Running For Beginners: 7 Tips To Help You Start + How To Make It Suck Less

Running For Beginners: 7 Tips To Help You Start + How To Make It Suck Less

Let’s face it, if you’re reading this already set on the idea that “Running Sucks!“, you’re not wrong.

It’s potentially one of the most easily-hated sports there is out there.

I mean, what’s a bigger deal-breaker than attempting to jog .25 of a mile before you start choking on your own breath and feeling like hell just chewed you up and spat you out.

Okay, that may be a tad dramatic, but the point is, it can quickly make you feel like absolute $#!@. Which leaves you saying, “WHY AM I NOT ONE OF THE BLESSED INDIVIDUALS THAT CAN RUN LIKE A GAZELLE THROUGH THE FIELDS OF AFRICA?!

Because, my friend, no one (normal, at least) is born a psychopathic running-lover right off the bat. I lost count of how many times I tried to pick up a steady running habit and gave up. Just because of how awful I felt.

I’d tell myself before a run, “This is it! How hard could it be?! Everyone else is doing it right?!” Didn’t take long before I threw in the towel, and I would quit before I even finished a mile.

The reality is, I didn’t even scratch the surface of my potential. I was doing it all wrong.

Then, there ended up being a turning point in college, which you can read about HERE. It took something drastic for me to prove to myself that I could do something I absolutely hated. That I could push through any mental limitations I set on my potential, and achieve the impossible.

THIS is how a true running love affair begins.

Here’s the kicker. Running is a test not for the weak. It’s an almighty quest in which you have to battle some serious demons before you get to the holy grail that is: BECOMING A RUNNER (cue the hallelujah chorus). And when I say a “runner”, I mean someone who just genuinely loves to run.

That’s it. No speed or distance requirements involved.

If you’re going through life feeling like crap about yourself, running is the nastiest tasting medicine you can take, but with the most beneficial side-effects.

Every ounce of work and perseverance you put into starting a running habit, you get right back in the form of self-confidence, discipline, and overall bad-assery.

I guarantee right now, if you pick up a running habit, within 3-months you’ll literally feel like Wonder Woman (or Superman / Thor / whatever Marvel/DC cinematic universe aesthetic goal you set for yourself).

So, while I plan to review more specific plans and how-to’s to aid in starting a running habit, the main piece of advice I have as of right now is to just GO RUN!

Because essentially, that’s the gist of it.

I also have some tips to share that I wish I knew when I first started.

Here Are 7 Helpful Ways to Make The Sucky Stage of Your Running a Little Less Sucky

1) Make An Actual Effort to Make it Enjoyable

Look, we already know this whole running thing is going to suck for a while, okay? Might as well throw in some fun tidbits that you actually like.

Really brainstorm every possible way you could make this experience more enjoyable for yourself.

Don’t skimp on the details.

For instance, things that make runs more enjoyable for me are: downloading a new podcast, making sure I have super comfortable gear, listening to a guilty-pleasures playlist, starting a new audio-book, reciting a mantra every quarter of a mile, and SMILING EVEN THOUGH YOU HATE HOW YOU CURRENTLY FEEL.

(This one actually works, but you’ll feel super creepy, fyi)

Basically, just be kind and attentive to yourself throughout this difficult process.

2) Find a Running Social Outlet

This one was big for me, personally. And for those who haven’t experimented in any type of personal blogging before, it does make you feel vulnerable at first.

But it’s amazing the running community you’ll find out there who are at the same stage, or who have dealt with what you are currently going through!

Also, if you decide to do this, really go full force. Comment on other runner’s posts, interact with people, send personal messages (I recommend the Instagram and Tumblr runblr community).

It’s amazing the support that’s found online when it comes to this sport.

3) Do NOT Track Distance

Okay, so this is a personal opinion of mine, but I do think there’s major truth to it.

When I first started running, I can’t tell you how long it took before 1 mile felt even remotely doable; however, when I instead set a goal to run for 10 minutes, I thought, “Hell-yeah! That’s easy!”.

This is a mental game.

But one that I think, if you set goals by time, you’ll have a better chance of winning while you’re still getting in your running groove.

4) Dress Like Your Ex Is Watching

So me personally, I don’t give a flying crap if an ex sees me in a raggedy 5-year old sports bra with baggy shorts huffing and puffing around the block.

But for those of you who would find this as motivation, use it.

Dress to impress.

If you need to add a light layer of makeup, make your hair a little cute, get some sassy multi-colored running socks (always my go-to), then DO IT! There’s no shame here people.

The only shame is in not doing everything in your power to get started. I mean, who’s going to know you worked to look so effortlessly fabulous.

And trust me, if you think you look good, you WILL run with more confidence.

Or at least, feel better about the fact that a run felt a tad sucky.

Also, set reward goals for running! It’s okay if they’re small! Maybe when you run your first full mile without stopping buy that running outfit you’ve always wanted, but never thought you deserved.

5) Get Fit For A New (Quality) Pair of Running Shoes

This to me was the magical equivalent of the prince in Cinderella finding out the glass slipper fit perfectly.

I mean, in my scenario it was a female middle-aged employee with solid shoe advice, but still.

Something about going to a running store, getting fit for the perfect shoe, and taking my “oh-so-serious” shoes home made me a more serious runner.

It became real.

Also, when you invest actual money and time into getting new shoes, it makes you want to use them.

6) Run In A Pretty Location

Do this so before you die from exhaustion the last thing you see is beautiful.

Okay, kidding.

But it really does make a crappy run feel so much more enjoyable.

I prefer the beach, or a nature trail, but you can also just drive to some really boujee neighborhoods and utilize the fresh pavement.

Whatever floats your boat.

7) Try The Dreadmill (If You Really Must)

This is one I don’t super recommend, but is a tool that you can use to find your running groove.

This is how I started running, since it was an easily accessible, more private way I could get my mileage/endurance up.

But I actually semi-regret it.

I ended up spending about 4-months strictly on the treadmill. Within that 4-months I was running up to 6 miles a day after I got into a running habit.

But, I got comfortable.

When it came time to run outside, I became super discouraged since I had to retrain my body to run on that terrain.

So, just tread[mill] super lightly with this one (I couldn’t help myself, sorry).

But in all seriousness, I would definitely throw some road runs in your routine at the very least. 

So, there you have it!

To conclude, I guarantee if you implement these 7 tips while attempting to start a running routine, you’ll have a much better chance at succeeding.

To be honest, I did close to none of these, and I wish I knew about them when I first started.

Nothing worth having ever came easy, so if you feel discouraged, I promise the rewards will be supremely worth it!????

Also, if you want this super relatable running tank, you can find it HERE!

Happy Running! ????


Kat Rentas

Founder, Living In Slack Tide


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