5 ways new runners can find joy in training
Try these tips to help grow your passion for runningPhoto by: Unsplash/Martins Zemlickis
When you first start running, it can be pretty tough, and because of this, you may feel a desire to quit. There are definitely easier things you could be doing with your free time, but trust us, running can be fun. If you stick to your training, you’ll get over this uncomfortable hump, and eventually you’ll actually enjoy the sport. It may take a few weeks of solid training to get you to this point, but here are five tips to help you out in finding joy in your running.
Ignore everyone else
It’s so easy to compare yourself to others in running. Are you running as far as this person? Are you as quick as that runner? We know it can be hard to stop yourself from making these comparisons, but if you can, you’ll have way more fun. Just focus on yourself and watch your own progress.
The only way you won’t get faster in the early stages of your running career is if you stop running altogether. Since you’re so new to the sport, you’re going to see massive gains quickly, which is extremely motivating. However, if you quit because it’s too tough or tiring, you won’t get the chance to see your improvement, nor will you reap the rewards of your hard work. (Hint: it’s OK to run at an easy pace; in fact, it’s important to keep your easy runs easy. Your pace should be slow enough that you can carry on a conversation while running.)
Set a goal
A great way to make running fun is to have a goal. Shoot for a certain time in training or in a race, or maybe sign up for an event that you really want to finish. Whatever your goal, make sure it’s achievable, without being too easy. That way, you can chase it knowing you have a shot, and enjoying the competition with yourself.
Don’t run in the morning (if you don’t want to)
One of the least enjoyable parts of being a runner (for some people) is morning runs. If you hate getting up early, don’t do it in training. Sure, every now and then you might be forced to get up early for a run, but if you can avoid it and schedule your runs for later in the day, do it. This will make your runs more enjoyable, and you’ll be less likely to bail on training. (If you like morning runs, however, by all means run at dawn.)
Try all types of running
Run everywhere and anywhere. Hit the road, run on the trails, go for a speed session on the track. You’ll enjoy the change of scenery, and you’ll have fun testing yourself on different surfaces.