Be honest.... do you really enjoy this? And why?

I'm beginning to think that, no matter what Laura says, I will never be a runner.

I have just finished Week 8, have risen to the challenge of each week, have never quit a run, or repeated a week. Which is all good positive stuff.

But, if I'm really honest, I simply don't enjoy it. In the early weeks I enjoyed the sense of accomplishment when I managed something I hadn't previously thought possible, but now that I'm just trudging along for what seems like forever, really I just don't enjoy it.

So, my question is, what am I missing that keeps you running?

40 Replies

  • If running was for everyone we would not be a nation of over weight unfit human beings! Sadly though we are and NHS has taken out a fairly quick easy fix to the problem of idleness, however its not going to be right for everyone. If after you finish, well you have come so far you can't stop now but once you have finished the programme and you still feel the same try and find something else, cycling, swimming a team sport perhaps. Your fitness is better than it was so it will be a good start towards any other sport.

    For me who had been a sports person throughout my younger years I had become a real couch potato, I had worked long hours, very intense job sitting at a computer most of the day, dealing with staff issues. By the time I got home the brain was done in, if the brain is too tired the body doesn't function ether, so the couch was my hiding place. I gained weight, gained years and gained immobility. What a sad lazy specemin I had become in my 50's when I was rushed into hospital with suspected heart attack. That was my wake up call, it worked, I survived and I found C25K. It was my medication if you like to regain my good health, I won't stop until I simply can't run any more, hopefully many years along the line. Some days I don't like it much, some days I just love it, just like I love life and I'm not going back to that saggy counch ;)

    I hope you find something you enjoy but at least C25K has set you on the right road to being fitter and healthier so well done on continuing with the programme, you never know you may still get bitten by the runners bug, its never too late :)

  • Thank you for the reassurance.

    Actually, running was the second 'sport' that I came to in my search for fitness. A year and a half ago I started swimming (which I'd always enjoyed as a youngster). I now swim 3 or 4 times a week, doing about 1.3 miles per session. I love love love it. But my thighs are still like tree trunks!

    So I started running thinking that my fitness levels should now be good enough to be able to cope, and that the concerted leg effort might just shape them up a bit. Wrong on both counts it seems!

  • Its early days for the running to show TSH, it took about 3 months for me to really see a difference. Once your finished try doing some HIIT in your swimming and running, its very very good.

  • HIIT?

  • High Intensity Interval Training.

    A good way to improve fitness. You go full out for a time then recover with more gentle exercise. So if you were doing it with swimming you'd do a length as fast as you could then recover with a length of gentle swimming, then repeat several times.

    With running there's the Speed podcast, again with Laura, 5 minute warm up walk, 5 minute 'normal' jogging, then 8 x intervals of 1 minute fast running, 1 minute slow running, finishing with a 5 minute cool down walk.

  • Oooooooh, I see.

    Maybe it would help me with one of my other problems - with both swimming and running I seem to only have one speed. The whole 'go quicker' 'go slower' thing seems to pass me by!

  • I use lamp posts for HIIT running, its easier than timing and to be honest its the only time I run without music. I find the music has a habit of distracting me when I'm trying to go flat out. Its hard work, but short and the results are amazing, faster times and burnes calories long after you've stopped.

  • Hi, I didn't have to think twice about the question as I do love it, but obviously it isn't for everyone. I always went cross country running at school and hated netball (as I was rubbish). I think it's the team sport thing and I prefer to run on my own.I'm in my 40's now and only took it up again last year, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it and have always done exercise dvd's that I got bored of very quickly. Like oldgirl says I hope I can run as long as possible.

    Good luck and maybe you will change your mind, Susie.


  • I wouldn't say I love it but I do love the feeling I get when I've just finished a run. I love the way I feel and the fact that I can say "I go running" to people.

    I completed c25k last year and didn't run at all over the winter and I missed it. I couldn't wait for the clocks to change so it was lighter in the evenings.

  • It's true- if it was easy, everyone would do it! I have days where I think 'this is awesome' and days where I struggle around and wonder whether I should just chuck my trainers in the bin when I get home (like today). We wouldn't be human if we didn't have bad days and good days!

