i've always wanted to be a runner. it's one of those sports/activities that i have tried to
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?