I spent years hating running, until I changed my routine — here’s how I learned to love it

treadmill running

Learning to love running is an arduous, but not impossible, task.
Here, author Sarah Wells details how ditching the treadmill led her to “become someone I never thought I’d be: a happy runner.”

The internet has a million-and-one recommendations for how to exercise, and many of those rely on one key element: cardio. Namely, running. For much of my life the very concept of running filled me with dread, until I found a way to make it empowering instead.

A big part of my running anxiety came from the way it was introduced to me in middle and high school through the infamous mile-run test in gym class. While I had always been actively involved in sports, I was never a particularly fast runner and these tests made that abundantly clear.

In case you’re unfamiliar, here’s how the test works: after learning the alleged correlations between mile times and health standards (e.g. to be considered healthy, a student would have to achieve a certain benchmark depending on their age and sex), an entire middle school gym class would traipse out to the school’s track and start to jog. While not meant to be a competition, it went without saying that students who finished last had “failed.”

This competitive relationship with running didn’t stop after the tests did, and as a college student I struggled with constructing my own exercise regimen without the sports I’d grown up with. As a freshman I was intimidated by the gym’s powerful weight lifters and the graceful runners galloping on treadmills like gazelles. Choosing the lesser of two evils, I chose to start with the treadmills.

Read more: I’m convinced exercising in the morning has transformed my productivity

The treadmill, a hamster wheel

I adjusted the incline, slowly increased the speed from a walk to a jog and contemplated whether I would wipe out badly enough to need the emergency “STOP” cord attached to my t-shirt.

Within minutes, the treadmill began to feel like a hamster wheel and, having raised the speed optimistically too high, I was out of breath and already discouraged before I’d crested the one-mile mark.

As I slowed to a walk, I remember looking around at other machines and trying to sneak a glance at their speeds. My heart sank as I saw them still running with ease at speeds far higher than mine.

As semesters and years progressed, I did become faster …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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