    The things I like about running are; the fresh air, the open fields (when it's not windy!), the wildlife, but mostly having some time to myself when I can listen to what music I like (not S Club 7) and not have two small people climbing me saying 'mummy mummy mummy MUMMY'.

    If you genuinely don't like running, would you prefer another form of exercise? A team sport maybe? Could you listen to a podcast or some music or a play maybe to pass the time a bit?

  • I always avoided distance running when I was young as I preferred more explosive, competitive sports. And saw no reason why I would change my mind 45 years later, but just saw it as a means to an end - which was to improve my fitness.

    The initial programme was not really 'enjoyable' for me as it was all about hitting targets but once I got past that and found a pace and rhythm which was comfortable, then running became a bit like walking or hiking but on steroids! A way of getting out in the fresh air and into the early morning while, at the same time, tapping into the energy and exhilaration that comes with running freely. I still tend to set targets so some runs are more satisfying than enjoyable, but occasionally I surprise myself by finding out how relaxing and enjoyable running can be.

  • I really love running and the feeling I have after a run. If you are looking for something else and want to tone your body and legs, have you thought of zumba? There are a lot of zumba classes about and you need to find a good one. It's routines are designed for body sculpting.

  • The very thought fills me with terror! I am the least co-ordinated person on earth, and the minute there is a change in direction, pace, movement or anything else, I'm stuffed.

    With swimming I just get into a rythmn, zone out, and carry on ad infinitum. I had hoped running would be the same.

    I'm not going to give up just yet, maybe I'll get there!

  • Running for me is like meditation. I spend the whole run emptying my mind and focussing on my breathing. It feels good not to think about anything sometimes!

  • That's very true, I go into a trance sometimes, bit weird but good. However on the flip side I do have days when I'm thinking what am I doing and this is such a struggle usually more mental than physical a lot of the time. I can guarantee though every time I come back I never think,'I'm glad I stayed on the sofa!' Love the feeling it gives me. I think it's definitely up to the individual though what you enjoy as long as you're happy and it's not a chore.

  • That hit the nail on the head for me. When I can't be a***ed, I always say to myself that once it's done I'll feel better for it and glad I've done it. It always comes true. I always come back with a clearer head and a more positive feeling, even if the run itself was not the best.

  • I think everyone has their own motiviation. I am a numbers person and the way I have motivated myself is by having targets and then meeting or exceeding them. I dont particularly like the running itself but am really happy when I have got a personal best or when I can tell I am getting fitter. I log each run using the Nike+ running app and if i wasnt doing that i probably would get demotivated because I would find it harder to track my progress.

    But in the end you need to find a motivating factor that works for you.

  • I totally agree with the fact that running may not suit everyone's taste but there are so many other sports out there - there must be several you would enjoy in addition to swimming! :-)

    In my case, the NHS C25k really changed my life positively. Runs are times for me, and only for me. I love how it's more of a mental challenge rather than a physical one. I have learned that I can actually DO things I never thought I would. I'm am really overweight, but I feel and see my body is changing, that's it's getting fitter over time. I have more energy, feel more motivated for anything else... And the list goes on and on. For the lazy person that I used to be, each run is like a small victory over myself, I feel more confident and I don't care so much about what the others may think about me anymore. Running empties my mind from all its worries, and when I'm finished, everything appears clearer and less painful.

    Hope you'll find what motivates you. Good luck! :-)

  • Absolutely agree with you DavD. Once you reprogramme the mind the body somehow catches up. Good luck with the weight loss

  • Thank you! ^^

  • Yes, I do. Or I sort of do. I love the post run feeling of smugness, even if it's tired smugness. I can describe tiredness now as being 'good tiredness', the type that comes from hard physical effort, rather than just being generally tired.

    I love the parts of the run where everything has settled into a rhythm and I could go on for ages.

    I love the extra calories I am allowed to eat during the day due to having worked them off first thing.

    What I'm not so keen on is the part where my legs are feeling hard done by and suddenly there's another hill in front of me. (What's strange is that this feeling came about 5 or 10 minutes before the feeling I could go on for ages on this morning's run.)

  • Funny that isn't it? Happens to me too. Often the discomfort is at the start, for the first 10 or so minutes, but I know if I persevere and keep pace it will get more comfortable and I will get stronger during the run. This gets me through the tough bits.

