At college, I used to HATE running. I could only run for about 2 minutes before I had to stop and walk. I was such a beginner. I realize now that this is totally normal! All beginner runners start like this. Now I really do enjoy running (most of the time). I still need to push myself to get out of the door occasionally. But I know that after my run, I will be feeling amazing and it always encourages me to go out and do it.
I wasn’t always like this, so I just wanted to share some tips with you on how to learn to love running, and how you can get from a beginner who hates running, to someone who enjoys it!
1. Don’t Run Too Fast
This was my mistake at the start. I was running so fast that I could only keep it up for a really short time before I had to stop. Slow your pace down to a jog and you will be able to hold it for longer. If you need to stop and walk, that’s totally fine! Walk for a minute or two and then jog again, then keep repeating.
2. Run With A Friend
I don’t really like running with anyone else to be honest. I prefer just running to music and going at my own pace. But it can have its benefits.
When I was a beginner, I used to run with my sister. She was better than me and I always used to slow her down so I would tell her to just run ahead and leave me behind, and she did. But I always pushed myself a little bit harder to try and keep up with her and not let her get too far ahead.
Now I usually run with my fiancé who is a much better runner than me and I’m still the same – I try to keep up with him as best as I can, and I always run much harder when I’m running with him.
3. Accept That You Are A Beginner
Don’t try to go for a 10km run or an hour run. Just 15 minutes is enough to get your heart rate up and get the benefits. Walk for 5 minutes, jog / walk for 15 minutes, then walk for 5 minutes. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but that is a great start! Don’t get discouraged. Everyone started like this too :)
4. Track Your Progress
It’s great to know how far you run and how fast you are running, so that you can slowly improve. If you’re running on a treadmill, these things are easy to track. But if you are running outside, you can track your distance using a free app such as RunKeeper. Or you could just time your runs, and try to improve your time each time you go for a run. Just remember that small improvements are great, and increasing your time by just 1 minute each time, is a great achievement!
5. Listen To Music
This ALWAYS helps distract me from how out of breath I am and how unfit I feel! It makes the time go quicker and when the music is upbeat, I think it actually helps me run a bit faster. Running can sometimes be boring, but if you run outside with some music, it can be it a bit more fun :)
Just remember that it’s going to take time to increase your cardiovascular fitness and become a good runner. Don’t worry if you’re still feeling like a beginner after a month or two. Keep up with your running 2-3 times per week, try to improve each week, and you’ll be a good runner in no time! Good luck xx