Friday, June 13, 2014

10 Tips for People Who Hate to Run But Want to Do It Anyway

Often people tell me they hate running. Or, they tell me they aren’t good at it. Let’s face it - the real reason people don’t like running is that they are uncomfortable when they run. I say, no sh*t you are uncomfortable when you run. Most of us are. The fact is - running is tough. That is why if you listen to people around you who are running they are breathing hard and groaning and sometimes cussing.

Just because running’s uncomfortable, however, doesn't mean you shouldn’t do it. It just means maybe you need to learn some tips regarding how to decrease discomfort and increase satisfaction.

1. Remember you are not alone. 4 out of 5 people despise running. They do it simply because they think they should and it burns 4,000 calories an hour (well more like 600, but you get the point). The key is to not think about how much you hate running and why you don’t want to do it. Just shut up and run. You will be happy you did.

2. Start small. I used to hate running more than you do. How did I go from that to running marathons and kind of enjoying it? Baby steps. The reason I hated running was that I would go out and run as far and as fast as I could with no respect for warming up, starting small and pacing myself. That meant that during every run I got cramps and piercing side stiches. I wanted throw up and crap myself. I felt like an out of shape loser. Not much fun. Once I learned to slow down and to progress slowly and responsibly, running became not all that miserable. In fact I rather liked it.

3. Expect it to be hard. When people run and it gets uncomfortable, they think it’s wrong. They think no one else feels like they do. Believe me, running is hard for us all. Instead of judging yourself for the fact that you are out of breath and challenged, embrace the suck and push through (you do need to learn, however, how to run the right pace and distances for yourself to avoid over training and injury. Some good tips here).

4.  Be picky. Don’t run in the ugliest part of town past the garbage dump and the pawn shops. Pick a spot that offers scenery that at least slightly inspires you.

5. Distract yourself. For some, the best way to actually get some joy out of running is to forget they are doing it. Distraction is a wonderful tool to escape the reality of the moment, if that is what you are looking for. Find a friend or a dog to run with. Load some good tunes or audio books on your iPod. Drink tequila from your water bottle <not advisable, but you will forget what you are doing.

6. Stick to it. If you have never run before or have not run in a long time, you might be hating life the first time you go out. Don’t despair. Refuse to quit the whole thing because of one miserable run. Keep at it. Keep track of your progress.

7. Make it fun. People take this running thing way too seriously. Realistically, most of us are not going to be sponsored or win money. You don't have to be fast or run far to be a runner. You just have to put one foot in front of the other. Forget all the “rules” and expectations and just go.

8.  Don’t stuff your face. One time, before I ran regularly, I ate a huge portion of beef stroganoff before going for a 2 mile run in the middle of the day. One mile in, I was dry heaving. Stuffing your pie hole before a run will invite vomit and/or the runner’s trots into your life. Eat something mild and moderate, like a banana or a piece of toast before a run, and drink water. Don't overload your stomach and you will likely be more comfortable. Then come home and stuff yourself silly because you burned 4,000 calories.

9. Minimize cramping/side stitches. Tons of people tell me that they would run but they get really bad side stitches or cramps. Typically, this means you might be running too fast for what your body is ready for, and not breathing enough. Slow down the pace, and breathe deeply. Warming up before you run also might help.

10. Be afraid. Go somewhere late at night where there are bears and other creatures. This will make you a natural and very fast runner. You will also be extremely motivated to run and will not care about how tired or uncomfortable you are.

I can’t promise you that any of the above tips will make you fall in love with running. But, they just make running a tiny bit more bearable. Try and see!

 

Any tip you’d like to add for people who hate to run?

Did you used to hate running and now love or at least like it?

SUAR

41 comments:

  1. Buy some really cute running clothes. It always works for me.

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  2. Love this. Here's a tip that a friend gave to me when I started running: There are good run days and bad run days - don't let the bad runs discourage you. She is a marathoner and absolutely right. My personal tip is that you may hate the run but you will always feel better afterwards fordoing it.

