A patient walked in this morning complaining of a headache over the weekend. Knowing that her job is high stress, and where her headache was located, I knew that stress was a big part of her current state.
I asked her what she does for stress relief, namely what type of exercise. She said, “I usually run, but I don’t like it.” Not enjoying running meant that she wasn’t doing it often. Not exercising regularly was increasing stress levels and that lead to her headaches.
She felt that running was the right choice for her, but wasn’t enjoying the process. There are the people that hate running because they’re in too much pain, but this wasn’t the case for her. She simply wasn’t enjoying the process.
I’ve definitely had my time of doing minimal running. I would try to run a mile, and I found the mental struggle to be much greater than anything physical. If you want to run because of the results you get, but don’t like it (or even if you hate it), then here are some suggestions to make it more fun.
Run In A Group
I can struggle to run one mile and then join a group and crank out six miles without even thinking about it. It’s fun and the time just flies by. The key is to find a group that is at a pace that you can hang with as well as one that has people you can get to know.
Run With A New Group
People that have been running with the same group for years may start to get bored. They’ve told all of their stories and monotony starts to kick in. Finding a new group of people to “visit” can make it all new again and open you up to some new friends. You don’t have to break up with your old group, just take a break.
Sign Up For A Race
Running for the sake of running is a challenge. When I am signed up for a race that’s at an uncomfortable distance, the motivation to run grows stronger as the race approaches. Setting a goal for your time or just how you want to finish is key. I did horribly in my first half marathon. My goal for the next one was simply to “finish strong.” That kept me running for awhile, and was an ongoing motivation on mornings that I didn’t want to get up.
Run Somewhere New
I’m not talking about somewhere dangerous, but just somewhere you haven’t been before. For me, that’s the fun of running outdoors – you really get to see the sights. There are trails all over the Houston area to run and explore. If you’ve got your route memorized and are no longer enjoying it – it’s time to break out of the rut and find a new place to explore.
The bottom line is that if you don’t enjoy running, but enjoy the results – you may have to trick yourself into enjoying the process a bit more. You can make it a game, get the results and have fun doing it.
Don’t compare your time or ability to others, but look for a way to become a better you along the way. It’s supposed to be fun, so don’t miss out on that part!