I was never a good runner, nor was it something I enjoyed. My boyfriend began running as a means to lose weight, and I joined in. I’ve been pretty much hooked since, and you can be too!
For me, running was something I had to ease into; I think this is the case for everyone, which is why a lot of people probably never get into it. I started running as a way to lose/maintain weight, but it has since turned into something I truly enjoy. Please read, and then follow my lead and get out there, too!
How to Start:
I started very small, 1-2 miles a run. I listened to music and groaned my way through the whole thing.
Lesson: Start small! When you feel your legs begin to grow more muscle you might just be encouraged to go further.
Music or No Music?:
When I began running, I listened to music. I had a brief period of time, though, where I was running without it. Without music, I found that I payed a lot more attention to my breathing, which tended to help me. (I currently run to music, but what I listen to now is different from when I started… I’ll explain in a minute.)
Lesson: If you need music, go for it — but pay attention to the next part.
If not, give it a try. I actually did find it to be extremely helpful when I was pushing myself really hard; I used my breathing as a pacer.
I suggest trying both ways; see what works best. In my experience, it helps to experiment in order to find what’s going to help fuel you through those painstaking first few miles.
I’ve read a bit about finding music with a BPM (beats per minute) that matches your running pace. Though I never payed attention I accidentally stumbled upon the phenomenon myself. When I began listening to music again, I changed my play list. Instead of Beyonce and other up-beat, pop hits I began listening to bands like Snow Patrol. I found that the BPM matched my running style better, so I wasn’t running to chase the pace of the music. Do you know what I mean?
Lesson: Again, experiment. I have come to love running because I tried all different music, paces, etc and found the perfect fit for myself.
Run The Way That Makes You Happy:
I found that I was becoming burnt out on running, like always. I never started to run longer distances in the past because I would become bored of the same ol’ thing — In this case, I was always pushing myself to run so hard, so fast, that I never wanted to go anymore because it wasn’t fun, just tiring.
When I changed my music, I also changed my running style and it completely reinvented running for me! Now, I run at the pace that I WANT to run at, and I have found that when I allow myself to run a 10 minute mile, a few miles in I’ll actually run a 7 minute mile just because my body isn’t exhausted and is ready to push harder. I enjoy the music I listen to, and cherish this time I have to unwind.
Lesson: Listen to your body, and correspond that with your music. When you are listening to music that you truly enjoy, that allows you to run at a pace you’re comfortable at. Then you will, a. pay more attention to the music and not your screaming muscles, and b. you enjoy it so much more!
I promise you, I was never someone that liked running, and after months of messing around with different music, attitudes and paces, I have been able to find what is perfect for me, and running is no longer a chore. It’s a stress reliever, and an activity that I genuinely enjoy.