When do you start to enjoy running?
Just how long exactly does it take until you start to enjoy running? We discuss.
Many of us decide to take up running for many different reasons: maybe you’re looking to shed a few extra pounds, plan on entering a race, want to become fitter, or perhaps you just want an excuse to wear those short shorts.
Whatever your reason, many of us encounter the same problem. You just hate running. However, it’s important to note that this won’t last forever, chances are you’ll learn to enjoy or at hate running that little bit less?
This article will discuss further benefits of running alongside some basic guidelines as to when you will begin enjoying the fantastic sport.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of the town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County.” – Forrest Gump
You may start to enjoy running once you see progress…
A lot of people start to enjoy running once they begin to see progress. Progress is measured differently for everyone, whether this is weight loss, miles ran, or time on their feet to name a few.
You should typically begin to see progress within a couple of weeks of consistent running, regardless of your measurement. Once we achieve a goal or make progress, this often motivates us to continue, thus allowing us to enjoy running that little bit more.
This leads us on to our next point: goal setting.
One key way to measuring progress is by setting and working towards goals. When setting goals we recommend following the SMART acronym. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time.
Following these guidelines when setting goals will increase the likelihood of you actually achieving them. Therefore, increasing motivation and your enjoyment for running (at least we hope so…).
Once you learn how to pace yourself
Not going off to fast, and learning to pace yourself is a great step to enjoying running. Not only will you not be short on breathe and red in the face, but you’ll also be able to run further while actually enjoy it.
Secondly, learning to pace yourself is actually really easy. Simply find a pace and settle into a rhythm which is comfortable but not an all-out sprint. The more you run, the easier it is to know your limits and pace yourself.
If you’re finding it difficult to pace yourself, we recommend either investing in a cheap running watch to start off or alternatively using Strava paired with your mobile phone.
Once you get better at it
Naturally, once you get better at running, you should begin to enjoy it more. This relates to seeing progress and learning how to pace yourself. Once you’re able to run much further, you’re able to explore new and scenic routes. Mixing up the terrain is an easy way to enjoy running that little bit more. We recommend hitting the trails, running on the beach, or even on the fells or trails if you can handle it!
Likewise, you can revisit old routes and compare your times. Not only is this super satisfying (granted you are faster), it’s once again a way to keep running fun and varied.
You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.” – Steve Prefontaine
Why not try a couch to 5k?
As previously discusses, setting goals is essential to seeing progress. A popular running plan to follow is the couch to 5k. Couch to 5k is a beginner running program which includes three runs per week for a total of 9 weeks, with the schedule changing each week. By the end of the 9 weeks, runners are encouraged to take part in a 5k race or parkrun which they have been building up to during their training.
The couch to 5k training program is particularly useful for beginner runners to enjoy running due to the structure of the program. With something to follow, and a mutual goal to aim for (to run a 5k), this allows runners to stay motivated and keep track of their progress. As we know, progress is essential to enjoy running.
Most runners will begin to enjoy running once they see progress first hand. Following a structured training plan such as the coach to 5k is an easy way to work towards a goal and stay motivated.
It’s important to remain patient, what is currently difficult now will not be quite so difficult in the following weeks. Subsequently, the more you run and the better you get the more you will start to enjoy running.
Matthew is an avid runner, freelance writer, Durham University graduate, and the founder of Running101.