4 Ways to Make Running Fun (or at least. . . more fun)

How to make running a little more enjoyable

Right when I hit the six-week mark after Star’s birth, I told Bart, “I hope I haven’t lost all my running stamina.”

There was a long pause and then he asked, “The stamina you built up while you were pregnant with Ani?”

Sadly, he was totally right.

When I was pregnant with Ani, I started running with two friends who lived in my apartment complex, and we went three times a week.

It was the BEST – there was basically no extra time required except for actual exercise time because we met right outside my front door, all three of us were very prompt (no waiting around!), and we would run three miles and then be done. It was such an efficient way to get in exercise, plus it was (reasonably) fun because I could visit with some of my favorite friends while we ran.

Then Ani was born, and we moved, and I never really got back into the running routine.

But now, two and a half years later, I’m getting back into the groove. Here are four ways I’m making it a little more enjoyable.

  1. Pick a Time that is Realistic. When I went running with my friends, we went at 7 a.m. It was early enough that Bart was home with Ella, and I didn’t have to get ready for the day twice. Now, I go in the evenings, the instant the girls go to bed. At this time of year, it’s still light, Bart’s almost always home, and it’s cooler than during the day. If you know you won’t maintain a 5 a.m. habit for more than a week, pick a different time. 
  2. Find Something to Listen to. As you know, I’m a mega-fan of audiobooks (25 of my favorites here). I also love podcasts (recently, I’ve been listening to Gretchen Rubin’s new podcast, Happier) and I alternate between the two when I run, which makes the time got a lot faster. It feels like my own little alone time in the evenings and I actually look forward to going rather than dreading it. 
  3. Wear Something Decent. I am not one of those people who can wear an XXL t-shirt I got for free at Duke. I know it doesn’t actually matter, but I prefer working out a thousand times more when I don’t feel totally frumpy and ugly when I’m exercising. Over the last few years, I’ve thrown away every item of athletic clothing that makes me feel homely, and replaced it with things I actually like. I love Zappos not only because they are a Las Vegas-based company, but because they have tons of athletic gear and free two-day shipping, which means when I realized my old running shoes were threatening to take off all my toenails, I could have a new pair in time for my next Zumba class. 
  4. Train for a Race. The most racing I’ve ever done is at the $1 5Ks they used to do once a month in Texas, but now that I’m missing my running buddies, I’ve decided that once we move, I’ll pick a race and train for it to give me something to work toward (otherwise, I end up walking more than I run because, hey, I’m lazy). Too bad I don’t live in San Francisco because this race looks super fun. For now, I’ll content myself with running loops through my neighborhood – totally almost the same. 
I feel like right now I’m loving running more than I ever have because it just feels so luxurious to have 30 minutes by myself at the end of the day to be on my own and listen to whatever I want without interruption. 
Plus, even if I come home and spend the rest of the evening looking at the Internet, at least I’ve done one productive thing. 
How to make running a little more enjoyable

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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  • Reply Tina's Blog May 13, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    I'm always trying to make running seem more enjoyable. I mostly run on the treadmill because I like it more (I know that's weird). For me, my book rack on the treadmill is an absolute must and finding a great book to read makes running much more enjoyable. If I'm not into the book, running is a hard sell.

  • Reply blaine and michelle May 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I alternate running and attending a barre class every other day, but I totally look forward to my running days for the same reason you said. The luxury of listening to a podcast or music uninterrupted, and breathing fresh air out in the real world is amazing.

  • Reply Chrissie May 13, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I just got back into running too and it's definitely tough, but really does feel good to do. I'd love to know what your favorite brands are for running pants/tops if you don't mind sharing. I've been wearing GapFit leggings and they're pretty great so far, but would love more suggestions!

    • Reply Alison May 14, 2015 at 5:04 am

      My one pair of Victoria's Secret workout capris are my favorites. The material is thicker than my other pairs and they have a higher, supportive waist that is kind to my post two kids tummy.

  • Reply Jenn May 13, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Love this post. I don't run, but I ought to so this with walking! Would be especially nice on those days I've just about lost my head with the kids and need some alone time!

  • Reply Kristin @ Going Country May 14, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I miss when my body worked well enough to run. Lo these many years ago when I was running every other day, I had an iPod stocked with music for running. Adding to the collection was one of the best parts of running.

    At the moment, semi-crippled with plantar fasciitis and a shoulder injury from slipping on stairs this winter, I can't exercise very well and it's driving me CRAZY. I'm banking on the fact that my body will heal once I'm not carrying around an 18-pounds-and-growing infant. So . . . maybe in a year?

  • Reply Melissa May 14, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Bay to Breakers is a naked booze fest. There are some serious runners, but people literally run naked and there are people stopping to do beer bongs along the way. My parents used to run it when I was younger and they would come back and tell us about all the crazy people they saw. Then when I was in beauty school in San Francisco I went to school with some people that my parents would have been telling me stories about.
    I am super jealous of your running buddies in Texas. I need that in my life.

  • Reply Paige Flamm May 15, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I actually just started running again this week and I was like, "oh yeah, I like doing this", I'm impressed you can run so soon after having a baby because for me I feel like my joints and organs are always about to fall out of my body!

  • Reply Lauren May 17, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I love listening to podcasts when I run. That way I know I will be running for at least 30 minutes so I can finish the episode!

  • Reply Lins - Domesticated Working Woman May 18, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I love running! I would love to chat with you about PiYo and how it helped me with running. (I met you at the TriFABB event at the Beachbody table)

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