I’m going to be honest with you. I hate running. I hate running so much that I won’t even run for a bus, even if I know it means waiting around forever for the next one. I am pretty sure there are a few of you in the same boat as me… Do I hear a resounding groan of “but it’s so booooring?!”. Thought so.
However, there are a tonne of good things that come from running (besides making your bus). Running helps to burn calories, improve cardiovascular health and then there are those wonderful post-run endorphins which make you feel like you can do pretty much anything. It’s also a great way to catch up on your podcasts and help with your overall stress levels... Plus it gives you an excuse to buy even more activewear. So, I guess when you look at it that way, the whole running thing is actually pretty great.
To help us jump onto the running bandwagon… Or run confidently alongside said bandwagon, we picked up five tips from Ben Lucas, the founder of Flow Athletic to help us start, continue and actually enjoy running. So if you’ve ever thought about running but mentally talked yourself out of it every damn time, here are five ways to make it more enjoyable. Hey, you might even learn to love it.
#1 Set a goal
First of all, if you are not someone who particularly enjoys running, then start by signing yourself up to an event. If you are just starting out, aim to sign up to a 5-10km, if you are a little more confident try a half marathon or a marathon.
Training for this event does not mean that you have to run 10km every day (thank goodness). Split your week up into different sessions that will make you stronger and faster. Try something like this:
- Monday: Sprint training—Set yourself up with a 40 minute session that works on speed play. For example, sprint 300 metres, then walk back to the start to recover. Sprint 400m, walk back. Sprint 500m, walk back and start over.
- Tuesday: Hill sprints—Find a hill that will take you one minute to sprint to the top. Do five sprints up the hill, using the walk back to recover.
- Wednesday: Do a gym session focusing on strengthening your legs and your core (core strength is important for maintaining posture throughout your run). Exercises may include lunges, high knees, squats, planks and mountain climbers.
- Thursday: Run 3-5km trying to stick to a km time that you are comfortable with. Use an app such as Run Keeper to help you determine how fast your kms are.
- Friday: Do some yoga or swimming to balance out your muscles.
- Saturday: Alternate sprint training and hill sprints.
- Sunday: Complete an easy but longer run. Run for 50 minutes the first week and add on 5-10 minutes to your run every Sunday.
#2 Start fresh
Forget that time in PE when you had to do the beep test *shudder*. It’s time to start with a clean slate—just because running wasn’t right for you as a kid doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it now.
And remember, running isn’t about being the fastest. Take it slow and enjoy being outdoors. Try to find a new location to run in or run with a friend. There are so many places that running can take you (literally), plus it is free. Win!
#3 Rope in a mate
When you are starting out it’s good to be held accountable which is why you should convince a friend to join you. It’s a way healthier way to catch up compared to an undisclosed number of rosés on a Friday night.
Get your friend to sign up to the same running event as you and then make dates to train together. This should encourage you to show up to training because you don’t want to be the one responsible for letting down the team come race day!
#4 Me time
Running is an awesome outlet and a great way to get some ‘me’ time, particularly if work is stressful and you need some time out from the other occupants at home.
Enjoy listening to your playlist, a podcast, an audio book or simply enjoy your own company.
#5 Measure your success
There are so many trackers that allow you to measure your success when you are running. Run Keeper tells you how fast your kms are and keeps you at the right pace. It also does not interrupt you too much so you can still zone out and enjoy your music.
Like running but prefer walking? Check out Auckland's Best Weekend Walks and Hikes.
Image credit: Lumina