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Jun 18, 2014

How to Love Running


i've always wanted to be a runner.  it's one of those sports/activities that i have tried to like love over and over again.  and so many times, i've realized that i just hate it.  (i chalk that up to years of playing field hockey for coaches who used running as punishment.)

but this spring, i was feeling particularly lazy and just blah, and i was paying for a gym membership i hadn't used in months, so i decided to get serious about fitness.  and for me, that meant running.  i got on the treadmill and surprised myself by running three miles.  then, a few weeks later, i did five.  i started running three to four times a week, mixed with other cardio and some weight training, and lo and behold, i started to crave it.

for me, learning to love running wasn't an easy thing.  it took time (lots of it), and patience, and determination.  but this love affair unraveled and while sometimes it's still really hard to lace up my sneakers and sometimes those first twenty minutes (or maybe first forty, depending on the day), are agony, i've learned to genuinely love running.  that runner's high is totally real, friends.

if you're thinking that you will never love running, hey, that's cool...it's not for everybody.  but if you're like me and would really like to become a runner, then take it from me...it's possible.

so, here are a few tips that really helped me on my quest to love running!

1.  start small // set a small goal…run a mile, run three days a week, run a mile three days a week.  whatever it is for you, it's ok to start small.  when you're first starting out, small is good.  celebrate the little milestones...and then push yourself to go further the next time you go out!

2.  get some gear // ok, i'm about to get all girly girl on you, but this has been a hugely simple thing in motivating me to work out:  buy some cute workout clothes.  (i know, you're like "seriously?")  yes.  seriously.  there's some crazy cute stuff out there, so go out and pick up some cute crops or shorts and a cute tank!  you'll be more motivated to work out just so you can wear it, and you'll feel great (and look great) while sweating it at the gym or on the trail!  some of my favorite pieces to wear are these leggings and this tank.  oh, and more importantly, make sure you're wearing stuff that fits properly!  get yourself fitted for a good pair of sneakers to avoid foot and ankle problems, and invest in a good sports bra!  (i love the vs sport line!  expensive, yes.  but so worth it)

3.  you don't have to be fast // seriously, i was (and still am) a turtle.  speed will come, and it's not the most important thing unless you're an olympic athlete or trying to qualify for a marathon (and even then, qualifying times for most big marathons aren't impossible and there are plenty of races that don't require you to qualify in order to run!).  going slow will allow your body to adjust to the effort it's expending and you'll ultimately be able to fun for longer, meaning an elevated heart rate for a longer amount of time, a higher calorie burn, etc.  you should find a pace that feels like you're working, but also like you'd still be able to carry on a conversation.

4.  be consistent // you know how they say that it takes 21 days to form a habit?  well, they lie.  research shows that it's actually more like 2 months.  so stick with it!  get out there a few times a week and let the bug bite.  it takes time, but the more times you run twice and then neglect those sneakers for another two weeks, you're letting the beginnings of habit-forming wither and die.  (it took me about 14 years!)

5.  attitude is everything // you're not going to love running overnight.  but while you wait for that love to blossom, remember that attitude is everything.  your words are more powerful than you think.  tell yourself that you like running instead of constantly complaining about how much you hate it.  and decide early on in a run how far you'd like to go, and then tell yourself that that's your goal.  the first time i ran 10 miles, i decided within the first 10 minutes of my run that that was my goal that day.  then, i started psyching myself up with every mile, even pumping my fists in the air at miles 8 and 9!  learn to celebrate your achievements and milestones, and let that be motivation to accomplish even more on the next run!

6.  set some goals //  give yourself a goal.  maybe it's to run your first mile or first 5k, maybe it's to train for a marathon!  goals keep you motivated and give you something to work towards.  then, find some ways to track your progress!  one of my favorite apps is runkeeper...it lets me log my workouts (not just running) and track how they stack up against one another.  it also lets you set goals and tracks your progress towards them!  (check out the post i wrote about favorite workout apps here).  about a month and a half ago, i set a goal of running 100 miles before summer officially begins...it's been so fun to see run keeper update me on my progress each time i log a workout!

