I know I’m not the first, nor the only person to say this, but I hate running with a burning passion. The only running I can do is from my bed into my car after waking up at 8:57am for a 9am class at uni. We get it, it’s such a great form of cardio, and it tones your legs and butt like you wouldn’t believe. But sometimes it can be so boring, and just exhausting.
There are ways to boost your motivation and get you exercising every day. Here are some ways to make running interesting, and dare we say it, possibly even fun:
Look the part:
Okay, this sounds a little silly but hear us out! Having a designated ‘exercise outfit’ gives you a reason to get out of whatever daggy clothes you’re wearing. Choose a comfy, supportive pair of leggings and a breathable shirt as your ‘running get-up’. As soon as you put those clothes on, your brain says, “okay, now it’s time to exercise”. And don’t forget to run in suitable shoes. This is super important! Your Converses and Vans have nowhere near enough support for vigorous running activities. Splurge a little and get some supportive shoes with plenty of cushioning to reduce the impact of your feet smacking against whatever surface you’re running on. Make sure they’re light and breathable too. You’ll save your ankles and knees some serious pain in the future.
Hint: Try and run on softer surfaces like grass or a running track. Concrete does not do great things for your joints, especially around your knees, ankles, and your back.
Sure, you can run a few kilometres in one hit, feel like crap after, and never want to run ever again. Or, you can divide it up and run little bits at a time with plenty of recovery time. Head to your closest athletics track, or even just a large oval with lanes painted out on the grass. Try sprinting 100 metres 10 times. This sounds scary, we know. But break up each sprint with a walk to recover. Sprint 100 metres, walk back to where you started, and use the walking time to recover. What you don’t realise at the end is that you just SPRINTED a kilometre! Breaking your run up into small bursts with plenty of recovery time makes it so much more bearable.
Give yourself a time frame:
It’s easy to run and run until you get tired. But how boring is that? You’re going to run harder if you have something making you go. That’s why a time frame or distance goal is a great way to get you up and moving. Tell yourself that you’re going to run non-stop for ten minutes. When you think about it, that’s three to four songs on your playlist, or it might be five laps of your local oval. Crank your music, set a timer on your phone, and do not check how much time you have left! Just listen to your music and focus on the run itself. Alternatively, set yourself a distance goal. Tell yourself that you’re going to run for 3 kilometres, and then set off. Download an app like Map My Run to help you track how far you ran.
Playlist, playlist, playlist:
A great playlist will do wonders for your running ability. The angrier and louder the song, the faster you run. We’re not looking for any ‘My Heart Will Go On’ or ‘Too Good at Goodbyes’. Save them for your cheat days when you’re tucked in bed with a tub of Birthday Cake flavoured ice cream from Halo Top. Crank some boppy songs with a massive beat drop to get you motivated and moving. You’d be amazed at how much better you run with the right voices in your ears.
Here are some of our favourite songs to run to:
- Believer – Imagine Dragons
- Nice For What – Drake
- I Wanna Know – NOTD ft. Bea Miller
- Lady Powers – Vera Blue ft. Kodie Shane
- Without You – Avicii
Hint: Breakup songs are THE BEST to run to. The loud, aggressive ones that is. As much as we love to belt out Ed Sheeran’s Happier, it’s not the best song to get your anger pumping. Try a little Youngblood by 5SOS. Much more effective.
The main thing is to only do what your own body will allow you to. There is no point in pushing yourself before you’re ready for it. You’ll end up with injuries galore, and an even stronger hatred for running than you started with. Run as fast or slow, and as long or short as you want to – and do not compare yourself to anyone else. Cut that crap out ASAP.
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