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Have you decided it’s time to get into running, but you’re not quite sure where to start? Don’t worry - you’ve found the right place! 

Running seems to be a universally hated sport because of how painfully boring it tends to be, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Done properly, running can be one of the most relaxing and entertaining parts of your day. I am no expert myself, but I am more than willing to give others some advice I have learned from my running experience.

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Keep it slow

One of the biggest reasons that people dislike running is because they claim it makes them too tired. If you are tired when you don’t want to be, then you are not running properly!

If you are new to running, the best thing you can do for yourself is to run slow. It is better to run slow than too fast because you can always start running faster. Don’t stress about being ‘too slow’ because there is no such thing! It doesn’t matter if you have to run at a slow jog or a step above walking – if it is a speed that you can maintain for a long distance, that’s all that matters!

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Change it up

In order to improve your running, attempt different training methods. Interval training and hill training are my go-to when I am feeling up for a change of pace. Interval training is the most effective in increasing your endurance and it can also make for a more interesting run. 

Switching it up can also include your running location. People tend to run faster when running outside rather than on the treadmill because of the added stimulation of your constantly changing environment. I prefer to run outside along the Rideau Canal for the view, or in new suburbs to admire the nice houses.

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Don’t stress about the numbers

When you first start off DO NOT worry about your distances or times! Your biggest goal should be going out to run - period. That is an accomplishment in itself!

When you focus too hard on the results, running tends to lose its fun. You may find yourself feeling discouraged when you don’t meet the expectations you set for yourself, but you need to let yourself enjoy running without focusing on the results. Not every run has to end with you drenched in sweat – it’s okay to go for short runs at a slow pace! 

Run with others

If you can’t find the motivation to run by yourself, try to run with your friends! Find people who share similar abilities or someone who is willing to run at your pace.

Although the idea sounds intimidating, it is an extremely effective way to both motivate you to get up and go for a run as well as keeping the activity entertaining. Running alone can get pretty boring, so running with others is a nice change of pace (hehe corny running joke).

Run with purpose

Don’t start your run feeling eager for it to end. You need to change your mindset to have a more positive relationship with running… You certainly won’t be able to enjoy running when you’re dreading it before you even start.

Make sure you are running for the right reasons as well. There is so much more to running than weight loss – running helps improve your general help, ability to sleep, stress, and your overall self-image. I personally feel amazing for the rest of the day after a run, both mentally and physically, and a quick jog is always my solution to a stressful day.

Olivia Onesi

U Ottawa '24

Olivia enjoys binge reading her favourite young adult novels and going for evening runs. She is a third year psychology student at the University of Ottawa and can be found scrolling endlessly on TikTok.
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