7.  do it for you // find your reason for running.  maybe it's your time to be alone and think.  maybe you like running with friends and it's more of a social activity.  whatever the reason, make sure you're doing it for you and no one else!

what are some tips you have for loving running?  do you prefer a different type of exercise?

54 comments:

  1. I used to be a runner until i blew out my knees...which makes me so sad because running was the only form of exercise I actually really loved!

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  2. I just started running 6 months ago and love it. Great tips!

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  3. I played tennis for three years and pretty much destroyed my knees, so running isn't an option, though I love the idea of it!

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  4. I need to get back into running. Thanks for these tips and the motivation! :)

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  5. I agree do it for you with realistic goals. I used to run 5k at lunch time everyday but not kinda not even sure where to begin lol

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  6. We're in similar shoes :) I hated running for a period, but just yesterday ran 5 miles and it felt so great. I found great spots to run in Central park and that's been awesome. I hate running on the treadmill -- so props to you!

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  7. Agreed! I need the motivation to run today. I have already run 3 days this week and this really helped! <3

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  8. so glad to hear that! you're doing better than me this week...i need to get out there a few more times to hit my goal! get it girl!

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  9. that's awesome! i'm so much faster on the treadmill (i just did my first 5k under 30 on the treadmill), but i'm struggling to make that speed translate to the road...so i think that's why i still like being on the treadmill sometimes. but i definitely like doing distance outside! i'd love to run in central park...that must be so pretty!

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  10. wow...a 5k at lunch every day? that's awesome! getting started again is seriously the hardest thing...i know for me, when i stop running, it can be so so hard to get back!

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  11. that's such a bummer! :(
    i hope you find something else to fall in love with! injuries are so tough

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  12. that's awesome! hope it's going well for you! are you training for anything in particular or just running to run? (both are awesome reasons!) :)

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  13. bummer, but i feel like these tips can apply to any type of exercise!
    hope you find something you love :)

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  14. Consistency is the hardest part for me! Thanks for this list - I need to get back to the gym!

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  15. it's the hardest part for me too! i fall out of my pattern so quickly, and then starting again can feel so hard!

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  16. I am not a runner. I would like to be. I hear great things all the time about people who go run and afterwards are so motivated and clear-headed they can just kick butt at any project. I could some of that. I need to try that couch to 5k stuff (again) and really stick to it!

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  17. What perfect timing for this! I have wanted to be a runner for about ten years now and am finally (as of this week!) starting toward that goal! I want to run with my -lazy and getting older - dog so this week and maybe next, i'm walking 4 times a week and then we'll see how well we do with actual running. Thanks for the tip of setting a goal. Plus I can't wait til I can get some cute gear to wear - totally scored on a clearance rack for some cute running shoes. =)

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  18. This is so perfect. I've wanted to love running so bad, and I got very close to it a few months ago, but I've fallen right back into the sucking 'this will never happen.' I stay consistent but I just still hate it! I need to break that!

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  19. I love this. I actually just started running a couple of weeks ago. Although I'm only running once a week right now, I'm doing 2.5K each time which I think is pretty good for a beginner :) What a find is that I don't particularly love it when I'm actually doing it, but I absolutely love the way I feel after!

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  20. Ughhh you're such an inspiration. I really need to try this.

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  21. This is fantastic! I want to get back into running, I too hated it at first but it does become addicting! Speaking of cute workout gear, I think I'll get one of those tanks that says "Run like Channing Tatum is waiting for you at the finish line". That's motivation right there!

    StarrJoy16.blogspot.com

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  22. Love this - I am looking forward to loving running!

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  23. I want to love running (even walking, really). I really really do! I appreciate this post so much because you're very realistic about it. =) I'm planning to get started on some sort of routine as soon as my oldest starts school in August. Fingers crossed, hoping the bug bites me too!

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  24. I want to love running, so so badly. And for a while, I was running fairly consistently, but it just isn't for me! However... I totally agree with all of your advise!!

