Has anyone started to enjoy it?

From a starting point of NOT enjoying it, I mean. 

I really struggle to get myself out there and it hasn't ever got any easier (I graduated a few years ago then injured myself, then started again, then lost motivation, now started again!). 

I usually feel great afterwards and it really sets me up for the day but I've never looked forward to running, never enjoyed it at the time, never found it meditative, never got a runners high etc.. Its just a bit miserable slog!! 

Sorry - not meaning to be negative, I'm just curious about others' experience.. 

33 Replies

  • Yes, I look forward to my runs now and enjoy running... although sometimes, right before a run, I still have to make a conscious "effort" to ignore made-up excuses (it's late, it's cold, it's been a tough day at work... and the like).

    But as soon as I close the front door behind me, I feel so well that the small mental "effort" is compensated a thousand times.

  • Do you remember a point where you thought 'actually I don't hate this'? And what didn't you like about it before you got to that point?

  • I find the first 5k a bind but then things to click into place and I hit my stride

    If you don't like it I would change to something I did like ☺  

    do you vary your run distances, times, routes?  Variety being the spice of life

  • I do not think I've ever "hated" it; I simply used to think it was pointless and I couldn't understand why people would submit themselves to sweat, breathlessness and soreness for no reason.

    I think the turning point for me was week5; by then my cardiovascular fitness had improved enough to arrive at the end of a run without gasping and I began enjoying the state of mind I got during and after a run and the control I had on my body.

    From then on I was hooked: now I run when I need to relax, I run when I need to feel energised and I run purely for fun, just to see how far I can push my body.

  • I always enjoy it.  I enjoyed it from the first run of week 1 of C25K.  That is not the same thing as saying it is easy.  I'd say that 90% of my runs have a difficult first 10 minutes that feel like I'm borrowing someone elses legs. After that, I get into my stride, and have decided whether I'm going to push for speed, or just lope along for the distance at a comfortable pace.

    My long run on sundays is currently being increased by 10 minutes each month.  This month I'm at 18km. I'd say that the last 3-4km are often difficult especially just after increasing the distance. During that last bit my legs often start to feel stiff and tight, and it feels like hard work.  I still enjoy it though, because I'm thinking how wonderful it is to be able to do it. I'm also smiling at the fact that I've done it will mean next time it will feel just a little easier.

    Do I have difficulty motivating myself to go for my run. Well, mostly no not really, but if at 6am it is cold, dark and raining, then I may feel somewhat reluctant. However, putting my running cloths on makes me feel more like doing it :)  I find the thought that any run no matter how slow, or short, is better for me than no run at all, motivates me.

    I find that just being able to run is a wonderful thing. Doing more of it means that I remain fit enough to continue enjoying it, that motivates me.  Conversely, if I don't run, then I know that my fitness will drop to the point where I will be able to do much less.

    I think it is a good idea to vary your running.  Change where you run occassionaly. Change your goals sometimes.  For instance, when my long run reaches 22km, then I've decided to stop lengthening it for twelve months.  I will consolidate for a number of weeks, then I will consider trying to increase my speed if I feel like it. 

  • This is really interesting. If you're increasing 10 minutes every month how long in total do you run for? Did you start increasing after graduation? I've just graduated and wondering what to do next.

  • It's maybe slightly misleading because I add 10 minutes to the distance achieved the previous month. So, in January I will run to a particular landmark (so always the same distance...) then on my first February run, when I reach that landmark, I will continue running for a further 10 minutes and note a new landmark. Then during February I will run each time to this new landmark (so February distance is always the same, but the time may reduce as I speed up).  Then first run in march I run to February landmark, and then continue a further 10 minutes, and note a new landmark for march runs ...  and so on.

    So the distance increases by whatever I can achieve extra during 10 minutes each month.  The overal time does not increase necessarily by 10 minutes per month, because my speed will gradually increase during the month.

    Anyway, to answer your question. I am currently running 22km in 2 hours 27 minutes.  However my intention is to stop increasing the distance from this month onwards, and try to gradually work on the speed. I'd like to be doing that 22km in around 2hrs within the next twelve months.