  • Me too. First few minutes are sometimes hellish. Then I kind of drift off into a parallell universe and settle into a smooth run.

    Yes I do like it. Running has changed my lifestyle altogether.

    And I now look good in jeans. What more can a girl want?

  • I love running. I particularly like my long runs as I can now run to more interesting places than when I was limited to running around 4k, which is what I could do in 30 minutes. Also as my endurance has built up I can now run up hills I couldnt do a few months ago which again increases the range of places I can run in. So I get an incredible feeling of freedom and exhilaration on those runs. That said, like some of the others I hate the first 5 minutes or so then the feeling disappears & all is well!

  • Really good question, and interesting answers. I think I felt a bit like that, TSH in the last couple of weeks - it was a hard slog (and I had work issues going on too) and I wasn't sure I'd carry on after graduation. But I really enjoyed the running much more in the weeks just after I graduated - I was slow, so hadn't done 5k, so I varied my runs with some long slow runs (building up to 5k) and some shorter faster runs. I found that I could enjoy gentler-paced jogs through the country-side, where I wasn't worrying about pace, and I could also enjoy short, sharp, harder runs - unbelievable! (Very short ones!)

    Then I did the 5x50 challenge, which was brilliant for overall fitness, and getting me back to cycling and yoga, but also pretty hard work, as I'd never done 30 minutes exercise every day before - and in the last week, it was quite a bit more than that. I did less running, partly as the way the challenge worked meant that I ended up doing more yoga, walking or cycling. I'm hoping to get back to doing more running again, but haven't yet, as I think I overdid things a bit on the final day of the challenge (a 26 km cycle, when the most I'd done before was about 14). Legs not quite back to normal yet!

    I'm writing this partly as a record of what I feel about running now, so I can look back in a couple of weeks. I think that I will get back to it, doing two or three runs a week, with a mix of paces, and hopefully enjoying at least a part of most runs. Though if it gets hot, I know I'll find that challenging.

    I am so glad I did c25k and had the chance to find out that actually, this PE-phobic 54 yr old could actually do running, and could often enjoy it too.

    Maybe you'll find slower or faster runs more satisfying - or maybe not, but you'll still know that you were able to get yourself doing something challenging, and I think perhaps that is the most important thing I've gained from c25k - finding out that I was capable of much more than I'd thought.

    Hope you find the exercise that suits you. :)

  • OMG. Thanks for starting this. I feel the same today and thinking how do I get up before 6am tomorrow to finish week 8. I remember about week 3 really looking forward to my run now not so sure. Maybe it's because it's tough and I have to talk myself to finish and not just stop but then I remember that's not going help my fitness or shifting the weight and that looking after me is the only time I stop. I don't do that at work or other parts of my life, I'm a completed finisher but why not when it's me! Sorry bit of a rant. I do think on reflection I love the fresh air, the good tired (as someone said) and knowing by Xmas I'll be able to get off that sofa and go for a comfortable 1/2 hour run to burn off the December excess.

  • I'm so so glad that, finally, someone else feels how I do! I'd just been starting to think that it must just be me, as everyone else is so full of how great it is. I was feeling woefully inadequate- that chubby kid at the back of the gym, last to be picked for the netball team, all over again.

    But now I have a chubby chum (sorry, I don't actually know if you are chubby, I just like the image!)I feel so much better. And no, I'm not going to be quitting. Not just yet anyway! Like you, I'm a finisher in every other aspect of my life, so why the heck not this one.

    Hang on in there, things can only get better!

  • TryingSoHard glad to help and happy to be you're chubby chum! It's a better image than someone else tried to get out f their head today! Maybe we're just not week 8 types!! Only one more week and we graduate. We can say we tried and didn't like or we tried and love it. Either way we did it! Better than sitting at home saying I wish I had. Good luck and let me know how week 9 is.

  • My friends often ask if I enjoy running and my reply is always "no, I hate it" :-)

    However I keep doing it because it is good for me and because I've come too far to give up now and because it's the simplist exercise to do and it's over and done with after about 40 mins! Oh, and I feel lush afterwards!

  • Oh I LOVE this comment. I have to REALLY PUSH myself to do every run and keep saying eventually I WILL enjoy it. I have messed around doing every week stopping for ages then going back and now I am about to start wk4. It is the panic of breathing that puts me off. I wondere if I will ever graduate.

