Hate Running? Here's How To Learn To Like It

Hate Running? Here’s How To Learn To Like It

So this might come as a surprise to some of you, but I used to hate running.

Like, hate it. Really, really, really hate it. To a point where I never thought I could force myself to be a “runner.”

I remember back in school when they made us run the dreaded mile, I wanted to walk but ended up being forced to run instead. I actually didn’t get serious about running until way after I was done with school and I needed a cheap way to get fit.

When I first started running voluntarily, I still hated it with every fiber of my being. However, after a little while of sticking with it, my attitude started to change, and when that did, so did my experience.

I started to realize that I might actually like running.

And if you had told that to 14 year old me, I would have told you that you were completely insane.

The truth is, if you can change your attitude about running, you can turn it from a chore into something you actually look forward to doing. Here are 8 was to do it:

1. Let yourself start slow

Look, you’re not going to go out and run a flawless mile the first time you try. That’s just not going to realistically happen.

And that’s ok ! If you’re not used to running, it’s 100% completely normal to start off feeling slow, sluggish and out of breath. I promise – no one knows how far you can run and no one is judging you.

When you first start out, if you need to take breaks to walk during your run, go ahead and do it! It takes time to build up your endurance, so don’t expect it to be perfect when you first start out. Take your time. Listen to your body. Let yourself be a beginner. If you try to do too much too fast, you’ll end up getting frustrated and giving up.

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2. Don’t act like you’re racing

When you’re first getting started running, speed and pace should be the last thing on your mind.

You’re not racing against anyone, you’re not trying to set personal records, you’re just trying to get used to running.

With that in mind, don’t worry so much about how fast you’re actually running, and instead just try to enjoy the physical activity. Run at a pace that doesn’t leave you gasping for breath in a block or two, and if it feels slow, that’s fine! The trick is to slowly build up your endurance.

3. Make your goals attainable

If you decide to pick up running and your goal is to finish a marathon, you’re probably going to get discouraged pretty quickly.

Even if your goal is to “run one mile”, if you have to stop for a break in the middle you’re going to feel like you failed. It’s much better to pick goals that are short, attainable, and easy to accomplish at first, so that you can move on to the next one.

Try this: decide your goal is to run to the end of the block. When you get there, make your goal the end of the next block. Keep chaining those together and all of a sudden your bigger goals will seem much more attainable.

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4. Relish the solitude

Running can be a group activity, but most of the time it’s just you and your thoughts, pounding the pavement.

So it’s important to learn to enjoy being alone and the solitude that comes with running. No one’s asking you for anything(no kids are bugging you, no assignments at work are being demanded, it’s just you, the pavement, and your heartbeat.)

When you start looking forward to the solitude that comes with running, you’ve taken a huge step towards enjoying it. Plus, being alone can be a cathartic experience. It can help relieve stress and give you time to reflect.

5. Get a workout partner

Even though it’s nice being alone, chances are you’re going to have days where you feel lazy, unmotivated, exhausted or just aren’t in the mood for running.

On days like this, it’s great to have a partner who helps push you to be the best you can be and get out there, even if you’re not totally feeling like it. Plus, you can do the same for them on the days that they’re slipping and don’t feel motivated.

Plus, when you’re running with someone else, talking to them can help pass the time way more quickly, so you cover far more distance than you thought (and with much less conscious effort).

6. Find a higher cause

I know, you want to get fit, you want to feel good about yourself and you want to accomplish your fitness goals. Those are great motivators. But sometimes, I recognize that they might not be enough.

That’s why a great way to get yourself motivated is to sign up to run for a charity that you want to support. It’s a great way to add another reason to the list of “reasons to run” that will get your butt motivated and in gear even on a day where all it wants to do is sit on the couch.

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7. Pop in the earbuds

Music is a great way to zone out and get “in the zone” while you’re running. If you’re listening to a song you like, before you know it you’ve run for 5 minutes without even realizing it.

Listening to a song you like can also motivate you in a special kind of way, where you get lost in the rhythm of the song or the lyrics and can run faster than you thought you could.

Plus, if you’re listening to particularly upbeat music (around 120-140 beats per minute), it can push you to run harder than you were running before, with less effort.

8. Mark your progress

One of the biggest reasons people give up on running is because they don’t think they’re making progress on their goals – even when they are!

Sure, you might be tempted to mark how far you can run, and if you don’t see that increasing at the rate you want you could get discouraged. But what you might be missing is your pace , or how quickly you’re covering ground.

You can get a variety of run tracking apps for your smartphone. A couple of the better ones are MapMyRun and Runkeeper.

