I love to run. It is by far my favorite form of exercise and the best way for me to get out my anxiety. But it didn’t used to be that way. I used to DESPISE running. It was the worst. When I was in high school, I was on the dance team and we were forced to run as part of our conditioning. And I hated it. We had to run 2 miles in 16 minutes and I was terrible at it. I hate running for time and I hated the pressure. But at home I would go running without the pressure of time (or people yelling at me) and I started to enjoy it little by little.
I haven’t been able to run for a year and a half because of an injury, but I am FINALLY very very slowly starting back. So I thought it might be a good time to talk about running.
If you are like I was and hate running here are some of my tips if you want to try to start. Of course, running isn’t for everyone and that is 100% OK. But there are some things you can do to make it better if you are wanting to give it a try.
I’m starting out really slow, and if you haven’t run before or don’t run often, you should too. Right now I am doing 30 second jogging intervals in my walks and increasing by 1 interval each time. An easy way to burn yourself out is to go all out, then be crazy sore the next day and not want to do it again. So ease into it.
Run The Way You Want
I personally like to go for long, slow runs outside. I hate running fast and I hate running timed. But maybe you will find sprints to be your thing. Or maybe you are like me and like to take it easy. Figuring out the pacing that you are comfortable with will take a little time, but just run the way you feel comfortable. Experiment and see what feels good to you, not just with your pace but also your environment. I HATE treadmills, and I would rather run outside in the horrible heat or freezing cold than get on a treadmill. Maybe you would like a treadmill and watch tv. Your best runs will be when you run exactly the way you want.
Breath Is Important
The way you breathe during running is important. Short, choppy breaths can give you side cramps, in my experience. The best way to breathe when running in long breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Try to avoid only breathing through your mouth (although with these winter months and stopped up noses I know it sometimes can’t be helped).
Listen to Music
There is such a difference in my run when I listen to music and when I don’t. Music motivates me and gets me through the hard parts. I listen to the pop/hip hop Pandora station (the only bad thing is the commercials), but you could make a playlist with your favorite songs. I like my music to be really upbeat to keep me energized.
Run with Someone Else
I personally like to run alone. I do my best thinking when I am running (or cleaning). But running with someone else might encourage you to keep it up and push you along the way. Sometimes even just having an accountability partner is a way to keep yourself motivated.
If you are a goal oriented person, maybe setting some loose goals would work for you. You want to run X amount per week, or you want to run X miles by this date. Just don’t make your goals too extreme.
Don’t put pressure on yourself if you already think you don’t like to run. You don’t have to run a mile in 7 minutes, or run a half marathon ever. Just do what feels good and don’t stress about it.
This month’s wellness challenge is to give running a try. I know it isn’t for everyone, so if you can’t or just really don’t want to (or already love to run), then maybe give something else a try. I am going to try to remember to post more of my workouts on my Instagram (@nikkihodum) since I am finally able to start working out again!
Last month’s wellness challenge was to get yourself mentally prepared for the holidays. How did you do? It seems that no matter how much prep I do, it is never enough (although this is honestly the case for all things). Since we are in full holiday swing now, I hope you will take the opportunities you get for a little break to keep you sane.
So how do you feel about running? Love it? Hate it?