This is for all of you out there who hate running.
I hear ya! Been there, done that.
For a long time actually. Every now and then, I still find myself hanging out in that boat.
To be clear, I’m not interested in convincing you to love running. I have no idea what you should love. You are the only expert on you. Running isn’t for everyone. I get it.
But before you throw in the towel for good, resigned to a life of slugging it out on the treadmill or elliptical while hating every minute of it – ask yourself some honest questions.
What specifically do you hate about running? If you’re anything like me, I bet it has a lot less to do with running than it does with your thoughts about running.
Hear me out.
How many times have you gone for a run, only to get short of breathe within the first five minutes?
How many times have you gone for a run for the first time in ages, only to pay for it the next day?
What does any of that have to do with the physical act of running, the actual physical sensation of putting one foot in front of the other?
Biomechanically running is not much different from walking, yet I rarely hear anyone talk about how much they hate walking.
Check in. Ask yourself what you think about running that’s making it suck.
- I’m so slow, I need to run faster.
- This is hard.
- I’m so out of shape.
- I’ll never be good at this.
- Why can’t I run faster?
- I’m not good at this.
- Something is wrong with me.
That’s just a sampling of my old thoughts about running.
Not one of these thoughts made running easier.
They caused me to run faster than my body was willing.
They propelled me to run longer than my body was prepared for.
All of this created evidence that I was out of shape. Which only reinforced my original thoughts that running sucked.
What if you consciously changed your thoughts about running?
What if you left for a run with the intention of running as slow as you possibly can (I promise if you do this, it will feel easier).
What if you chose to love yourself and give yourself credit even if you only ran for five minutes?
What if your running didn’t mean anything at all about how good you were?
What if you simply chose to notice how good it feels to move your body, smell fresh air and be outside?
Give yourself a break.
Try running without beating yourself. See how you like running when you give yourself permission to suck at it and still be awesome. See how you like running then.