Running is excellent exercise. It increases your aerobic capacity, builds a stronger heart, and helps to strengthen your legs and core. But getting into running can be intimidating for some. There's pressure to run at a certain pace, win races, and always set a new personal record. If you'd like to get into running, but without all of that pressure, here are three ways you can do just that.
Register For An Inflatable Obstacle Run
There are groups that organize fun obstacle races around the country. These races are not just 3 miles running on a plain road. Rather, they feature giant inflatable obstacles that you have to jump, crawl, or roll through along the way. Running 3 miles on an inflatable obstacle course is less tedious than running the same distance on a plain road. Plus, these races have a fun, non-competitive atmosphere, rather than a cut-throat mentality. Even the more serious runners are just there to have fun, and sometimes, the run is not even timed!
Ask a few friends to register for the inflatable obstacle race with you, and then train together over the coming weeks. This makes running more of a fun social activity than a burdensome challenge.
Join a Jogging Group
If you look for running clubs in your area, you'll probably come across groups of runners who are training for a marathon or trying to set new records in the 5k. If you take running less seriously, you may not fit in, and you may feel pressured by the competitive atmosphere in these groups. You'll probably have a better time if you look for groups that call themselves "jogging clubs" rather than "running clubs." People who refer to themselves are joggers tend to be less serious about pace and personal records, so you'll fit right in.
Throw Away Your Watch
When you run by yourself, don't wear a watch. This instantly makes running less about the time and more about the simple act of enjoying time outside and moving your body. Look up your route on a map before you begin running so you know approximately the distance you'll be going, and then just run. Go at a pace you find comfortable, take breaks when needed, and don't worry if it takes you longer one day than the other. Without a watch on your arm, you really can't be too hard on yourself about effort and time.