Ways to Make Running Feel Less Terrible


Struggling to get moving? Try these tips!

We all have experienced it – that sluggish feeling that keeps you less-than-motivated to gear up for your next run. Sometimes a couple days off is all you need, but there are some other things you can try to add a little pep to your step.

Take Walk Breaks

One study found that regular walking intervals during a long run can help you maintain the same pace that you would have if you ran the entire way while being gentler on your body. Walk breaks are more than just physical, though. Walking breaks can help you overcome mental barriers as well, helping you to look at hurdles of long distance running that once seemed overwhelming as more manageable, smaller pieces when you incorporate walk breaks.

Play Another Sport

You may benefit from a break from the pavement. You can still get a good workout in while playing a sport. Softball, soccer, field hockey, ultimate Frisbee, basketball, and rugby are great ways to get a run in without calling it running. Look for a local league or just play for fun with friends to give your mind a break from those long runs.

Get Caffeinated

Although some health gurus might say otherwise, one study published in the British Journal of Sports Science revealed that people who drank a cup of java before a timed run on a treadmill finished quicker than those who were in a placebo group. If you are not into coffee, try an herbal caffeinated tea.

Slow your Pace

Sometimes slowing down is the ticket to making a run feel better. If you regularly battle getting going on your runs, schedule an easy day specifically for slowing your pace. You should be running at a pace that is slow enough that you can speak in short sentences. If you have a hard time slowing down, consider running with a friend to ensure you stay slow enough to be able to speak.

Fuel with Carbohydrates

Grab a carb-rich snack before hitting the pavement. A few carbohydrates can bring your blood sugar stores up and improve your mood.

Create the Perfect Playlist

Cue up Spotify and create a pump-up playlist that will get you moving. Studies have proven that music can increase your motivation and improve your performance when running. You can even create playlists that are unique to the kind of run you are on with different tempos for long runs, races, and so on. According to Scientific American, music helps to distract people from fatigue and pain while increasing endurance and elevating mood. Music may also be able to promote metabolic efficiency.

Look to Your Feet

Are you dreading your workouts because your joints are aching or your miles feel somewhat flat? You may need a new pair of running shoes. If you haven’t replaced them in the past 300 to 500 miles, it may be time!

With these simple steps, you can hopefully overcome any mental hurdles keeping you from training for your next race.