HOW TO GET INTO RUNNING IF YOU HATE IT - by Stride & Glory 🏆
A help guide for beginners who've tried to get into running, but still can't find the enthusiasm for it.
Carl Wakeford - Nov 2022
HOW TO GET INTO RUNNING IF YOU HATE IT
It's hard to get into running if you hate it or you've had a bad experience in the past. I used to hate running too, and was never able to stick with a running program. I've been there!
That's why I'm excited to share the simple tips and tricks in this article which have allowed me to enjoy, and dare I say it, fall in love with running! (mad, I know right...)
A quick intro to who 'I' am... My name is Carl (hey!), and I'm the founder of Stride & Glory which offers running coaching to beginners wanting to prove that they can achieve amazing things like finishing a half or full marathon!
So, without further ado, let's get stuck in.
Find a training program that works for you.
One of the leading causes I see in beginners which results in their frustration with running is not having a training program in place.
Let me ask you this - do you vary your runs at all, or do you just go out and run?
Yeah, I thought so... On the whole you just go out and run right?
Well, that's where you're going wrong. If you just go out and run, there's no objective to it. It also makes it harder to gauge what a good outcome should be. You'll be tempted to run as fast as possible, and then naturally feel disappointed when you realise that running fast is hard!
It's just like going to the gym without a plan. You flip from one machine to another without any real direction, you get bored, and then feel like your workout wasn't any good, wondering why you even went in the first place.
The first thing you need to do is implement structure with a decent plan. Here are some sessions you can try mixing up your training with as a start:
1. Interval training - break down a typical distance like a 5k into segments of 500m. Run fast in each 500m segment, and then rest in between. Over time, try to run faster in the segments, make the segments longer (i.e. progress to 600m), and reduce the rest in between segments.
2. Tempo runs - If you have a specific goal, like running 10k in under 60 minutes, tempo runs are designed for you to practice running at that pace, i.e. 6 mins/km.
3. Easy runs - exactly what it says on the tin! Keep it nice and light, jog or walk if you need to. The goal here is to simply get the miles in, speed is irrelevant.
4. Long runs - nice and slow enjoyable long runs. Again, speed doesn't matter here, it's simply about distance. So, choose a fun route and just go exploring. No pressure whatsoever!
5. Strong finish runs (also called negative splits runs) - These are when you start nice and slow and speed up as you start to feel warmed up.
Stride & Glory coaching programs incorporate all of these training sessions into a fun and varied structure that's personalised to you. We'd love to help you with your training, and maybe even fall in love with running as much as we have! *gasp*
Don't be afraid to walk!
Walking is the best way to increase the distance. Seriously, don't be ashamed of walking! We LOVE walking!
If you haven't run a certain distance before, don't place an unrealistic expectation upon yourself to be able to run it first time. Just walk it and then try to walk less next time.
Sometimes due to stress, low motivation, and other factors life throws in the works, we just feel like walking. So, don't beat yourself up over it!
Mix it up.
You can also try changing up your running routes and focusing on different types of workouts. There are endless possibilities for how to mix things up, but here are some ideas to get you started:
● Try running in a different location—on a trail or around a lake / by the seaside, for example.
● Instead of doing the same warm-up routine every time you run, find new ways to stretch before each run.
● Add in strength training sessions to your week like compound training, circuit style training, or bodyweight exercises. These fortify muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues which helps to prevent injuries.
You can also mix it up with new running shoes and clothes, treat yourself! You deserve it! There's nothing better than buying exciting new kit to keep the ol' motivation fires burning!
Stop comparing yourself to others.
If you're a beginner, this is easy to do, especially if you use Strava. It's easy to think everyone is judging you for how slow you are, or how far you're running. But this couldn't be further from the truth.
Don't compare yourself, it's a waste of time. Nobody is looking at what you're doing, trust me. They're all too concerned with their own abilities to even notice how fast, slow, far, or near you're running. If anything, the running community is so unbelievably supportive, everyone is just happy to see you getting after it.
As a running coach, I love seeing people out and about for a run. Even if it's a granny going at snail speed, I'm like 'YES YOU GO GURL!!'.
Don't worry about how fast or far someone else is running; just focus on improving your own time and distance.
Get the right gear.
Get the right gear. If you're worried about safety, wear a headlamp or reflective gear so cars can see you. Also, wear brightly coloured clothing in all seasons, and invest in a good running watch or fitness tracker if you want to track your progress.
Stay safe and get the right running shoes.
Get the right shoes. Running shoes should be fitted by an expert who knows how to measure your feet accurately (this is different from just walking into a store and trying on every pair of shoes). A solid pair of running shoes make all the difference. They're literally the bridge between you and the road, invest wisely.
The best way to know if your running shoes are worn out is by paying attention to how they feel: if they don't seem supportive or comfortable anymore, then it's time to get new ones! It's important not to wait until they feel completely broken down before making this switch—you'll want something that will provide stability and protection while still being reasonably lightweight so that your feet don't get tired during runs.
Get outside or find a gym buddy if you run indoors.
If you're not a fan of running outdoors, find a friend who can run with you, or join a run club. If that's not an option, try using an app like Strava and look for groups of people who live nearby and have similar goals as yours.
If there are no groups in your area, reach out to local running stores or and see if anyone is interested in forming a group together! Even if you don't have access to any of these things, it's worth trying them out just to see if they make the experience better (or at least tolerable).
The worst case scenario is that nothing changes—you'll still be stuck with hating running. But the best-case scenario could be having someone else there with whom to share their stories and motivate each other through tough workouts!
Running is hard but it doesn't have to be torture!
It's not for everyone. If you hate it, you're not alone! There are many ways to get into running, but if you've tried some of the more common approaches and still don't like it, then perhaps you should try another sport.
I recommend implementing everything you've read today before giving up. Investing in a coach could be a great option if you think you just need a bit of help to really unlock your true running potential.
If you're trying to lose weight though, I would advise you do something you enjoy. The key with losing weight is lifestyle change, and to do that successfully, you have to enjoy the change to stick at it long term.
Running isn’t for everyone, but it's not a surprise why it's the most popular and fastest growing sport on the planet. If you feel like giving it a try there are plenty of ways to make it more enjoyable. The most important thing is finding what works for YOU! If you hate running because it feels too hard or boring, don't worry—we're here to help!
book a call to chat about your goals
If you resonate with this article, and you'd like a coach to help you take your fitness and wellbeing to new heights alongside your professional career, please book a free no obligations call.