How to Run and Still Like It

Have you grown up dreading running? Are you afraid of how miserable you might feel and do you wonder how on Earth anyone could like such a torturous form of exercise? Well, I have a simple idea to try that might help.  For lack of better words, it’s called running slow!

Here is how to know if you are going the right pace to enjoy running. Run slow enough to talk to your friend at an effort that feels like about 50-60% of your maximum effort. This is called conversation pace. Seriously, you should go slow enough to talk the whole time comfortably. Most new runners (and actually many experienced runners too) make the mistake of going too fast, breathing way too hard and having no fun. So make sure to check your effort more carefully. You should actually enjoy this run.  Once you train at this pace for a while your heart rate will begin to drop which will allow you to begin to increase the pace without it feeling any harder.  This is a process that will repeat itself over and over when you do the correct workout at the correct pace.

There has been more than one person who has said that they DON’T like running or can’t go very far until I take them out and teach them what this pace REALLY is. I just go at a pace that makes sure we talk easily to one another. Talk about renewed hope! They all actually confess that they had no idea about how to do this and come back later to say they are happily running an hour or more using this new approach.

What if you can’t go fast or far? Don’t worry, just run for 5 minutes and walk for 1 minute. Make your run time longer and longer as you feel more comfortable. And you can confidently use this run and walk break approach for any long training run or event you decide to do like a half or full marathon. If you run for 10 minutes and then walk for 1 minute, you would be surprised at how much better you feel by doing this. So go for a run and bring a friend. Social hour has just started!

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