Running, while an easy exercise to pick up, isn't for everyone; one person's meditative mile is another's boredom-inducing march. But if you're an erstwhile enthusiastic new runner who can't quite seem to get into the sport, make sure you read these tips before you write off your new hobby for good.
- Don't go overboard: You may be ready to pound the pavement with the best of them (at least in your mind), but enthusiasm and skill don't always match up — which can lead to discouragement and injuries that can set you back. Don't push yourself too far or fast when you first start running; just focus on learning the right form and how to breathe while you run rather than your pace when you first start. Once you're comfortable with how running feels, try following a plan designed to make you a faster, better runner, like this beginner's 5K training plan.
- Go at the right time: When you run when you have the most energy, you'll be more likely to actually like your new hobby. Try out different times to run to see when you feel your best. You may find that running those three miles in the morning is a breeze compared to mustering up enough energy to hit the treadmill after work.
- Fuel right: You need energy for your run, but slipping on your sneakers right after a big meal is a recipe for disaster. Stop the stomach aches by planning out your meals with your running times. You should wait at least two to three hours after a main meal before you go for a run. If it's been longer, have a small, easily digestible pre-workout snack at least 30 minutes before you go.
- Warm up: Every runner has been there — the feeling of lead-filled legs that just make running that much more of a chore. While there are many reasons why you can be feeling low energy before a run, one sure way to start off on the wrong foot is to not ease into your run. Take a few minutes to jog slowly to warm up your body before you ramp up your speed.
- Entertain yourself: While running itself can be an endorphin-boosting, stress-relieving hobby, let's face it — it's incredibly repetitive. If you're bored out of your mind running, switch up your route, get off the treadmill and on the trail, and make sure you load up your phone with enough adrenaline-inducing workout playlists to take you through your workouts.