How to Enjoy Running (From Someone Who Spent 18 Years Hating it)

During COVID, it was important for me to learn to enjoy physical activity. Here are a few tips and tricks that helped me enjoy running:

1. Listen to yourself 

Running is just as much physical activity as it is a mental activity. When I first started, I kept trying to convince myself to run for longer periods of time and accomplish the goal I set out for that workout. Remember, it’s okay (and perfectly normal) to take breaks, if your body wants you to take a break that’s perfectly normal and okay.

three women on the floor working out Photo by bruce mars from Unsplash

2. Start Small 

When I started running, I did interval training. That’s basically a fancy way of saying that I ran for a short amount of time and recovered before starting again. Say I was listening to a song that lasted three minutes, I’d listen to half of it and take the other half to walk and catch my breaths. I’d reward myself for starting small because it’s important to congratulate yourself for doing it rather than beating yourself up for not doing enough. You’re only just starting so it’s perfectly normal to not be at the same level as someone who's been running for a while. 

3. Fuel Your Body 

No matter what the reason is for why you’re deciding to start running, it’s not going to be able to happen without fuel in your body. This can be a cake or a fruit salad, but it has to be something. The same goes for water, if you don’t have water in your body it’s not going to be as easy for you to achieve your goals. 

Bowl of chia seed pudding topped with fruit Photo by Jannis Brandt from Unsplash

4. Find (or create) a killer playlist 

I personally don’t like running in silence because it makes it easier for me to get sidetracked. To combat this, I listen to upbeat dance remixes that usually last around an hour, but you can listen to anything that will motivate you to get up and keep moving. 

Spotify on iPhone Photo by Fixelgraphy from Unsplash

5. Positive Talk/Actions  

If you tell yourself you can’t do it, then there’s a 0% chance it’s gonna get done. 

Photo by Prateek Katyal from Pexels

6. Have fun! 

Yes, I know it’s tacky, but running can easily not be fun. I know that when I started running I did not have fun because I wasn’t following these five steps. If you follow the other five steps, this last step should come naturally.

Photos: Her Campus Media Library