Running is a pretty divisive pastime — some people love it, some hate it. For most of my life, I was definitely in the second category. The occasional times I’d lace up my shoes and try to go out for a jog, I would end up exhausted, slightly nauseous, and overall feeling miserable. In the past month, though, I’ve tried out running once again and found myself actually enjoying it! Here’s why I think my mindset has changed, and how you can maybe come to love running as well.
One of the most important factors in running, or exercise in general, is your motivation for doing it. Whenever I’d tried out running previously, it had always been motivated by trying to lose weight or feeling jealous of my friends who were already fit. Neither of these are positive reasons for going running and definitely won’t help you feel good about working out. Now, however, my motivation has mainly been to improve my overall health and just to get outside! I’m less focused on aesthetics or how long I run, but instead on my overall fitness and how running helps my physical and mental health.
Another way I’ve improved my running experience is by becoming knowledgeable in how to run safely and effectively. If you’re just starting out running, it’s not a good idea to go five miles straight. Instead, by starting with shorter runs and alternating running with a few breaks, you’re less likely to injure yourself and will help you slowly add distance. By only going 2 miles first, then slowly increasing to 3, I was able to enjoy my runs without getting completely exhausted.
Lastly, is just to make running work for you! Before, I would often compare my progress or speed to other people and would get easily discouraged from exercising. This mindset will always hinder your enjoyment of running, so it’s vital that you try to only focus on yourself and your experience running. Even if it’s just a 10-minute jog around the block, any form of running will help improve your fitness and health overall.