Friday, January 15, 2016

How to: Actually Enjoy Running | Fit Friday

I always hated running while growing up; I was a swimmer and a dancer, so running was never an activity that I had to do outside of P.E. during school. I dreaded the mile runs that we would have to do throughout the year, and I knew I would end up having an asthma attack at the end. That was part of the reason why I never ran, because I had asthma pretty badly while growing up. As I've gotten older, my asthma has gotten a lot better, and I only have to use my inhaler when I'm sick, or run outside.
When I got to college, I decided I would start running, because I no longer had my swim team to keep me in shape. To preface this, I also had this irrational fear of treadmills, because I was convinced I would end up falling off tragically. I haven't yet (knock on wood!), so all is well with that. I ended up starting to love running, and I was shocked. Running used to be the absolute bane of my existence, but now I look forward to my morning runs. I know there are a lot of people out there who hate running as well, but I really wanted to write this post on how I started to love it! So, here is my guide to how to enjoy running.

Start out slow
I think one of the biggest reasons why I hated running when I was younger was trying too much in too little time. I would throw myself into it full force, and not give myself a break. I like to really push myself when it comes to physical activity and working out, and it frustrated me so much when I couldn't run for miles on end, or very quickly at all. When I started to run last year, I did a lot of HIIT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training) for beginning runners. Those helped a lot, because I was able to push myself for a couple of minutes, and then take a much needed rest. This really helped to build up my endurance, and I was still able to get a good workout in. I still do HIIT's on the treadmill to this day!

Don't go into it with a negative mindset
This goes for everything in life, but if you are already dreading a run, you are going to be miserable the whole time. You will be counting down the minutes to being done, and you will hate every second of it. It really helps to keep an open mind about it, so you will actually enjoy the run. Running can be very therapeutic, and it provides you with a lot of time to think about anything in your life. It also releases endorphin's, so you will be happy afterwards! If you are absolutely unable to not dread the run, just think of how good you will feel afterwards! Which leads me into my next point...

Think of how great you will feel
I always feel so great after workouts, so the initial getting out of bed part is a little bit easier when I realize I will feel better afterwards. Running, and exercise in general, is a huge stress reliever. This is so important in college, because stress and worrying can quickly consume your life. For me, I feel so de-stressed after a workout, and I am ready to take on anything. That's why I like working out in the morning; I start out the day happy from the workout, and with so much more fresh energy to tackle classes, work, tests, papers, homework...the list goes on and on.

Take it day by day
When trying to get better at something, it can be very easy to get frustrated for not improving over night. I am guilty of this, because I like to improve quickly, and it drives me insane when I can't get something down. Gaining endurance for running takes time, and actually enjoying it does as well, especially if you don't particularly like it. You can't just give up after a week and you still don't feel like it comes easily, or that you still hate it. Trust me, it's going to take you a while to love running, but it's really worth it!

Make sure you have good running shoes
Being physically comfortable while running is very important. If you don't have good running shoes, your feet will definitely tell you the next day. It's super important to make sure that your feet are well-supported, because it can cause a lot of issues later down the road. I have a couple pairs of Nike Free's for running, and I really love them. Some people don't like Nike's, and that's totally fine because there are a ton of different brands out there! Some of my friends swear by Brooks running shoes, so I would just look around and find your favorite pair! Try and get your foot fitted by the store, since sizes vary a lot.

Go on runs with friends
If you have friends who are trying to get into running as well, go on a run with them! This can be intimidating at first because you might be scared you can't keep up with them, but just explain to them that you are a beginner and may need to go slow or stop often. I'm sure they will be totally fine with that, and it can be really fun to exercise with friends. This will help you enjoy running more, because you will be able to be social while doing it, and you can grab breakfast/lunch/dinner together afterwards!

Put together a great soundtrack
I love blasting fun, upbeat music while I'm running, because it really helps to pump me up! There are tons of workout playlists out there, so you can listen to one of those, or make your own! I like to just listen to my iTunes library, because I have a lot of upbeat songs on there, and my personal favorite bands to listen to while running are Bastille, Imagine Dragons, or basically any popular pop songs. 

Alternatively, if you are running on the treadmill, you could watch Netflix or Hulu
I love to do this, because I don't have a lot of time to stay caught up on my favorite TV shows, being a busy college student. This way, I can watch TV and run at the same time, so it's really a win-win situation.

Do you like running?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful weekend! :) 


  1. I think I miss out on the "get a pair of good running shoes" part all the time, haha. I do enjoy running but the fact that I don't run with proper shoes perhaps slightly hinders my experience? Lovely post, Kendra, thank you for sharing!

    May x | THEMAYDEN.COM | bloglovin'

    1. Haha, yeah that could be it! Getting a reliable pair of running shoes seriously saved my feet. And thank you for reading! :)

  2. I'm a runner and I remember when I was training for a 5k, I dreaded every single day that I had to train. It was exhausting and physically very demanding but by the end of everyday and every week, I felt great. Now I run a 5k with ease and I love it. I hate it too sometimes because it does feel hard but that's normal. Running has definitely become a part of my lifestyle.
    Great post.
    Zoha xx - Zoe and Tima

  3. Thanks for the article! I just starting running again after years of not doing it. I was in the the military, so I was forced to run, and I hated it. It's hard to find my 'niche', but I'm really starting to enjoy it more than I dread it after a month. When I run this 5k this summer, I might actually be in love with running.

    1. That's awesome! I really hope it continues to go well for you, and good luck with your 5k! :)