A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing my “searches” to see how people got here and someone got here by typing in “How To Like Running.”
It’s sort of ironic because I’m pretty sure I never in my life posted about “How to Like Running” since, you know, I have trouble liking running myself.
In fact, only recently have I really actually begun to enjoy running.
Don’t get me wrong though. It still hurts. But only now have I come to a place where I feel (mostly) good during running as opposed to feeling good when I’m done running. And the longer I run, the better I feel! (Go figure on that one!)
I’ve gotten faster and seeing your work pay off feels really good and also makes you want to run some more (go figure!)
And oh, look!!! It is actually National Running Day today (surprise!) So I figured I’d share how I got to this happy place I now feel about running by posting my tips on “How to Like Running!” So here you go:
How to Like Running, by Christie O.
1. Run with friends. Save up all your good stories and gossip (I know, you don’t gossip, no one does, but you know.) problems needing advice, etc for a nice long run with a friend so you have LOTS to talk about. Maybe you’ll even run into one of these on a trail and have something to talk about forever more when referring to past running experiences.
2. Runs are more fun with beer involved. And by that I mean some beer AFTER RUNNING. Remember: not running WHILE drinking. Not running AFTER drinking. Drinking AFTER RUNNING. (That part is key.) So try a Run for Brews which is a group run that starts out at a taphouse or sign up for an organized run like in my area we have a Taphouse 5k that starts at the taphouse and ends with free beer. Those are lots of fun. Just remember that you may have very likely driven to the location of the run so make sure you can drive home. Mkay?
3. Look hot while running. Go ahead, wear lipgloss. Knee highs! A ROCKING HEADBAND! (Updated to acknowledge my male running friends out there!) I fully support anything that builds my confidence before a run, whether it’s a cute running outfit, lipgloss, an awesome drifit shirt that says “Motivate Dominate” on it like my husband says, whatever. The better I feel the better I run, the end.
4. Flounce! Everything’s funner while flouncing. If you’re wondering what flouncing is, picture how your body would be behaving if you were running in a tutu. You’d be flouncing. Flouncing is fun. I love to flounce. If you’re a man, you might be against flouncing. That’s ok. You can move onto the next one.
5. Sharpie Up. This one’s more useful (read: socially acceptable) in a race situation, but hey, whatever works, right? Put motivating words on your arms that will swing by when your running arms are pumping, draw some happy faces on there, symbols whatever. Go crazy. It’ll come off someday so go ahead. Mark yourself up.
6. Talk someone who’s never run before into training for a run so you can selfishly have a running partner. At first they might hate you. They will think you’re crazy. But you will all feel so good when you’re done and accomplished (and having a toast at the end.) And you may just have fueled a new addiction for someone. You “do gooder” you.
7. Holidays off???? NAH!!! Run on holidays! Put on your bunny ears on Easter, do a Mother’s Day 5k, do a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, dress up and run on Halloween, do a memorial run on 9/11, races are fun but they’re so much funner on holidays. And running for a reason other than just to run is an added bonus.
8. Geek out. I know running’s supposed to be the cheapest sport but really it’s fun to have a Garmin watch to track your pace and your distance or a heart rate monitor to show you how hard you’re working or a Nike foot pod thingy or great music or podcasts on your I Pod. Yes sometimes I look like I’m hooked up to an EKG when I leave the house with so many wires, but I like having all my information at my fingertips.
9. UNGeek out. On the flipside, some of my greatest runs have been on the days I forgot all my techy gear. At first I am bummed. But then when it’s finished I was glad to have not been hooked up. And come to think of it, that’s when I think I actually started to enjoy running for the clarity it gave my mind and the natural rhythm my body would make and the natural beat that would drum in my head. Holy moly I think I’m thinking fondly about running right now! I must actually like it!
10. Run in really cool places. Yes, there are sidewalks right outside your door probably and you don’t have time to drive to run. But so what. Go find yourself the places a tourist would want to run in your area. Go find the really pretty trails or the paths along the water. Mix it up!
11. Plan a vacation around a run. Or plan a run around your vacation. Do you have friends who live in California who run or don’t run or maybe could be coerced into running? Find a run in California and make them do it with you. Or perhaps, just make them take you to the Golden Gate Bridge to run when you visit California. When I went up to New York, I made my friend meet me at 5 a.m. at the Brooklyn Bridge because I’ve always wanted to run it (let me tell you — it was incredible!)
My husband and I ran the Vegas Strip during our trip out for a birthday party (still needed to get in our long run!) last summer. We followed our long run with some blackjack. That’s the way to do it!
12. If you hate running (or ESPECIALLY if you hate running) KEEP RUNNING! I beg this of you. Because when I ran my first 5k, it was about 40 minutes of hell. Over the years I revisited running and eventually kept at it. I watched my body evolve from all jiggly on the treadmill to keeping a pace for 30 minutes. I am not a natural born runner, but now I at least love to do it. It took years. Sure I had to add biking and swimming in there for peace of mind, but the point is, I got better and now I do actually like it. So in conclusion, it is possible for anyone to eventually grow to like something they hate. Ha! I’m proof.
Now (ironically) I’m off to go run some intervals!
Are you going to run today? You should! Because it’s National Run Day!
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