  • I rarely 'enjoy' the actual running.  I almost never 'feel like it' but conversely I'm always gagging to go out and do it.  Does that sound weird? 

    The thing is, I LOVE the feeling of achievement I get both immediately after I've done a run and in general now that I've been running for two years.  I would HATE to go back to the bad old days when I didn't ever do any exercise.  Over the last 30 years I have tried gyms, classes, home exercise vids and all sorts (like most people) but I've never stuck at any of them.  I think running works for me because it's free, I can do it directly out of the front door, I can do it on my own, I can do it whenever I like.  For me, the knowledge that I'm doing a good thing for my body makes any discomfort worthwhile.  I spend a lot of time at home with the radio on listening to all the awful news about obesity, diabetes, the state of the NHS etc, and I don't want to be someone who looks back and wishes I'd taken more care of my body.

    Having said all that, every now and then (not very often though!) I get one of 'those' runs where it all just feels right.  The high I get after one of those can keep me going for weeks!

    But we're all different.  I agree with Miss Wobble.  If you really hate it, why not try a different form of exercise.  There's no point bashing your head against a brick wall.

  • That's odd.  I don't think I've used the word 'conversely' for yonks, then I post this and immediately above while I've been typing Zev has said the same thing with the same words.  I guess it was the only word that fits that situation - don't feel like doing it but can't bear not to do it!  Sorry.  Waffle.

  • It doesn't sound weird - I think I feel the same way but I would like to really love it. At the moment I feel awful when I don't do it but its a real effort to keep going..

    There are lots of things I like about it - so much so that I can't think of any other form of exercise that would be better - but I would love to actually enjoy it at the time and really look forward to the actual running rather than the effects..

  • Yes - I know what you mean.  Not sure I have a solution though!  I guess I just do it because, for me, it's the right thing to do.  The fact that I've kept it up for 2 years makes me think that anyway as I'm not one for doing things I don't like normally! 

  • I find that I am keen to get out and look forward to it and as soon as I start, I think - oh no...  how long have I got left?!

    I'm really really hoping that the more weeks I do, the more enjoyable I will find it because I really want to.  Once I get into it a bit, I'm not too bad, it's the initial start and half way through that I find tough.  I really hope to get to 5k and then just keep on at that distance until it becomes easier, and then just enjoy it and maybe start going cross-country to make it more fun.  I have no desire to run further, I just want to enjoy 5k's and maybe do them a bit faster too.

  • I look forward to running...get antsy if I have to postpone a run for any reason. I love the feeling when I'm done, I'm amazed every single time that I can run for 30 minutes at a go. The actual run itself...it's only manageable if I break it up into 5 minute increments in my head. Some days I enjoy it, some days I feel like I'm torturing myself. There's no way to know until I've actually started running and a good 5 minutes in.

  • I think that once I found that I could do it (probably about week 6) I really started to look forward to my runs, planning them out on mapmyrun. It was still hard but I knew that they were challenges that I could overcome. The sense of achievement was huge after a successful run.

    I really enjoy pushing myself and I still get annoyed when I have to walk for a minute or so but it's all so worth it considering I have lost over 10kg now and feel the best I have felt since my early 20s.

  • I got really ratty with my other half on Monday when she asked me to postpone my run until Tuesday because she didn't want to wait the extra 40 minutes for tea.  It suddenly dawned on me what was happening.  I was enjoying the running.  Not the actual act of running but the second I finished and looked back at what I'd done!

  • Funny question, I understand exactly what u mean!  I anticipate a run, planning where I should go, wanting to go but it is a rest day.  Then I set off and remember it is hard work, wonder why I run and then settle down into just getting on with it.  After the run, I feel a sense of achievement and look back on it longingly remembering it as a great run no matter how I felt at the time!  I certainly enjoy it more since graduating because I can plod on at my own pace and run for longer which opens up more interesting places to explore, especially the woods, fields and tracks

  • I get this too , the feeling when you get back home , do your stretches , then get in the shower, dried and put your pug onesie on ( that's just me ha ha ) is one of the best feelings in the whole world !

    I could never say that I had " hated " any run. I have had great, good , not so good , a lot of "meh " runs but I have never regretted doing one and I know if I didn't do a run when I had planned to do one, I would just feel terrible !

