It’s pretty simple really just make sure to wake up facing directly east every single morning, drink a matcha and kale smoothie twice a day and dine primarily on fresh, homemade sushi. Nah … it’s way easier than that. For a long, long, long time I ran but I low key hated it. I liked the feeling after for sure, I liked how efficient it was at getting my workout in and I liked the image of myself as a runner but it was always so hard. Over the years I picked up some tricks and tips that have not only made me kinda sorta like running but taken together legitimately love it! The crazy thing is none of these things are very hard to do or expensive. Some are incredibly simple and none ask a lot of you. Sure you might have heard some of these before but chances are some are new to you too. So read through you never know right? If any of you runners out there have some tips that I might find make my runs better please share!
1. Get the right playlist
Sure it might cost money or some time but investing in some tunes it totally worth it. Curate a few playlists while you’re at if for different types of runs. Making the investment in and new iPod Nano years ago made me like running a whole lot more. If music isn’t your thing lots of people like podcasts. If it is your thing make sure to spend some time adding to it every year.
2. Bring water
If you’re not bringing water with you you’re doing it wrong. Carry it in a hydration vest, your pocket, a handheld bottle or my favorite a hydration belt. Having water on the go is a game changer. If you’re not doing this simple thing you’re missing out. Give it a try.
3. Find the right distance
This phenomenon has a name but I don’t really care to look it up right now or probably ever. Essentially the idea is that the first bit of your run sucks and will always suck. How long it sucks for is variable for me it’s about 3 km for others it’s 1 or 5 km. Once I started running longer distances I fell in love. For a long time all I ever ram was 3 km or 5 km. Especially if you only run short distances experiment with other distances for a few weeks at a time and see if you to appreciate a longer run. Maybe you like the start and longer runs tucker you out then just do short ones. Everyone has a sweet spot you just have to find yours.
4. Register for races
For a long time I ran to stay fit, because it was good for me and because fitness. I kept making a promise to myself to run more but I struggled with consistency. Signing up for races and working a training program kind of builds that in to your life. Races in themselves are a lot of fun and there are plenty of other reasons to try one but doing them just makes you feel line a serious runner. If you’re wondering what to expect read this. If you’ve never tried it collecting a few medals a year might change your game.
5. Get the right gear
They make every kind of specialty running gear from tops and bottoms to socks and undies. Is it expensive? Yes but it is definitely worth it, all of it. Even if you’re just starting out, even if you don’t think your a ‘real runner’ (you are) get some good gear. Good gear prevents things like, chaffing, blisters, yeast infections, weird rashes, heavy sweaty gear, visible sweat stains and other stuff boys get that I don’t know about. Most of the stuff by the big brand names is pretty good and eventually you’ll find something perfect for you. Consider the used market as one way to save money. When you’re running especially as a new runner if something is rubbing, itching or soggy it’s pretty much all you can focus on. Getting gear that fits you well and wicks sweat is guaranteed to make you love running more.
6. Think about it as self care me time
You could do an hour of expensive therapy a week, take a yoga class or two, get your nails done and hit up the spa and you’ll still need to find time for cardio every once and a while or you could go for a couple of runs a week. Sure do all that other stuff too but the restorative properties of a run last for hours and days afterwards at least for a lot of runners. If that’s you too celebrate that and the benefits for your mental health. Schedule a few runs a week as a form of self care and then it’s easier to see it a a good for you priority.
7. Make a commitment
Whether its a race distance you’ve never tackled before, a certain weekly milage or a given number of miles a week make a promise to yourself. If you have someone in your life to nag you enlist them in your commitment. I bet your mom has time to call you up and tell you to exercise more! If you think about skipping you’ll have that promise you made making you feel ever so slightly guilty. A simple and effective promise is to run two specific days a week, say Monday’s and Thursday’s. Then once that becomes a doable habit add another. While making the commitment doesn’t necessarily make it easier the consistency does. Also maintaining a weekly milage between 15 and 20 km a week seems to be a sweet spot for injury prevention if that helps.
8. Leave with a ‘think plan’
Running can be kinda boring and hard. If you have nothing to think about you’ll default to thinking entirely about the idea that running is hard and that’s not fun at all. Many runners feel like their mind goes into hyperdrive while they are running. That’s the perfect time to solve a problem or think deeply about something. If you have a plan before you go as to what you are going to think about you might find a busy mind makes your run seem easier. It could be your family schedule for the next week, how to nail a project at work or just a Christmas list but having a think plan does go a long way to making your run fly by faster.
These are just some of the things I’ve found over the years that make my runs feel easier at least. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list but you might hind something here that helps you! If you think you’ve found the silver bullet for easier running please, please share with the group!