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  3. as a very new beginner, who can only run for one minute at a time between walks, I was very motivated the first time I just "tried to jog" during a walk ... I didnt DIE, didnt have a heart attack, and it felt rather good after.. all sweaty and out of breath... take baby steps, do a couch to 5k (I cant even get past day 2 yet but I keep doing it .. getting better every day) Im hooked !!

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  4. Switching from music to a really interesting pod cast is my first go to when I am lacking in motivation…..the heat melts my motivation in AZ!

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  5. I know I love it...but sometimes getting out the door is the hard part for me! I push myself out there, and once I'm out there, it's amazing!

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  6. I love this post, Beth. I can't believe I"m still running after almost 3 years, when I couldn't run for a minute at first. I'm not running marathons, but I AM RUNNING. Yep, the running itself is hard, but I love it nonetheless. Go figure.

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  7. I honestly believe that anyone can be a runner. They are just intimated by others who run faster or farther. So typical.

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  8. How many of us are going to the Olympics and need to train like Shalane Flanagan? Slow down. It makes it SO much more enjoyable and you are more likely to avoid injuries. Just slow down and enjoy the sensations of running.

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Okay, I guess my controversial tip for someone who hates running is to say, "There are one hundred other ways to be fit. You don't NEED to run."

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  11. Great tips and photos! I would add that new runners should go watch a race of any length and notice all the shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities represented. You don't have to have a perfect body or know the secret handshake, and runners are an accepting group.

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    1. Maybe this is what I need to do in order to get myself to start running. It's not that running is physically uncomfortable for me, it is mentally uncomfortable. Getting out there and exposing myself to the "outside" to run.

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    2. I think that's an excellent point and should be added to the list!

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  12. If the sun is shining, once I get going, I love being out on the road running. Most of the time though, the only motivator is that I love how I feel after a run.

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  13. Expect it to be hard, yes!! I actually think if you can start to embrace the whole hey this is hard and I"m doing it anyways you will go more often. At least that worked for me, I was so damn proud of getting out there and doing something that didn't come naturally

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  14. 11. Only go 1 minute. When I don't want to run I tell myself I only have to run for 1 minute and then I can stop or keep going if I want to. I always keep going.

    12. Run in the morning. In the morning, your world is a little bit different than when you get off of work and have been thinking about the workout you have to do all day. When you run first thing, you feel great the rest of your day!

    13. Run with a group. Runners are so supportive and conversation makes for a great distraction.

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  15. Running is great because it gives you bragging rights as well as bitching rights.

    My tip: Hang out with really obnoxious people. When you can't stand them anymore, grab your shoes. I'm very fortunate to work with people I absolutely cannot stand. If I feel unmotivated to go out for my lunch hour run, all I have to do is wait 5 minutes. Someone is bound to say something stupid enough to make me roll my eyes and grab my shoes. Works EVERY day!

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    1. BTW, I have no idea who NotImpressed is. I just selected the Google option. LOL!

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  16. I always say that I don’t love running. I have no burning passion for it. I don’t identify with it. I’m not fast. My form is terrible. My face turns tomato red. I feel all sorts of terrible when I’m doing it. And I’m sure I do serious damage to my lung tissue with all the coughing that occurs (I have asthma). But I run because I know it is good for me. My motivation? A variation of "Shut up and Run!": "Get your ass out there and go!"

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  17. knowing you have inspired someone else to start running is a good motivator, how can you quit then?

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  18. I love running even after sun shine! and It's not hard for me anyway!

    Thanks for the informative post! :)

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  19. I was very athletic growing up. I could run around on the soccer field all day, but when it came to running without a ball, I seriously struggled. I hated running so much that I would walk the mile in P.E. I was in amazing shape, but I was convinced that some people were runners & others, like myself, were not. It wasn't until the beginning of this year (I'm 36) that I finally learned that I was wrong all along. I made friends with a girl who runs, and when people would ask her if I was a runner too, she always answered "yes." I was too embarrassed to admit I couldn't run a mile. What helped me to get over my fear and hatred of running was running on the treadmill. The first time I attempted to run a mile, I didn't even know how the treadmill worked enough to realize my pace. I ended up running a mile and a half, and I felt like I could have gone further. Using the treadmill to control my pace, I learned how to run and I fell in love with it. I realize now that all my earlier attempts at running failed because I was running at a pace that I wasn't capable of maintaining. It wasn't that I was trying to run fast,in fact, I always tried to run slow, but I had no concept of pace. My advice to anyone who thinks that they can't run is to get on a treadmill & set the pace at the slowest pace you can run on. I think you might be surprised at how far you can go.

