Running is a hard sport, and lots of people hate it. If you’re a new runner, you might be struggling to find enjoyment in training. Don’t worry, we’ve all been where you are right now, wondering if running is the sport for us or if we should pick something that hurts a little less. We promise that if you keep doing what you’re doing and continue your training, you’ll fall in love with running soon enough. To help speed that process along, here are six ways you can go from tolerating running to liking (and eventually loving) it.
Run when you want
Lots of people force themselves to get up early and run before work, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Running is supposed to be fun, and if you’re not a morning person, then waking up at the crack of dawn won’t be appealing to you. If you’re able to fit your run in at other points in the day, ditch the morning run and add lunch or evening training sessions to your schedule. You’ll come to hate running if it’s the reason you’re up so early every day, so avoid those morning starts altogether. (Of course, if you like morning runs, keep doing what you’re doing.)
Whether you want to hit a certain time, run a race or be able to keep up with a runner friend, having a goal in running might help you enjoy it more. Running toward something will make you want to train, and after you achieve that first goal, you’ll be hooked and eager to chase down the next one.
Mix things up
If you always run on the road, hit the trails or search for new routes on different streets around your town or city. Running the same route over and over again can get super boring, but if you mix things up, that boredom will be less.
Stick with it
Running is hard at first, but if you stick with it long enough, it will eventually get easier, and you might find yourself having fun. If you want to quit running, stop for a moment and consider all of the runners out there who truly love the sport. They wouldn’t be doing it every day if it didn’t get easier or more fun, so trust that you’ll eventually find that same level of enjoyment and stick with the sport.
Focus on yourself
If you compare yourself to others, you could end up frustrated and disappointed when you can’t run as fast or as far as they can. Focusing solely on yourself and how you’re progressing is a much better way to train. You can only control your own effort and speed, so don’t worry about anyone else on the road, in training or at races.
Believe in your training
While you’re focusing on yourself, you might wish that your progress could come along a bit faster. As long as you’re training regularly and putting in the work, the gains will come, so don’t stress too much.