Running is perhaps the original form of exercise. Humans evolved for running, so the movements should feel natural. If it's been awhile since you've run, or if you wish it didn’t feel obligatory, try these tips, and running might become one of your favorite parts of the day!
Embrace the ritual. You want to consider yourself a runner? You gotta run frequently. We’re creatures of habit. Find the best time of day, and try to get out there every day or at least every other day.
New shoes. Running-specific shoes are not very expensive in the realm of athletic equipment. They make a huge difference over old, worn-out shoes that can make your joints ache. Shoes with cushion add pleasure to road runs, and trail shoes with traction boost confidence on mixed terrain.
Running buddy. Connect with someone who has a similar schedule and somewhat similar goals. If you run together at least once a week, you hold each other accountable to those goals. And chatting with a buddy makes the miles tick by.
Running group for workouts. Get a few folks together to do speed intervals, which are way more fun and productive in a group. Intervals are repeats, based on distance or time, in which you run at a hard, but not all-out, effort. Getting together once a week for intervals will help build speed, improve form and is playful fun for runners of all ages.
Running threads. As a sign of respect for your running commitment, invest in some clothes that smell fresh and fit well. Clothes are another carrot to help you get out the door to make running a habit.
Don’t worry about time. Sometimes run without looking at a watch, and, instead, go by feel. If you’re feeling good mid-run, be open to possibly running farther. You are learning to listen to your body and can also enjoy cruising the endorphin high.
Sometimes think about time. Tracking your progress will boost your motivation. Progress can be measured in how quickly you cover a set distance (maybe in the range of a half mile to 2 miles). Wear a watch with a chrono function and measure your time from Point A to Point B. This doesn’t need to be all-out, just a hard effort. Run that same timed course every couple of weeks. You won’t always improve your time, but if you do, you can congratulate yourself.
Run in a pretty place. Treat yourself to running on a trail away from cars. The beautiful surroundings, chance encounters with wildlife, the quiet and the varied terrain will stimulate and refresh you. Expect the miles to take longer. That’s OK!
Sign up for a race. A race is a goal that adds structure and purpose to your training. At the race, the vibe of friendly, communal effort is infectious. You’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of during a race.
Run when you travel. Running is a fantastic way to experience a new place. It helps you stretch travel-weary muscles and is much more fun than the hotel treadmill.