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How to enjoy running – Run with a smile!

Running can be hard. It can hurt. It can be raining. Motivation can wane and you feel like opening a massive bag of chocolate chip cookies and binge watching Netflix. (Aside – What did Netflix do to anyone? It’s getting a hard time at the moment for all the western world’s motivation and procrastination issues)

It can also be great. It can be “effortless”. The sun can be shining. You just can’t wait to go and do that run. If you are falling into the first group, here are a few ideas on how to get back enjoying your running.

Listen to Music

Mega Dance Mix

Music can be a big motivational tool and help you enjoy your running immensely. Dig through your iTunes library and pull out those old albums or mix compilations you haven’t listened to in years. Even better, make yourself a playlist! I have a great 5km playlist that peaks with my favourite motivational tune in time for my sprint finish!

Try a Podcast

iPod Nano

Want some company on those long runs? Listen to a podcast. You can find out more on podcasts and my recommendations here.

Prep your Route

Pick a great route. Running around the same residential streets and main roads will have you bored to tears in no time. Get on google maps and seek out those green spaces. See where you have not been before and how you can incorporate interesting places into your routes. Keep changing it up.

Get some Company

Bushy Park BMF

Running can be a solitary experience. Try and get your friends to run with you or even take up running. Sign up for a race together and then do your training with each other. Join a running club. I am yet to join a proper running club, but running with others is much more stimulating and motivation. The secret competitive side that we all hide pushes you on. It also holds you accountable.

Slooooow Dooooown

If you’re having trouble running consistently, just slow down. Also, try this………

Go Naked

Puts the Garmins, heart monitors and headphones away and get out into and enjoy the run without all the hardware and the heart rate ranges, the km/h and time splits. When you started running you did not have all this gear. It definitely has its place, but sometimes you just need to go back to basics. Remember – it’s supposed to be fun!

Get some new threads

New Kicks

We all love new kit! I have recently been trying to minimise my wardrobe, but one of the areas I am struggling with is new running kit. Getting a new pair of kicks or some flash shorts (or leggings) is great motivation to get out running. If you look good and you feel good. Hopefully, your run will be good.

Have a goal

Have an achievable goal to aim for. It does not have to be a PB. It could be to complete your first 10km or to do parkrun 5 weeks in a row. Make a realistic plan to get there.

Once you have a goal. Start a training log. Note how far, how fast, how you felt, the route and the weather. It is great to see how far you have come with your training and adds mental and emotional investment to your training.

Stay Flexible

If you miss a run, it’s ok. Life happens. Try and move your plan around, slip it in somewhere else or make it a little shorter. If you are going to miss it all together, then just try and make the next one.

Allow time for your runs and your recovery. If you are trying to cram runs into a hectic lifestyle and/or kids, you are going to feel anxious, guilty and stressed. Dedicate specific times to your plan if that’s what works for you.

How do you keep running enjoyable? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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