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I didn’t always enjoy running. In fact, it’s one of the activities I’ve always hated. But after some time and a few altercations into how I approach a running session, I learned to enjoy it.
In this article, I’m going to share with you how to enjoy running. I will also provide some examples you can use so you can start enjoying running after reading this article.
Run Your Own Pace
You may have seen your friend’s pace on Strava and want to get competitive. Or maybe someone’s running faster than you in the same running route you’re in. No matter how much you want to stay ahead, do not engage.
One way to hate running really quick is to get really tired and sore after a run. If you do this frequently, you’re going to start feeling fear every time you think about running.
Instead, run your own pace no matter how slow it is. Eventually, you’re going to be so used to running that you can start speeding up and not feel miserable.
The idea is to run at a conversational pace. That is, run at a pace where you can still maintain a conversation.
The results come from the consistency of running, not intensity. In other words, you don’t have to run fast to get the benefits of running. You do, however, need to be consistent. And the only way to do that is if you actually enjoy running.
Focus On Duration Rather Than Distance
One useful tip for beginners and those who absolutely hate running is to focus on duration rather than distance. That is, think of running 30 mins instead of thinking that you should run 5k.
By doing this, you’re removing the pressure of having to run at a certain pace and allowing you to enjoy running more.
Within the span of time you set, you can decide how you’re going to run (or walk) it. The only rule you have to follow is that you have to keep moving forward within that time frame.
Eventually, you’ll notice that you’re covering more distance for the same time you did previously.
The 30 mins example I gave above is just an example, you can set a time that fits your current fitness level.
Wear The Right Gear
In order to enjoy running, you have to stay free of the negative experiences associated with it. Some of which are caused by improper running gear.
Wearing the wrong shoes can result in blisters and black toenails. Wearing the wrong shorts or underwear can result in chafing in the thigh. That is why wearing the proper running gear is important for you to enjoy running.
Choose a running shoe that has good cushioning. Stick with daily trainers instead of racing shoes. Wear underwear that prevents chafing and light, moisture-wicking shorts to avoid discomfort.
By the way, I made a complete gear guide for running in hot weather in another article. I also made a gear guide for running in the rain. I highly recommend that you check it out.
Find A Nice Route
Part of the beauty of running is that you get to explore the beauty of the world. Whether you’re in a big city or a rural area, you can find a nice route that would make you want to run.
This is one of the reasons why I fell in love with running. The ability to explore the world on foot.
I personally prefer trail running for this very reason. I love nature and I’d enjoy running more if I’m with nature. The photo below is a photo of me that my friend took during one of our trail runs.
Explore new routes. Don’t just stick to the same route every time. Try trail running so you can be with nature while getting good exercise. You can find routes in various running apps or ask a friend for interesting routes.
Listen To Audiobooks Or Podcast
This is one of the most useful tricks I used to fall in love with running when I was first starting out—learning while running through audiobooks and podcasts.
This makes you focus less on the pain and the distance of your run and focus more on the information you’re getting.
One of the best audiobooks that I absolutely enjoyed during a run is Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. It’s one of the most inspirational books I’ve ever listened to. You can listen to it for free if you sign up for Amazon’s 30-day free trial. You can cancel anytime.
Run With Your Friends
Find friends who have the same goals as you and run with them. Nothing makes you enjoy an activity than doing it with people you like.
Your friends could also serve as your accountability buddies. They will keep you accountable for missing a running session or not running long enough.
If they’re really serious about their fitness goals, they can help motivate you to stick with your own fitness goals.
Talk With Your Running Buddy
A great way to make sure you’re running at a conversational pace and enjoying your run at the same time is to hold an actual conversation with your running buddy.
It’s a great way to catch up with your friends and maintain a good pace at the same time.
Fartlek training is simply fast running bouts intermixed with slow running bouts rolled into one continuous run in a completely unstructured way.
The bouts of runs can be determined by landscape markers such as bench, trees, and lamposts.
For example, I can sprint from one lamp post to another every time I reach the 3rd lamp post. Or run a 5k pace from one bench to another. It’s completely up to you.
Fartlek training is a great way to enjoy running at the same time provide yourself with a series of challenges.
If you want to know more about this type of training, I made a full article that will teach you everything you have to know about Fartlek training.
Sign Up For A Race
Signing up for a race allows you to meet other people who are in the same sport as you. It’s also an opportunity to explore new routes in your area.
You don’t even have to run to compete or win any medals. Just the idea of running with other people is enough to make running more enjoyable.
Reward Yourself After A Run
Although binge eating after a run is not recommended, you can give yourself a treat after you achieve your goal for the day. This way, you can look forward to something every time you run.
For some, it could mean a bottle of beer, others will prefer a small bar of chocolate, or some may only allow themselves to watch an extra episode of their favorite Netflix series only if they’ve completed their run.
Remember, running (and other sport for that matter) is made to be enjoyed unless you’re competing at a higher level. Give yourself a break, run slower, and give yourself rewards. This will allow you to fall in love with running rather than hate it.