Can you ever enjoy running?

Running Budapest Half Marathon
Budapest Half Marathon

I think its important to state that as with everything, running isn’t going to be for everyone. Whether you have dodgy knees, a sore back or just can’t stand the thought of jogging, there are so many other ways to enjoy exercising, running doesn’t need to be one. This blog is just to share a few ways that may make running a little more enjoyable.

A bit about me

I have been running on and off since I was about 14. I wouldn’t say I’m brilliant at it, but i do find it a great way to exercise wherever you are.

Having run several half marathons, I would like to eventually run a few more. It is safe to say however, that I haven’t enjoyed a single half marathon I have run. My first and quickest half marathon involved a roasting hot day and me fainting. I signed us up for another race called the Cheltenham Challenge. I found out after that it is one of the hardest in the UK and pretty much all hill. Team that with 37degree heat and I spent the first 5k crying ‘Why did I do this to us’ and the last part crying for it to be over.

The picture at the top is taken from our honeymoon where we ran the Budapest half marathon with no training. Again, I spent most of it either hobbling along because my hip flexor went (my fault for not training) or moaning because I had serious runners chafe on my thighs. So again, another race I didn’t enjoy. There have been quite a few others like this. So, why do I keep doing them?

I love the rush I get from finishing a race, however tough. I love the buzz on the day of all the other runners and supporters and I suppose I like a challenge. But, overall I actually do enjoy a lot of the runs I do weekly and monthly.

How to enjoy it

So do I think you can enjoy running? As long as you are open to enjoying it, then yes. There are however, a few things I do to make sure I enjoy my normal runs.

Firstly, I put no pressure on myself. If I want to walk for a bit and run for a bit and just enjoy my surroundings, then I do it. I don’t often run for times, just distance and usually I make the distance pretty achievable. So even if I am feeling slow as a snail, it doesn’t matter because I can go at whatever pace I want.

Secondly, I run places that I enjoy. I hate running the same route over and over again unless its really beautiful. I love running around Bristol Harbourside because there is so much to see that the time really does disappear. Running is a great way to see somewhere new in a quick way. We have tried a few ParkRuns in different places when we have been away, which is a really fun thing to do.

Thirdly, I set myself targets. So my target may be to see if i can get to the top of a hill without stopping or it may be to train for a longer race. But usually I set something to aim for. Make this pretty achievable. If I haven’t run in a while, it may be to get to a certain point before I am allowed a walk and then I can run back.

Lastly, if you can, run with someone else. It makes the run go so much quicker when there is someone to talk to. It also means you have someone ready to encourage you and push you when you may have given up on your own.

There are no rules

It is so important to remember there are no rules. Whether you are happy running 1km or 100km do what you enjoy. And if you try it and decide its not for you, then that is fine too. If you’re looking on ways to get into running or exercise, check out my blog from earlier in the year here.

I would also recommend investing in some good trainers and comfortable running wear if you decide it really is for you. It will make all the difference. I’m a massive fan of Asics running shoes but definitely go to a proper running shop to try some on.

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