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Start a Running Habit even when you're bad at it

Disclaimer: Not a fitness trainer here, and this is just from my personal experience. I used to hate running with a passion, but now I have a running routine that I actually like for the past 6 years. I'm neither fast nor good at long distance runs, but at least I can say I enjoy my runs now!

These are ideas that worked at a different phase of my running life.

Start a Running Habit even when you're bad at it

    1. Set a goal that's slightly uncomfortable but still doable

    Depending on your current health, it could be something like "I'm going to run all the way to 5km" or a marathon. It needs to be something that motivates you, but not too impossible to do, like "Running a marathon in 4 hours" if you've never even run a 5km.

    2. Sign up for a race

    This sets a strict deadline, and you'll have to show up for that run on the day. Which then, to make it more doable... (see #3)

    3. Use a training plan

    It helps to gauge how much you can improve. A trainer or a good running club would perhaps be even better, but if you're like me, who were huffing and puffing so much in the beginning, it helps to spend some of these first days on my own and not be embarrased in front of so many people.

    4. Listen to your body

    I guess this is difficult when you're starting out. My rule of thumb is if it really hurts, then stop. Unless you have a good trainer who knows that is the pain you should push through.

    5. Don't compare yourself with others

    Some runs like a gazelle, some runs like a rhino, some looks like a messy sweaty blob. You can be fast, you can be very slow to improve, and never even qualify for a "normal group" on any running club (that's me). That's ok. You do you, and you're still faster than someone who sits on the couch.

    6. Track the runs (get a running app)

    It feels good to see your achievements and progress. Also very important to track your running shoes mileage.

    7. Make the run fun

    Gamify it by using some gaming app. Listen to upbeat music. I found running too carthartic that I don't want to hear my thoughts when I started xD.

    8. Stretch before and after

    This, especially if you're in the 40+ age group. The muscles aren't that as flexible as it used to, and stretching sessions makes a lot of difference.

    9. Remember why you want to do this

    For me, it was for my overall cardio health. So it doesn't matter how fast I go, as long as I do it regularly. The biggest benefit is I feel healthier and I can easily be more active and do other sports.

    10. Get some cool running gears

    You know, dress the part. Also great running shoes makes a lot of difference.

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