    Funny thing this running lark isn't it ? :-) xxx

  • I feel your pain!!  I have never liked exercise. I have always exercised and at different points in my life I have been extremely fit but running (and all exercise) has always been a drag.  My husband loves to run and when he mentions his runner's high, I give him the evil eye.  What I do love is the feeling of being in great shape, hiking without feeling short of breath, running up a flight of stairs.  I had given up running for a couple of years (I'm 51) and I'm using this program to get back. I'm on week four and I can't wait for the 30 minutes to be over each time! I have to psyche myself up. I think of exercise as an important meeting I can't miss but a meeting I'd really rather not attend. I give this program A + by the way. I thought the ramp up each week was aggressive but so far it is working.  Don't feel bad if you don't like the running...think of it as taking your medicine for a healthy life. 

  • I get antsy if I can't run for a couple of days. Occasionally the runs are fantastic, mostly okay and sometimes really, really hard. But the afterglow is always fantastic and I suspect that is what keeps me coming back for more! That and being able to drop the fact that I am a runner into conversation still gives me a real buzz!

  • I've never had a runner's high and I struggle through the first 10 min. After that I take out my ear plugs and think my thoughts. Something I don't usually have uninterrupted time to do. I expect once it becomes repetitive and therefore boring, you have a problem. I only graduated in Jan, so have a long way to go, still plenty to work towards or try out. After that, not sure how it will go. Might try taking an audio book sometime or using language podcasts to make more use of my time. Have you tried running in a group once a week or doing park runs? If you had someone to chat with it might feel less of a grind.

  • Does it get easier hmmm most days yes I actively look forward to being out there , it has become part of me now , it is what I do .

    Are there days whens it is a real pig ? Yup and some but those are the days that  give the most, i work through and prevail and become a stronger person 

    Do I enjoy it , 100% yes 😊 

  • I see that you have been running for four years and that in your last post four years ago you said you were becoming addicted. I'm curious to know what happened to that feeling? 

    I loved running from the very first horrible run and that was three years ago and I still love it! Yes, it can be hard and painful and miserable and cold and wet but that's why I love it so much. The whole thing about being outside with just your body moving is so powerful and life affirming. 

  • I really really like the feeling afterwards and I do get grumpy and feel awful if I don't run every second day BUT I don't enjoy it at the time. 

    I think if you did enjoy it from the beginning then you won't get what I'm asking - I'm wondering if anyone didn't really like the actual running (not the feeling afterwards - I think we all like that!) and then grew to like it. And how/why that happened.. So I can replicate it!

  • I love the afterglow and I am often excited before a run, dream about running and love planning what I will do in the next week. The run itself is sometimes unpleasant to be honest, but I love knowing that I can run 30 mins or 5 k whenever I want. And some runs are fantastic and stick in your memory because everything just clicks. The weather can be sunny so that your heart sings at the sight of all the flowers and blossoms. Or it can be raining so that you splash through puddles and mud, get absolutely soaked and end up just laughing at your "madness". You can get a PB where for some unknown reason you are suddenly faster than ever before. Or you have the strength to just go on and on, further than ever before. I have had runs which were eye-openers, when I realised that if I ran more slowly everything was smooth and remarkably easy. I loved running in the hills of France, on holiday, even though I tripped over twice and ended up giggling on the ground. And the latest highlight was a wonderful, slow 10 k in the sunshine, which knackered my right leg and put me on the IC for a week. But mostly it is a slog at the time. I see these runs as putting in the hard work so that I can have the good times. And of course the health benefits make it worth while. 

  • I am on the injury bench at present and cannot wait to get back out, now that the sunrise is early enough for a decent run before work. I know from experience that it will be really hard work getting back up to speed, but absolutely nothing makes me feel more alive than charging across a hilltop track or through the woods. I am lucky to have countryside on my doorstep and I am sure I would not enjoy my running as much if I was hauling myself around urban streets. 

    I am old enough to see many of my peers unable to exercise because of crippling physical conditions and I am so grateful to C25k for getting me running. Learn to run like a child.........just because you can and thank your lucky stars.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • It's good to see you here IT after so long but sorry to read that you're on the IC. It's the pits isn't it? I'm just off myself after 3 months and feel your frustration! I hope you get out there soon. Take care. 

