing that is not restricting or creates a lot of friction – think running in jeans (yuk). If you are not comfortable then your mind will be reinforced by the negative outcome of the event, and you will disassociate from doing it again or limit the time you do.

In Summary

There are many reasons why people hate to run or are inconsistent with it. There are also a few things we can do to try and aid us in removing some of our disdain with running. No matter how you look at it, it is a hard exercise to perform. However, looking at it differently and finding ways to divert our attention away from that difficulty will allow us to hopefully learn to enjoy it – or not mind doing it. Give these simple tips a try and see where the road leads, which is out and trotting if you are lucky.

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