How to Make Running Easier for Beginners

Running is an excellent form of exercise—it gets your heart pumping, it’s inexpensive, and you can do it anywhere. But let’s face it, on some days, hitting the pavement can feel like a real chore!

Some of the most seasoned runners have their off days, so if you’re just a beginner, figuring out how to make running easier on your bad days can feel like an impossible task. But that’s where this nifty guide comes in!

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How to Make Running Easier: The Basics

There are a few rituals runners go through before every run – some are scientifically proven to make each run easier and smoother, while others are just practices that many runners swear by despite the lack of any hard evidence.

Get enough sleep

This one should be obvious, but people tend to forget! Getting the right amount of sleep affects more than your energy, as fatigue can bring on mood swings and irritability, a poor appetite, and susceptibility to sickness.

Your body also does much of its repairs when you’re asleep, so losing those precious hours means missing out on muscle growth and bone building.

Load up

Just as cars need to fuel to run, so does your body. Loading up on carbs for energy is widely known, but you should remember that the type of carbs and the time you eat them also affect your run. Avoid foods that are too fibrous and high in fat and oils, as these will make you feel heavy and bloated.

For morning runs, there are a few ways to approach breakfast. If you’re the type that can get up early, you’re allowed to have heavier meals like bread, cereal, and oats. Meanwhile, if you’re planning to head out right after getting up from bed, a light snack, like an apple or a few energy balls, may be more advisable.

Choose soft ground

Choosing where you run might not always be an option for you, but when you can, always pick softer grounds than hard pavements. Running is tough on knees, and a good way to avoid injuries and pain in your joints is to choose a running ground that can cushion your steps better.

Warm up and start slow

Engage in light stretching and a few calisthenics to get your blood pumping. Then, when you’re ready to take off, don’t rush into it like you’re Usain Bolt at the 100-meter dash. Start slow.

In fact, start with a walk, then work your way up until you find a speed you’re comfortable with. If you can’t make a full sentence while running, you’re probably pushing too hard.

Don’t forget recovery

When you’ve gotten the hang of things, it might be tempting to push yourself to run every day. While that’s definitely admirable, you might end up waking up one day finding it impossible to get out of bed. That’s because you do need days dedicated to recovering, especially from days when you train extra hard.

Remember to take care of your body and give it ample time to recuperate from all your hard work. After all, no good deed goes unpunished. Even a good deed you did for your body!

Shaking Things Up

When you’ve found your rhythm and have integrated running into your daily routine, there comes the point when it can feel like, well, too much of a routine.

Though running is also physically hard, sometimes it’s the repetitiveness of the activity that can make 10-minute runs feel like ages. While running doesn’t require much in terms of skill or even equipment, it does require a bit of creativity.

Come up with a killer playlist

Many people enjoy listening to music when they run. Some prefer high-energy dance music that takes them out of the track and into the club.

Meanwhile, others like putting on podcasts that are engaging and educational to give them something to chew on and stave off the boredom. Whatever floats your boat, a good pair of earphones can always make a run more entertaining.

Change up your location

Sometimes, running around the same old track and looking at the same old trees and houses can make running into a great big bore. If you can, change your location once in a while. This gives you visual stimulation, with which you can play games with yourself.

Challenge yourself to spot as many cars of the same color, memorize the street names, or count as many dogs as you can.

Stop checking the time

“Time goes slowly for those who wait,” said Madonna. When you’re constantly checking your watch, you’re also making your run feel like forever, adding unnecessary pressure to your already grueling task.

Don’t be too strict with yourself when it comes to time, as sometimes, there will be off days when it seems impossible to answer that burning question of how to make running easier.

Change pace and break up your runs

Divide your runs by pace. For example, for a 5-km run, give yourself 1 km for walking, alternate a fast and moderate pace between each of your 3 kms, and allocate the last km to a cool down lap. You can even shake things up and alternate between fast and slow half-kilometers.

Run with a friend

There’s a quote that goes like so: “Happiness is only real when shared.” While its essence is debatable, it can be applied to running.

The joys of running – hitting a personal record, enduring a bad run, even spotting something cool on the road – they’re all best felt with a partner. A partner can also push you to go further. Initiate a friendly race, and things are bound to get interesting!

Running is the Escape

It isn’t always easy to maintain a positive attitude. We will have nightmare days – days teeming with bad experiences with work, our families, even the way we see ourselves. On those days, instead of figuring out how to make running easier for the day, try asking yourself another question: How will running make the day easier?

Running shouldn’t be something you’re trying to escape from. Rather, it should be your happy place, your oasis of sorts. That way, you’ll have something to look forward to, even on the very worst of days.

Our Top Pick For Running Program for Moms

How to Make Running Easier for Beginners

Signature Running Program for Moms!

Learn More

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