  • TSH I found the last few weeks a real slog, I really wanted to do it though so I stuck with it. I can clearly remember the last few minutes of my run I would pass a bench in the churchyard and it took every fibre of will power not to throw myself down upon it. Post grad I still found it hard, but after a while I discovered I'd hit this nice little rhythm, it doesn't happen all the time and sometimes it can still be a slog but the good outweighs the bad. I enjoy not caring what I look like, the exhileration and feeling like a kid again. :-)

    Btw I think it's great you enjoy swimming - I do it to cross train but find it boring and a chore - wish I could love it as you do! It's supposed to be one of the best exercises there is, much as I enjoy running, swimming has a much lower risk of injury.

  • When it comes to swimming I completely get the 'getting into a rhythm and feeling like you could go on forever' thing. 10.30 at night after a pretty rough day at work, and I'm just back from the pool. I swam 88 lengths in 55 minutes and only got out because the pool was closing and the weary looking life guards wanted to go home.

  • All day I had wanted to swim, I never questioned that I would swim, and I enjoyed the swim when I got there. That's what I need to happen to me with running!

  • Wow that's speedy! :-)

  • Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it.

    I love it when a run goes better than i expected, when I beat a PB, when I'm going slightly downhill and it feels I could run forever. I love it that its free (we won't go into the costs of clothing here ;D)

    I hate it when I have a worse run than I expected, when there's a hill and I have to walk, when there is NO hill and I have to walk, when the weather is freezing or windy, when it takes 5-10 minutes for my heart to catch up with the fact that I need more oxygen!

    I am very slow and may be a grey haired, red faced, gasping old trout when I run, but I do not want to give up because it is good for me, because although I am on the wrong side of 60 I am able to run, because it is good for my heart, because people think I've lost weight but I have not much I've just changed shape and I'm fitter now than I have been for years.

  • I love running, and especially love my long, slow runs where I can go off-road and explore forest paths, etc.

    But running is not for everyone and once you've completed the programme and have built up your fitness you could easily transfer that to another sport. You could check at local community centres to see which team sports are available locally. Or if you'd like to do a bit of running, but with something to think about rather than the effort of running, how about orienteering?

  • I am like you, I know it is good for me, I'm enjoying achieving and improving but as for running itself, it is quite dull. I love cycling and I love swimming (and I do both whenever I can) but am aware that running fits my lifestyle ( I can get up early and be done before waking the kids work) better and my dog loves it! I am determined to stick with it though, improve, take part in races and all that jazz. There are few other exercises where you can burn a 1000 calories before breakfast and make your dog so happy :)

  • I'm loving it.....but am not sure if it's the running or setting myself targets and then achieving them. Today's run was lovely. I wasn't thinking about my breathing or pace....or anything really. It all just fell into place. Other days I've felt like an asthmatic walrus.

    I like the fact that it's easy to fit into my day. There's no need fir specialist kit. I don't have to pay, or go to a gym.

    The fresh air is a bonus.

    I dunno, it's working for me but I'm only in week 7 so I may get bored of it yet. In which case I'll get the bike out or Just Dance on the Wii....anything really to maintain my current level of activity and fitness.

  • Hi there ! Running is hard , some runs I find are easier to get into the zone and others every minute is pain!!! But the high you get afterwards is worth it .i just graduated yesterday and found the run hard-waited until 8pm last night to hit the park and the first 10minutes dragged on -but I've realised you have good and bad runs and I just keep going . You ll discover the runner in you yet ! On a run it will just click and instead of counting every minute until the run is finished you will find yourself thinking of other things and start to get n the zone ! Best of luck !

  • I can't say I love it and have to force myself to do it but must admit feel great afterwards....i do have bad runs which can be disheartening but just draw a line under it ...but I am 40 this year and the gym bores me but running seems to clear my mind and is making me more toned...its also helping with my battle to not smoke. I couldn't run on my own and have done all the course with the local running club which made it social so perhaps try that? I do love the sense of achievement at the end of it though as I suffer with depression and it seems to help with that..i did my first 5k last week and have now joined the running club but I am not really ambitious only want to continue running 5k just for fitness...the first run Tuesday I was right at the back but they way I figure is that it is better to do it even if at the back as your better than people sat on the couch!!

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