Running is a highly rewarding habit and one that can help you to see amazing health benefits and fitness gains. It’s one of the best ways to burn fat, will increase your cardiovascular fitness and can even help you to sleep better at night. Many people who get into running will find that once they do, it becomes a highly rewarding hobby and one that they actively look forward to. In fact, it can be quite addictive due to the ‘runner’s high’ that sees the body release numerous ‘feel good hormones’ as soon as you finish a run.
But while this is all true, it often doesn’t start out that way. Rather, most people will find that when they first start running, it’s actually quite the opposite: exhausting, painful, boring and time-consuming. You have to get past that ‘wall’ before you will truly get to experience the benefits of running and be able to make it a regular part of your routine. So read on and let’s take a look at what you need to do to make running a regular part of your routine so that you can actually stick with it.
The first and most important thing to do, is to make sure that you start your new running regime slowly. In other words, don’t try and do too much, too soon as too many people do.
The mistake is in the way that you approach running. A lot of people will approach running as a way to lose weight but they will start this way right from the beginning. In other words, the very first time they go running, they do so with the aim to burn a lot of calories and improve their cardio fitness. Thus their first run is a challenging and tiring affair that involves running for 40 minutes and aiming to complete each mile with an impressive pace.
This is a mistake. Right now, you are not going to be ‘good’ at running and this makes it too soon to start trying to push yourself to run as far and as fast as possible. Instead, your first aim should be to try and improve your ability to run and to get yourself acquainted with it.
So when you first head out running, don’t try and run 5 miles in 40 minutes. Instead, try and just enjoy the run. Keep the pace as light and easy as possible, so that you can actually enjoy looking around, seeing the world go by and learn what running should feel like.
Get the Right Shoes
The right shoes can make an absolute world of difference when it comes to running. That’s because running in the wrong shoes will mean that you have very little padding, or that your feet are being forced into the wrong position. In turn, this will mean that running will appear to take much more of a toll on your feet and legs physically than it normally would and as such, you’ll find yourself much less likely to want to go again for a second round!
Do not underestimate the difference that a good set of running shoes can make! This is an investment that is absolutely worth making if you have any interest at all in running – so be willing to splash out if you want to actually stick with it!
Get a Fitness Tracker/Running Watch
Getting a fitness tracker or running will allow you to monitor your progress, your routes and more. The best running watch will be one that is able to track your route using GPS, monitor your steps via a build in pedometer and also measure your heartrate using an optical sensor or a connected chest strap.
Either way, what this will then mean is that following a run, you’ll be able to look at a lot of data regarding your performance – you’ll be able to see the route you took, your average pace, the number of steps, the calories burned, the overall time, your heartrate at various points, your elevation etc.
This makes a huge difference to your running because it means you can now actually see yourself improving. Rather than just feeling like ‘that run was a little easier than the last one’, you’ll now be able to actually see how your heartrate, your pace and more have improved.
Likewise, if you’re running to burn calories, then you’ll be able to set out with a target and then ensure that you reach that goal and come back having completed a run that will have been enough to help you maintain a caloric deficit (meaning you’ll have burned more calories than you consumed, that day).
What’s more, is that a running watch allows you to measure the distance of a run and to know how far you’ve gone, without having to stick to a set route. This makes the next point on this list that much easier. Meanwhile, check out this list of the best running watches.
Go Somewhere Interesting
Finally, seeing as you’re tracking your GPS, you should take full advantage of that freedom and make sure that you run somewhere interesting! That could mean driving out to a local beauty spot and enjoying some exciting scenery, or it could mean just running somewhere local that you haven’t been before so that you can explore the local area.
If you live in a big city, then try just running outside and seeing where the mood takes you. What you’ll probably find is that there are lots of parks, stores and other amazing things to discover that you never knew were there!
This way, running becomes a chance to explore your local area and to feel truly free – rather than a dull way to waste your time running in a big circle…