I love running. I have always felt a lot more like ME, just sort of in general, when I`m consistently setting time aside to run. Even when I’m engaged in other forms of exercise, running is special to me. So when I read articles and blogs written by other people who like to run, it seems totally normal to me.
My husband, on the other hand, hates running. Even back when we were just a couple of friends who boxed together, I was always pushing him to come running with me. More like forcing him, actually. We`d put in an hour of boxing drills and strength training, and then I`d drag him to the park to run stairs, with him protesting the entire time.
So imagine my surprise when, a few weeks ago, this very same man decided to pound it out on the treadmill at the end of a strength training day.
Until recently, I’d been jogging a lot of 3-4 milers on a pretty regular basis. I’m not a distance runner AT ALL, so before I started my half marathon training, 3 miles was a pretty average jog for me. I’d come home and report my pace to Joe, and describe my run. I think he finally just realized that, if it only takes 8 or 9 minutes to run 1 mile, maybe he would give it a try. I think part of his motivation was his natural competitive nature, to see if he could match or beat my fastest pace, and part of it was to prove to himself that he can do anything he sets his mind to. But at the end of his workout one day, he decided to run a mile as fast as he could and see how it felt.
This is actually a super cool way to think about running. It’s like listening to Macklemore if you don’t like rap. Or watching MMA because you “just can’t get into” boxing. There are some people who will never love long distances, who truly look at running as a means to an end, or as part of a training regime for another sport. That’s totally cool. You don’t have to love every second you spend running, but it can still be beneficial.
Joe has started consistently running 2 miles a few times per week. He’s tacked it onto his strength training days, when we’re not boxing. He figures that, even if it hurts like hell, and it really sucks, it’ll all be over in 15 minutes or less, so how bad can it be? And if he’s really hating it, well, the faster he runs, the sooner it ends.
I have to say, it hasn’t taken long to start seeing real results. He’s cut his 2 mile time down significantly in a few short weeks, and his boxing has improved dramatically. There are even times where I wonder if he’s starting to like it… although he still refuses to ever train for a 5K. 🙂 And the results have been great for me, too. I love it when I’m jogging away on the treadmill, and he hops on the one next to me and sweats it out with me for my last 2 miles. If he hates running and he’s willing to do it anyway, I can do it too. It’s totally motivating and awesome.
I guess the point of this is that you don’t have to absolutely just adore running in order to make it work for you. But it might still be beneficial to try it… run one mile and see how it feels. See how fast you can do it, or if you can do it after a really tough workout. Or maybe try it one day if you’re feeling sluggish and you need an excuse to get off the couch and get your blood flowing. Or, really, try it whatever your reason may be.
So if you’ve never been a runner, and even if you never plan to become one, I dare you to just run one mile, one to two times per week, and see what happens.