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You Asked: How to Stop Hating Running?

You're asking and answering . . .

Dear Fit,
I was wondering if you could give me some advice on my current running situation. During my senior year of college, I was in tip-top shape — exercising seven days a week, five of them running. I loved running. Slowly, over the last two years, I have gained weight though. And now, I really don't enjoy running. I have to drag myself to do it, and it's more of a chore. Is this because I am out of shape? Can you just get bored of it? Help! Any advice on how I can get back into it?
Once a Runner

I am sure this is a familiar situation for many readers, so hopefully it helps to know that you are not alone when it comes to losing your love for running. To see what I have to say about rekindling the fitness fire, just


I too have had an on-again/off-again relationship with running in my life. While running is one of the most convenient forms of exercise, you just slip on your shoes and hit the streets, it is not the end-all be-all of exercise. You can get bored with running and extra weight will make running more difficult and harder on your joints, and therefore less enjoyable. But you can redefine your relationship with running and I have some ideas about how to do that.

  • Cross train. You can get back into shape with a wide variety of exercise. Add biking and swimming into your cardio routine, or for a big change try an exercise class like belly dance or hip-hop. Don't forget to try the empowering experience and high caloric burn of circuit training.
  • Play a game. If running feels boring, you are not alone. Many endurance runners speak of their sport as mostly a mental game. But playing games that have running in them might help you out of your fitness rut. Studies have shown that soccer beats jogging in weight loss and fun.
  • Make it social. Find a running buddy or a running group. I know that if I have the distraction of taking to a friend while running, the time flies by.
  • Find a race. I have found having a race to train for keeps me motivated. Having an end goal helps establish a training routine and keeps me going.

I sure do hope these suggestions help. Just know that if you like what you do for fitness, the chances are much higher that you will exercise. It might be time for you to experiment.


Join The Conversation
joanna33t joanna33t 8 years
similar to what the 2nd poster wrote, i alternate jogging and walking and so far i have been able to steadily increase my running. the more in shape you are, the easier it'll get and you'll enjoy it more. after warming up, i do 1/4 mile walk, 1/4 mile jog, alternating for 5 miles or so. you wont feel like you're jogging 2.5 miles at all. good luck!!
scottdavis0676 scottdavis0676 8 years
Running can be daunting for many people! I played sports my whole life, so I became inured to running early on. However, we did lots of sprints, not so much long distance. Whenever I did run long distances for P.E., I would dang near vomit after each session because I would push myself too hard! I didn't know how to pace myself so that I wouldn't tucker out prematurely. After being subjected to that, the whole idea of running for leisure conjured up images of drudgery and nausea. It was only after I purchased a treadmill and began using it regularly, that I was able to build up my stamina and venture out on to the track. I still prefer to run alone owing to my stertorous breathing and flushed appearance, which is a corollary of each training session. Also, once I had a goal, running became much more palatable. I wanted to achieve six percent body fat, so I emabarked upon an ambitious running plan that would result in my acquiring the body of my dreams. Fortunately, it worked and it made running seem less like a chore. Run with purpose and you'll start to enjoy it more IMO.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 8 years
I seriously needed this post. I have been trying very hard to get back into running because I really do like it. But when you have slacked off as long as I have (and put on a few pounds) it tends to be much easier to look at your shoes and treadmill and just turn the other way. My problem is that there is no other convenient time for me to run except early in the morning. I have two children a FT job and a LOT of daily house chores. SO getting up before the kids seems to be my only option. And lately I've started to HATE getting up early and LOVING sleep more and more...........I'm going to make myself get up tomorrow morning!
Cebca Cebca 8 years
Haha whatever I agree with j2e1n9. running pretty much just sucks. But I know there are you "running people" out there who just can't get enough of it - my college roommate was one. Nothing made her happier than popping out of bed at 7 and running 12 miles up a hill. Insanity.
darkoblivion darkoblivion 8 years
That's a weak argument. A lot of people run because the rest of their lives are so much more sedentary than most all other animals. We have the ultimate luxuries in life that allow us to be extremely lazy. So when someone wants to be in shape and chooses running, it's a fast way to torch many calories. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with walking either. But one shouldn't assume "running is bad or not normal" because dogs don't get out there and do 10k's.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 8 years
Dont stop hating it! Hate it forever. Walk instead. Walking is more normal. Think about it, what other animal besides man just RUNS for extended periods of time for no reason? Animals run to get away from things, or to chase things for short spurts. Running is weird. Dont do it! :P
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 8 years
signing up for a race is definitely a great motivator. especially if it's a fundraiser for a charity!
hyzenthlay20 hyzenthlay20 8 years
My favorite thing to do is listen to books on tape. That helps me because that way I'm not paying so much attention to myself, and more to the story.
0danielle0 0danielle0 8 years
I used to think I hated running, but that was because I was out of shape cardio-wise and had never really done it before. It was tough to adapt to in the beginning, but the more I run the faster I get, so that keeps me really motivated. Try running outdoors versus on a treadmill. That, combined with the obvious weight loss and increased tone, is what keeps me coming back for more! :)
saraEK saraEK 8 years
Thank You for posting this! I've never been a runner. I was a swimmer and a rower, but I have many friends who have recently "converted" to running. thanks for the inspiration.
sandykf sandykf 8 years
I've only been running for a few months, but I've found using it as an excuse to gawk at all the pretty houses around me is pretty motivating. Trying new routes, new neighborhoods, finding little coffee houses and parks hidden away to go back to later - most of the time I barely notice how long I've been running!
cmd0610 cmd0610 8 years
Run with a friend! It's less intimidating than a whole running club. Even better if the friend is a seasoned runner, and runners love to share running-love so even a "better" runner will want to help you out! I started running with a friend who could only do a ~20 slow jog in April and this past Saturday she ran 9-miles with me! I loved helping her through the learning-to-love-running process and it was fun for me even it we ran slower then normal for me.
cali_student cali_student 8 years
I get bored of running in phases too, but when I'm back into it, I reward myself with the music I listen to. When I buy a new album I only let myself listen to it when running. I do the same with a new magazine and using the stationary bike at the gym. It gives me motivation and makes the time go by faster!
lil_bit_edgy lil_bit_edgy 8 years
i'm actually in the same position you are in, i use to run 3 miles in 20 minutes in college. now i can barely run 2 miles and it's a run/walk. but definitely set a goal for yourself and power walk a lot, don't push to hard or you'll injure yourself. i gained a lot of weight since college as well, but i'm hoping that this run/walk routine plus strength training will get me back into shape. hang in there!
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I hated running at first to and what helped me was signing up for a race. It was a fundraiser so it really inspired me to get going and get into it. Signing up for a 5K was the best thing for me!
syako syako 8 years
another idea (and reason why you might be hating it) is to go slowly and remember that you are out of shape. So don't expect your body to be able to run the same distance and speed as it did in high school. Try some run/walk routines. Ease yourself into it and don't push yourself too hard too fast. I used to hate running but once I started doing some run/walk routines and found myself being able to run 1 minute walk 2, and then be able to run 5 minutes and walk 3, it made it really fun and exciting.
wambalus wambalus 8 years
I think it be a combination of both, but I remember having to force myself to run and not really enjoy it until I got in the shape I needed to be - I haven't really gotten sick of it since. Cross-training, like Fit suggests, can help both get you in shape and keep your routine varied. Another thought is to join a running club, maybe the companionship will make the training seem more fun.
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