How to Start Running When You Don't Want To: A Beginner's Guide

How to Start Running When You Don't Want To: A Beginner's Guide

Starting a running routine can be challenging, especially if you’re not naturally inclined to hit the pavement. However, with the right mindset and approach, you can overcome the initial resistance and discover the many benefits of running. This beginner's guide will show you how to start running even and help you find the motivation you need. 

1. Set Realistic Goals

Setting achievable goals is crucial when starting any new exercise routine. Begin with small, manageable targets such as running for 5 minutes without stopping or completing a mile at a slow pace. Gradually increase your goals as your fitness improves.

2. Invest in Proper Gear

Wearing the right gear can make a significant difference in your running experience. Invest in a good pair of running shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. Comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing can also help you feel more at ease during your runs.

3. Create a Running Plan

Having a structured running plan can keep you accountable and motivated. Start with a beginner-friendly plan like the Couch to 5K program, which gradually increases your running time and distance over several weeks. Consistency is key to building a lasting habit.

4. Find a Running Buddy

Running with a friend can make the experience more enjoyable and less intimidating. A running buddy can provide support, motivation, and accountability, making it easier to stick to your routine.

5. Focus on the Benefits

Remind yourself of the numerous benefits of running, including improved cardiovascular health, weight management, and reduced stress. Keeping these positive outcomes in mind can help you push through the initial reluctance.

6. Mix It Up

To keep things interesting, vary your running routes and routines. Explore different neighborhoods, parks, or trails to prevent boredom. Incorporating interval training, where you alternate between running and walking, can also keep your workouts engaging.

7. Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to your body’s signals and avoid pushing yourself too hard, especially in the beginning. Rest days are essential for recovery and preventing injuries. If you experience pain or discomfort, take a break and consult a healthcare professional if necessary.

8. Use Technology to Your Advantage

There are numerous apps and devices designed to help you start and maintain a running routine. Apps like Strava, Runkeeper, and Nike Run Club offer features like tracking your progress, setting goals, and connecting with other runners for support.

9. Reward Yourself

Set up a reward system to celebrate your milestones. Treat yourself to something special, like a new running outfit, a relaxing massage, or a favorite meal, after achieving your running goals. Positive reinforcement can keep you motivated and excited about your progress.

10. Stay Positive

Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial when starting any new habit. Focus on your progress, no matter how small, and be patient with yourself. Running is a journey, and every step forward is a victory.

By following these tips, you can start running even when you don’t feel like it. Remember, the hardest part is often just getting started. Once you find your rhythm, you’ll likely discover a newfound appreciation for the physical and mental benefits of running.

For more tips and inspiration, check out our other blog posts and join the Pen and Paces community for support and motivation on your running journey!

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