How to Make Running Something You Actually Look Forward to Doing
Getting into running sounds like it should be easy. It doesn’t require a gym membership or any special equipment — you just lace up a pair of sneakers and hit the road. With so many physical and mental benefits, running seems like a no brainer.
The reality, though, can be much more challenging. Running is as mental as it is physical, so it takes a while to train your brain. In the beginning, you might feel tempted to give up, convinced that feeling out of breath means you can’t finish your run.
Luckily, there’s a solution. With the help of a few clever tips and tricks, you can convince yourself that you’re not just suffering through a few laps, but crushing your goals and becoming stronger in the process. From picking the right playlist to planning an exciting route, these nine strategies will help you fall in love with running.
Set Goals For Yourself
Even if your goal is only to run a mile or two without stopping, it’s crucial to set goals for yourself. Powering through each task is a great way to stay motivated. It almost feels like a reward in its own right. Remember: You might regret giving up on a run, but you'll never regret finishing a run.
Choose the Right Gear
You won’t have your best run ever if you’re lacing up the sneakers you’ve worn since high school and struggling with an ill-fitting sports bra. Opt for running gear that feels both comfortable and supportive, like the Brooks Running Levitate 2 running shoes that feel light enough to make quick transitions but cushioned enough that your feet don’t get tired.
Plan a Particularly Scenic Route
There’s a reason it’s so tough to motivate yourself to run on the treadmill: your surroundings just aren’t inspiring. Instead, take your run outside and plan a route with plenty of visual interest. Maybe there’s a nearby park with trails that wind through gorgeous green meadows or a path you can jog along the lake.
Cue Up a Good Playlist
Music makes everything better — especially a tough workout. Pop a few of your favorite songs into a playlist that you can listen to while you run. Make sure to choose some uptempo songs — research shows that fast-paced music motivates you to push yourself harder.
Don’t jump right into an all-out sprint. Start your run gradually by warming up with some jumping jacks or a slow jog. Not only do warm-ups literally raise your body temperature, but studies show that they can improve your athletic performance.
Stick to Your Pace
It’s tempting to put all your speed and power into the very beginning of your run, but try to hold some in reserve. The more you pace yourself, the easier it will be to make it through the entire route without stopping.
Take Walking Breaks
No one starts out running a seven-minute mile — it’s something you have to work up to. Don’t beat yourself up if you cramp up or run out of steam. Just take a walking break, catch your breath, and get back into your run.
Stretch It Out
Once you’ve finished your run, don’t forget to stretch. Studies have shown that regular stretching increases your range of motion, which helps keep joints happy and ready for your next run.
End Your Run Somewhere Fun
Congratulations: You made it through your run! Reward yourself for your hard work by ending your run at your favorite coffee shop. Whether it's a latte or green smoothie, knowing you have a little treat waiting for you at the end of your route can motivate you to keep going. Sip your drink, reflect on your hard work, and remember that your next run will be that much easier.