  • I'm only around 3 weeks post-grad so really, really early days but I wouldn't say I enjoy it yet lol!

    I'm enjoying everything around the runs, I'm enjoying improving my pace and achieving wee p.b's. I'm committed to 3 runs a week but I'm scared of stopping because to be honest I feel that if I stopped I wouldn't start again and wouldn't miss it!

    I'm hoping I can relax into it more and just wander off to run with no purpose other than to just do it because I want to.

    It's all still very 'routine' at the moment, quite ritual-istic and that's good for now because it makes me do it but I don't want it to be such a 'chore' in the long term.

    Sounds like a lot of people are enduring runs for all the perks it brings to life so maybe that is just to be our lot!

  • I find it really helps to have a good "course" to run. I found it a real slog when I was just doing the "dog-sh1t fandango" around my local park - but once I started the adventure of running along my nearby canal towpath, it became much more fun - and I started to look forward to running!

    Is there an area in your neighbourhood that you don't normally visit and you'd like to see more? A park, bit of open country, canal-side or river-bank? If the terrain is good, that would be a good place to go for your next runs.

  • There are some excellent motivational videos on YouTube I found helpful getting back into it.  Whatever activity that is.

    Finding your activity  / a niche in a sporting activity - knowing why we want to and why it's important to our health, ideally finding some form of sport and physical activity that ticks our boxes, are all things us guys here,  are, or have explored😊.

    Keep exploring - discovering - trying new things ... But I believe at the heart of it all is finding something you relate to and enjoy 😊

  • I know exactly what you mean. I graduated a few weeks ago and am still only running for 30 mins, every other day, using the week 9 podcast. Some days I have good runs but more often than not, I am "counting lampposts" until the end and waiting for Laura to say 10 minutes to go, 5 minutes to go. It doesn't seem to be getting any easier but I am convincing myself that I AM RUNNING and it WILL get better. I do feel good afterwards though and proud of myself that I have run before work. I know that if I miss a day, however, I will stop !!

  • I think I actually stopped hating it on Monday when I completed W4R1; I honestly wanted to run on the treadmill and wa sure I wouldn't complete the last 5 minutes but I did and I felt so good. I never really look forward to going to the gym but I don't dread it either.

    I think it might be useful to set your own little goal within C25K cause I know the rewarding feeling you get from acheiving that can be a good way of finding enjoyment in something.

  • I didn't like running to start with but fell in love with it during the programme, probably after week 7. It started with being amazed at how hard it was and the only positive was when I was done and then at about week 3 I felt amazing that I had conquered some of my fears and doubts. 

    By the end of week 4 I had enough of doing it on the elliptical trainer and tried doing W4R3 again but outside. It was the first time I'd been outside in roughly a year. I felt awful and tense but also very free. I did all runs outside after that.

    Week 5 was great but weeks 6 and 7 knocked my confidence a bit because I found them hard. Week 8 felt like things were more consistently better during the runs and week 9 I felt victorious!

    Throughout the programme I hated the runs themselves but loved the afterglow. Then I started noticing that I was beginning to see muscles where previously there was just dimpled flesh. There was also a lot less of me to lug around. I loved feeling stronger, I loved feeling like I was achieving something by getting outside even though it terrified me. 

    I guess after my long ramble I'd ask you why you started? Does the running and routine help you achieve what you set out to do? Are you varying your routes enough? Do you have a celebration song that makes your heart swell with pride once you're done, that reminds you what you accomplished, even if it didn't go to plan? Would you prefer to run with company? What did you expect to feel vs how you actually feel and what can you do in other areas of your life to help you get to where you want to be?

    Lots of questions to ask yourself there. I think when I started I was running away from pain and now I'm running towards a better me and a healthier future. 

  • Well, I remember a really terrifying chat with my Dad a few years ago when he said that he had always found the first eight to ten miles a bit of a struggle, then got into it and loved it. Personally, found week two awful. Week four day one yesterday not as bad as I feared, so let's hope for tomorrow. Am starting to realise that the struggle is as much mental as physical. Good luck, keep running!

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