Sure, running is good for you – but if you’re having a hard time getting motivated to do it, you’re not alone. Try switching up your approach with these four running tips to help you kick the dread and start enjoying your exercise.
One Step at a Time
If you’re harboring any negative thoughts about running, readjusting your goals can greatly improve that mental association. Our bodies need time to acclimate to exercise routines and to eventually ramp up and progress in our fitness. Running too far, or pushing yourself to go too fast, can lead to injury. It can also discourage you from getting out the next time, if you experience extra soreness, or if you have an especially grueling run and start to build up negative mental associations. All in all, going too hot out of the gates can actually set you back when you’re trying to build endurance. Instead of pushing as hard and fast as you can, channel your energy for running into a measured plan that builds up miles slowly, over time. You’ll see much better long-term results, and you’ll certainly enjoy it more.
Give Yourself a Break
New to this running thing? Getting back into it after an injury? Interval training will be your best friend. You’ll help your body to build endurance while keeping your heart rate under control. In general, interval training involves building rest periods into your workout. For example, a 30-minute running session could look like jogging for four minutes, walking for one, and repeating that progression six times. The concept is easy to scale down or scale up, depending on your fitness level. Taking those breaks in between the hard work will help to keep you from overheating in the warm summer months, too.
Make It Social
If you think of running as a solitary activity, try shifting that perspective. Running doesn’t have to be lonely drudgery. If your runs are actually social gatherings, you’ll look forward to them more, and that means you’re far more likely to stick to your running habit. Try finding a friend at a similar fitness level who wants to make running meetups a regular part of their weekly schedule. If you can’t get together in person, you might try one of the many running apps out there to share your progress with friends and family all over the world. Take a look at Nike Run Club, Strava, and Map My Run, and pick your favorite. Apps make it easy to host challenges and to track your progress over time, giving you extra motivation to keep moving.
See Something New
One of the best things about running is the chance to spend time outdoors. Get out and stretch your legs while enjoying your neighborhood or seeing a new part of town. From Olympus Hillwood, you’re less than 4 miles from the Cason Trailhead, where you can access the Murfreesboro Greenway System and cruise along the West Fork Stones River, soaking up Murfreesboro’s beautiful nature.
Now it’s time to get moving! For more health and fitness tips, make sure to check out the Olympus Hillwood blog.