minutes per mile blog

is running for everyone? part II

Yesterday we talked about why running might not be for everyone, because some people’s bodies simply might not be built for it.

But what about people who are physically capable of running, but just don’t like it? I’ve had friends tell me that they want to love running, but they find it totally boring. And of course it shatters my soul into a million pieces because I want everyone in the world to enjoy the endorphin highs I get to experience almost daily. Even running around a flat circle 10+ times makes me happy in a weird way.0811150641When people tell me that they just don’t like running, two conflicting thoughts come to mind.

First, I want to tell them to keep trying. I’d say that running is definitely an acquired taste. When I started running I totally sucked and was really slow. I had to walk/run most of my two-mile loop and the only way I got through the workout was by blasting music through my iPod (or wait — maybe it was a CD player?! omg.) and running really early in the morning so that I was too sleepy to talk myself out of it. (A tactic I still rely on today – ha!)

For the first few months I was running mostly out of pure determination, not out enjoyment. I still didn’t “get” the whole running thing, but I wanted to keep trying out of curiosity and stubbornness.

And then, really slowly, I actually got better. And then I kind of started to like the whole running thing. This all went down during the end of my senior year of high school, when I was excited/nervous/sad about moving to Baltimore for college. I realized that running was an excellent tool to deal with thoughts and emotions and I started to really find my zen out on the run. And the rest is basically history.

So: Couldn’t everyone have a similar happy ending to their “I hated running” story? Well… I want to say yes, but:

Second, I want to tell them that I totally understand. Here’s the thing, though. Although I don’t understand how anyone could find running boring, I can relate to finding certain exercises boring. All I do is think about yoga :)yoga_20160401_065750As much as I’ve tried to get into yoga over the years, I still find it totally boring. I just don’t get it! I can’t stay focused and feel like each minute drags on during class. There have been very few instances where I’ve left a yoga class feeling like I’ve gotten a good workout or accomplished much of anything.

What’s also weird is that I feel like yogis talk about the zen they find in yoga like the way I talk about the zen I find in running. We’re striving for the same thing — but just have different methods of getting there.

So, to everyone who hates running and thinks it’s boring: I want you to keep trying, but at the same time I totally get it.

What do you think? Can anyone learn to love running?

9 thoughts on “is running for everyone? part II

  1. I think most people can learn to love running if they find some way to make it enjoyable or worthwhile for them. For some, the intrinsic motivation to just get better and see what you can accomplish is enough. For others, they may have to be coaxed by music or a goal race in mind. I think the question is whether you can really find that “flow” that comes with running. It doesn’t come easily to beginner runners, but for a more experienced runner he or she may get into that “flow” state more easily.

  2. Totally not your question but I say follow your advice tidbit #1 with respect to yoga. It took me ten years of off and on (mostly off) trying to like yoga. But now I love it! When you are first trying to get into it, and it’s not your natural go to thing, it really is all about the instructor. Don’t give up on it! I felt the same way you describe re yoga, but found an amazing instructor who specialized in warm power yoga. Did that for 4-5 years and truly loved it. I still love those classes, but I’ve also gotten better about appreciating and liking slower more restorative classes too. Yoga can be transformative – mentally and physically, but it’s taken me 15 years to get there. Don’t give up!

    • thanks for the pep talk! i’ll have to keep trying :). i kind of have no choice anyways, since it’s the only way i can get myself to stretch! maybe i should do a 30-day challenge or something.

  3. I hear that a lot from people too, that they find running boring,but I think that’s one of the reasons I like it! It’s time for me to check out or just slow down and take in the scenery.

  4. Your yoga comment reminds me of exactly how I feel about it. 😉 I get my zen from my run! I’ve gotten family and some friends into running, and just keep encouraging them. I think everyone can be a runner per se if they give it a chance. They may not love it but they can do it!

  5. I don’t think running is for everyone and that’s just fine. I am with you on the yoga thing, I keep trying but I just don’t like it, in fact, I actively dislike it. But I also never stretch so I keep trying to go just to get some in. I think both stretching & yoga are totally over rated!!!