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  20. As a new runner, it's sometimes hard to ignore the constant parade of people talking about how many gagillion miles they ran today or that they are doing their 29th marathon and it becomes overwhelming, even though they deserve to absolutely boast and be proud of their accomplishments. I kept comparing myself to others, which was the wrong thing to do. I'd see posts about people who did an easy 5k run in 22 minutes and I'd get completely disheartened because my race goal was 33 minutes for that distance, and I missed it by 2 minutes!

    Join a community, read about running, but always remember that the physical act of running is an individual sport and you shouldn't care about what others are doing. Get out there and set your own goals and hit those benchmarks. And if you don't, then reassess and start again. But DON'T quit.

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  21. I LOVE this! I used to hate running... Like.... HATEEEE! But I used a lot of the tips you mentioned here and learned to love it. It's gotten to be such a great release for me. I think it's important to also give yourself rest days or you will wear yourself out and begin to hate it.

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  22. Great tips for people who hate running!

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  23. this is completely totally and AWESOMELY me.

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  24. I finally caved and started training using the Maffetone Method, where you keep your heart rate very low based on your age, etc. It takes 3+ months to build your aerobic base, so it's hard to commit to it when you feel like you could be easily running so much faster!
    I have heard it said before: Most people run their easy runs too hard and their hard runs too easy. After this Maffetone training, I can say that was certainly the case with me.

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  25. There are days I hate running.... and days I love it. But I can definitely say that I am always glad I did it. I am training for my first marathon (in 5 days. Yikes!) and while I thought I would enjoy tapering, I'm really not! I miss my long runs! Not sure how much I'll enjoy the actual marathon, but I can honestly say that I loved the training for the most part. Nothing makes you feel better than accomplishing something hard every week!

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  26. Love this post! Running is so empowering for me. Although, as this post reminded me, I do tend to take it too seriously sometimes. One day I will ditch my gadgets and just... RUN!

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  27. This is totally ME!!! I'm trying to learn to love running now, and I think I'm getting there. I've been "running" for years, but I've always done jog/walk. I just figured I wasn't built for running 3,4,5+ miles without stopping. When I hear running books/blogs talk about an "easy" pace is one that you can hold a conversation with someone, i think "what?? If I'm running non-stop I'm out of breath and just trying to convince myself not to stop"!!! But then I realized ... their fitness is different than mine and I just need to keep doing it until I reach that level of fitness. I think I'm slowly getting there, but don't talk to me while I'm running yet ;)

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  28. My issue is that I seem to have an annual injury when I attempt to sprint. Because my "runner" friends all do sprint and hill training, this turtle who cries between miles 9-13 gets injured and sidelined during the summer months (actually a blessing in Houston, except this year I'm in a boot). Grrrr. I hate running - I hate it so much all I want to do is run now that I can't!

    #14...don't listen to your faster runner buddies if they suggest doing sprints. Enjoy the turtle in you!

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  29. I need to remember some of these. I am in a rut right now.

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  30. If you hate running why would one even consider doing it?
    I have loved running since I was a kid.

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  31. Run a race. If it is 1 mile or 26.2 miles, there is no better feeling in the world than crossing the finish line! That finish line is always motivation!

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  32. totally agree with #10 - be afraid! In May I ran a 3-mile leg of Ragnar Cape Cod that ran through desolate swamp... with no van support... in the pitch dark at 2am... with no one else around. Ax-murderer central. Or at least that's what my brain kept telling me. I have never run so fast in my life.

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