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  25. Haha! I just posted my tips for starting running this week too. Love your suggestions!

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  26. Sarah Lucille MarchantJune 19, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    Just so you know, you actually put #6 twice. ;) Good post though!

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  27. Deidre || Love, The SkinnysJune 19, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    YOU RUNNERS ARE CRAZY! Absolutely nuts... with that being said. I will follow your tips and try again. I am a dancer so running gets boring for me. Where is the choreography!?

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  28. I've always loved running growing up, especially as it was the one physical activity I was good at, it is to some degree a 'love it or hate it' activity ... and like you said, its usually another sport's punishment! I remember being made fun of by football players until their coach made them run our CC course in high school ... then they shut up :) I wish I was still a 'good' runner and there's many days when pain is the norm and not the exception now. But its the best stress reliever besides hitting the weights, so I suffer through the pain for the sake of my mental health!

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  29. I love the idea of running outdoors more than indoors. I plan to start running again once the older two are in school that way it's just me & the toddler in a jogging stroller! *fingers crossed*

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  30. that sounds like a good plan! good luck! :)

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  31. running is seriously a hard sport! i used to think my cc friends were crazy...i could never imagine basically running 5ks like every day...now, my average run is over 3miles and it does wonderful things for my mental and emotional health...gotta love those endorphins!

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  32. haha...i totally hear ya...maybe the choreography is in mapping your run? haha...i'm constantly remapping my route to add more distance or be more in the shade, add more hills or whatever it is that day! i like to think of that as a kind of game i guess...but that being said, if i could be any type of athlete, it would hands down be a dancer! my year of ballet and then a few years of tap and hip hop did not turn me into a lifelong dancer...i wish my mom had made me stick with ballet when i was little!

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  33. thanks! hey, running is not for everyone! my dad is totally a cyclist...he rides all the time and when i ride with him, i can barely keep up! haha...you just have to find what works for you!

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  34. haha perfect! i think i checked that post out earlier this week! :)

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  35. running isn't for everyone! you just have to find what works for you! :)

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  36. girl, my journey to love running was not a short one! haha...i really think it's all about consistency to get that bug to bite! once those endorphins kick in, the pain or struggle to complete a run is totally worth it!

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  37. haha that tank sounds PERFECT. so fun! i'm loving all the cute gear out there :)

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  38. that's great! just keep getting out there and building up! i feel ya...there are so many times during a run when i think "whyyyyy am i doing this to myself!?" but the feeling afterward is fantastic :)

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  39. hey, running isn't for everyone! i'd say incorporate it into the mix of your cardio workouts...and then find ways to make it fun...maybe run with a friend? find what works for you!

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  40. good luck girl! you can do it! :)

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  41. start small! i definitely will agree that after finishing a run i feel like i can do anything, but that can be true of any workout! its really more about feeling like you accomplished a goal!

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  42. I go to the gym maybe once a month. Every intention to go more.

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  43. I sooo want to be a 'runner'. I suck at all things sport, but when I move out on my own and have a little more 'me' time, I want to do a couch to 5k. I agree about cute exercise gear! Go you for keeping at it :)

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  44. Great ideas! For me I just had to do it! Some days are harder than others but I'm always glad I laced up my shoes!

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  45. yes! definitely harder some days, but always rewarding!

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  46. running is some of the best spent "me" time in my opinion! it's been a great way for me to clear my mind and just enjoy being outdoors!

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  47. I had this IT dude at work who trained us slowly but surely before we knew it 5k was done in half an hour and though many said they felt great I always feel sleepy immediately after exercise but give me couple hours and I am more energetic than a 5 year old x

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  48. These tips are great and I'm going to start following them! I've always wanted to be a runner but sometimes I'm too lazy or too tired to run :( I know it takes motivation and a change of attitude to accomplish this!

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  49. good luck! there are definitely (too many) times that i'm too lazy to run...i need to motivate myself to push through those days!

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  50. the feeling after a run is like none other! just give it a try! :)

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