There used to be a day that I used to loathe running and working out in general. It’s like I was allergic to exercise. Maybe this sounds awfully familiar to your current situation. However, in my mid-20’s, I got a new job and It was in that same year that my view on running and physical activity changed. Now, even after two pregnancies, I loathe not being able to exercise and get a run in. Do you dream of doing the same? I’m so excited to share with you how I learned to love running.
There used to be a day when one mile seemed like 500 miles. It was all I could do to get through that measly little mile. Let me be real for a second though. It took some time to run an entire mile without needing to take a rest. It was a run-walk pattern for a long time. Even though the act of running was tiresome, I felt accomplished and refreshed afterwards. It was that feeling that got me back on the treadmill day after day.
Breathing was something that took some work to learn. So many times I tried learning to like running, but I would always get those pesky side cramps. It was discouraging. Eventually, I learned how I was supposed to breathe to help prevent those. – Long deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, vs quick panting breaths. – It took practice, but eventually became second nature and I no longer needed to actively think about what I was doing. Dehydration can also be an attributing factor to side cramps, so I upped my water intake by a lot!
Finding a good distraction was key for me. While I love listening to music at every moment in the day that I can, it wasn’t enough to do just that unless I was running outside. Being that I’m from Michigan, there isn’t much time in a year that is safe to run outside and temps are often too cold for my lungs. That meant I needed to love the treadmill too! Some people like watching TV, and that was fine some of the time, but I also found myself with wandering eyes and checking my distance on the treadmill frequently. Pro tip: cover the treadmill display with a towel so you can’t just easily glance at it!
My Ultimate Distraction
This right here my friends is the secret sauce of how I learned to love running!!! Finding the ultimate distraction was a game changer.
Drum roll please…..My e-reader was the trophy to my success in finding love with running. I read the entire Harry Potter series in the matter of a few months, and most of it was done on the treadmill. I found that when I got involved in a book with my music on in the background to block out other surrounding noises, I got lost in it all. The story captivated my attention and successfully distracted me from the fact I was running. Over time, it helped with my endurance and before I knew it, I had already clocked a few miles!!
Finding a good distraction like reading a book for example, may push you to do more than you set out for that day. My goal may have been 3 miles, but the suspense of what Harry and Hermoine were up to had me on the edge of my seat, so I went just a little bit further. To learn more about how I run on the treadmill and read at the same time, click here.
I found that having the right pair of running shoes is a game changer. There were so many years that I tried running without success and looking back, there was a very high likely hood one of my problems was the shoes. Did you know that shoes should only be used for so long? I can’t remember the exact mileage off the top of my head, but over time, like anything else, they wear. The structure wears and eventually the shoe loses support and could increase risk for injury. If you ever wondered how people can spend hundreds of dollars on running shoes, this is why. They are an important factor to success. I still have a hard time spending more than $100 but I look for sales.
My go-to shoe is by Brooks. I’ve tried many brands but Brooks are by far my favorite brand of running shoe. They are a company that focuses on running and the technology needed to build a great shoe. Some athletic companies out there that have shoe lines are more for the fashion side of things and not functionality or support.
That my friends was how I learned to love running. After years of wanting to this very thing, I finally conquered it. It took some time and trial and error of finding what worked for me. I still crave a good run. My endurance isn’t what it used to be, but I am okay with that. I know what my body is capable of. Everything takes time. Allow yourself the time to learn and put forth the effort. It will get easier with every passing day, I promise.