4 Tips To Help You Enjoy Running

Hands up, how many of us have taken up running just to see what that “runner’s high” feels like?  Except, we’re still not entirely sure because we spend the whole time wishing we weren’t, or instead running through our to-do-list in our head!

We know that running is great for us, it can help keep our joints healthy, it improves our muscle strength, supports healthy circulation, and improves and maintains the density and strength of our bones.  Not only that, but during running, certain hormones and chemicals are supposed to be released which help us feel good; this in turn reduces stress, anxiety and potentially depression.

For some of us, we want to run because we know we can reap the rewards, but when we actually get out there, we seem to hate every second.  Here at Instructor Live we’re a huge fan of finding exercise that we enjoy, so if you really can’t get into running, that is totally fine, there are many other options available, but before you throw in the towel, there may be some simple tweaks that can change your running experience for the better.

  • Walk Before You Run!

How many times have we heard this?  It is so true.  Many people take up running and start running.  If you haven’t performed at this level before, it becomes challenging very quickly.  In physical activity we have an adaptation period – it’s where the body adapts to the challenges presented to it, so next time it is stronger and better able to cope with the challenge.  We need to do this in preparation for running.

Start by walking for 20-30 minutes, twice per week.  Then, start introducing running intervals.  You will run for 30 seconds and then walk for 2-3 minutes.  Repeat for 8-10 sets.  The next week, run for 30 seconds and walk for 1-2 minutes, repeat for 10-12 sets.  The week after, run for 1 minute and walk for 1 minute, repeat for 10 sets.  Over time you increase your running time compared to your walking time.  But go at your own pace!

  • Run Slower Than You Think!

Try to run at a conversational pace.  When we start running, we have no idea about pacing, and so we often go hard!  We soon hit a wall and that’s generally where our hatred begins! Start as you mean to go on, see if you can keep the same conversational pace for the duration of your run.

  • Explore!

We often think about runs as a destination – we want to cover a certain distance or run for a set period.  This can be great to monitor progress, for example we know we have shaved 30 seconds off our existing time, but if we want running to become part of our lifestyle, it sometimes helps to think of it as a journey.  Notice where you are running, smell the trees around you, notice where the light hits the ground or buildings.  When we are told not to think of an elephant, the only thing we can think of is the elephant.  If we aren’t thinking about anything other than hitting our 2-mile mark, we can start to get impatient waiting for that 2-mile mark.  If however we are noticing how the leaves are changing, or the mornings are getting a little lighter, before we know it, we’re at that 2-mile mark.

  • Train For A Race!

Whilst we know the benefits of running, it can feel like we are just going through the motions.  Sometimes, having something to work towards can keep us motivated.  The race doesn’t have to be long, but it can be a goal.  On those days when we don’t think we have the time, if we have made a commitment, then we somehow find the time.  Enter with friends or see if anyone local to you is entering the same race.  Having a running buddy can make all the difference.  Park Runs are great for this!

As we mentioned, we advocate finding exercise that you enjoy, so if running isn’t for you, there are many more forms of exercise you can do, including the range of programmes we have on offer, but if you would like to get that runner’s high, try our top tips and let us know if they help.