Running is an amazing workout but many people say that they hate running. While running is the most efficient way to burn calories and shed fat, why are so many people avoiding the activity in favor of longer, less effective workouts? Many people say it’s too hard or too unpleasant. And I completely understand. When I first started running, I struggled a bit too. But the struggle quickly turned into a passion. I want to share my story so that others can get over the hurdle (so to speak) and start running.
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a runner. The earliest memory is when I was 16 and woke up early before school to run outside. But it was always so painful for me and I hated it. So my bouts of running never lasted very long. It wasn’t until I was 20 years old that running became a regular part of my workout. I moved into a building that had a gym downstairs, and since I always wanted to be a runner… I made use of this machine. At first I could only run 5 or 10 minutes at a time so I decided to join a running club to see how other people were able to run for long periods of time and learn workouts I could do to improve my endurance. The workouts I did in the running club made me stronger and helped me to run longer on the treadmill.
At the 2nd meeting of the running club, I met Jon, the co-founder of Mission Lean… who was also doing a running workout (though not part of the club). Needless to say, we’ve continued to run and get more fit together. Our gym has 2 treadmills side by side so we often go to the gym for a run at the same time before dinner. Because it is so easy to just head downstairs and do a workout any time of the day, I run every day now. It has become such a habit that it would literally be more difficult for me NOT to run. Once I had easy access to a treadmill (and I knew what to do with it), my running and fitness took off. My eating improved — I was suddenly able to eat carbs … and eat until I was full (I was always obsessively counting calories prior to this)! Not only that, but running made me tired by the end of the day, so I started to fall asleep easily every night (which is another issue I had most of my life until I started seriously running). I can honestly say, becoming a runner has transformed my life.
The 2 biggest lessons for me were:
- Make running a convenient habit. Join a gym, commit to running outside, get a treadmill for your garage. If it’s easy to get there and do it, you’ll do it often. If you do something often, it will become a habit and eventually it will just become part of who you are.
- Build up your endurance and speed slowly. Intersperse running and walking and slowly do more running than walking as time goes on.