Running is an exercise that is introduced to us from a very young age. Even back in Primary School we had to take part in our merentas desa. While running is something we all have to do at some point, there are people out there who make it a part of their routine. However, don’t think that every runner loves it. In fact, a study by fitness-tracking app Strava found that a majority of respondents hate running.
Strava asked 25,000 runners a bunch of questions in relation to their running habits and the results were interesting. Firstly, only 8% of runners actually enjoy putting on their shoes and hitting the road.
Meanwhile, 50% of runners hate running or tolerate it. So if you thought you were the only one who didn’t enjoy running, you’re not alone. After all, the sport requires patience, effort, motivation, and time.
Now you might be scratching your head and wondering why do all these people keep doing it if they hate running so much?
Well, the most obvious answer will be of course for the health benefits. These benefits include stronger lungs, lower blood pressure, stronger immune system, increase in bone density. The list goes on.
Although health is a big factor, 68% of runners actually attribute it to a combination of factors. It’s just that health benefits was the most selected option. What kind of combinations?
It’s all a mixture of preventing illness or diseases, improving body image, relieving stress, gaining more energy, connecting with others, and also that feeling of accomplishment. At the end of a run, crossing that finish line is what brings on the runners high.
At this point you might be having an internal struggle with yourself. You hate running and probably want to quit but at the same time you know it can be beneficial.
But how do you keep pushing yourself?
Firstly, you need to set goals. No, I don’t mean “run a half marathon by the end of the year” kind of goal that some beginners set out for themselves. While it is an admirable goal, it might seem to big and far away.
Instead, set small goals for yourself every time you run. Maybe this week you will run twice instead of once. Or challenge yourself to run 5 minutes longer than your previous run. Even just pushing yourself to overcome that hill can be a great goal.
Next, experiment a bit. Running doesn’t just have to be a constant activity. You can try a variety of running styles while on your next run. Perhaps at the end of it you can sprint as fast as possible, or maybe even do jumping jacks every 1KM. Who knows what you might end up integrating into your run.
Lastly, track your progress. Invest in a running watch or download an app and track your progress. This way you can see not just the progress from run to run but also the beginning to present. There’s no better motivation than seeing how much you’ve accomplished and wanting more.