Track your progress! That way, you’ll see exactly how far you’ve come, and it’ll be extra motivation to get out there and run again tomorrow.

In summary…

The Best Ways To Learn To Love Running

  1. Let yourself start slow
  2. Don’t act like you’re racing
  3. Make your goals attainable
  4. Relish the solitude
  5. Get a workout partner
  6. Find a higher cause
  7. Pop in the earbuds
  8. Mark your progress

learn to love running

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25 comments… add one
  • Ariana   August 5, 2015, 12:19 pm

    I like to run. I wish I had more people to do it with me because it does take up a good part of my routine, but I prefer to not do it alone. Are there running groups online?

  • Cythia   August 3, 2015, 10:23 am

    I am trying to get my friend to “like” running and it is not that easy. I have been starting her off slow, but it does not seem to catch on. I wonder if it is not enjoyable because it hurts somehow? I will have to ask her.

  • Kaleigh Rife   August 1, 2015, 12:29 pm

    These are very good tips. Getting into running each day is not very easy. There are many variables that keep people from doing it, but these tips do a great job of sorting those out.

  • Francina Thor   July 31, 2015, 12:28 pm

    Great tips! Thank you very much. I am trying to get back into running and these will help me very much.

  • Joanne Carlson July 30, 2015, 1:40 pm

    Yes. I have yet to find anyone that can get me to like it. I just do not see the need :)

  • Hannah Parsons July 30, 2015, 1:29 pm

    People that can run every day, or even train for a marathon get my respect. That is hard work, but they are usually rewarded with a healthy body.

  • Lauren Thomson July 29, 2015, 2:14 pm

    When I first started running on a regular basis, I always felt like I was trying to beat the clock. I see that recommend against that and I agree. Although at the time, I wasn’t really aware that is what I was doing. Now my runs are more relaxing!

  • Lillian King July 28, 2015, 11:31 am

    My friends have been trying to get me to run for a few months now. They invite me every single time they go out, but I have yet to go. I feel intimidated with them running better than I would at first. How do I fix that?

  • Tracey Young July 28, 2015, 11:18 am

    Yeah I hate running! I have no intention on liking it either :)

    • Megan Robertson July 29, 2015, 2:26 pm

      LOL, I am in the same boat that you are. Never understood what the big deal was, but I guess each person has their own thing.

  • Audrey Burgess July 25, 2015, 6:18 pm

    Great tips. I had a friend that was not sure if she wanted to run every day like I do, but I was consistent with her and helped her along the way and now she loves it and builds running into her schedule.

  • Samantha McGrath July 25, 2015, 6:07 pm

    I joined a group of friends from Facebook when I run and that seems to help me enjoy it more.

    • Mariette Symonds   July 31, 2015, 12:37 pm

      That is a good idea. There are so many ways to get a group of runners together, thanks for sharing!

  • Alison Ross July 25, 2015, 5:55 pm

    I am not sure about how much I like running, however I do like how I look since I have been running much more!

  • Molly Walsh July 25, 2015, 5:45 pm

    One of the best things about going for a run on the beach is being a lone in the morning and enjoying the silence!

    • Rutha Sweatman   August 1, 2015, 12:40 pm

      I love that as well! Such a great way to start your day.

  • Natalie Greene July 23, 2015, 9:22 am

    Running is so much fun. I love being able to wake up early and go for a couple miles to start out my day. So peaceful and energizing!

    • Brittny Evert   August 5, 2015, 12:09 pm

      I never felt that way about running. How do you possibly get into that mindset?

  • Emily Pullman July 22, 2015, 9:55 am

    Yes, I hate to run. I have my whole life and even after reading this, I am not sure if I could bring myself to do it.

    • Karen Nash July 23, 2015, 9:10 am

      I am in the same boat. Congrats to those that can get a “high” from doing it, but it is NOT for me at all!

  • Sally Ross July 22, 2015, 9:22 am

    When I was in high school, I hated running. I liked the idea of cross country, but I think my coach is what turned me off of running. I am trying to get back into it now, but I have having a few motivational issues.

  • Ava Short July 21, 2015, 9:08 am

    I am not going to lie, getting used to running was not easy, but now I crave it. A very nice position to be in for sure!

  • Abigail Forsyth July 21, 2015, 8:53 am

    I learned to like running because it was about the alone time I had while doing it.

  • Bernadette Greene July 19, 2015, 1:07 pm

    Love to run? I do not think that is going to happen, but I have pretty much worked myself into boredom these days. I could go for something new.

  • Emily Cornish July 19, 2015, 12:56 pm

    There is a group of runners that comes by the house every day and I always wonder how they could be SO into running. It is just not for me I guess.

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