There are three types of people in the world: those who love running, those who hate running and those who really hate running. Formerly a proud poster child for the third division, I grew tired of the hostility and decided that running and I should mend our damaged relationship; after months of struggle and dedication, I still hate running. However, through the trials and tribulations of attempting to become a running enthusiast, I learned exactly what not to do. So, my fellow loathers of cardio, here are three tips to become a better runner while avoiding humiliation and catastrophe.
1. Find Motivation
Running as a hobby is nearly impossible without a valid reason. If you don’t have some motivation to drive you, running is considerably more horrendous than it would be anyways, not to mention that voice in the back of your head telling you to just go back home is practically a scream rather than a muffled whisper.
Personally, I tend to find myself thinking, “maybe I should go on a run” when I’m sprawled across the couch watching Gossip Girl with one hand on the remote and the other down a bag of Fritos. But there are many reasons to take a jog other than to make up for profuse stress-eating. Maybe you want to improve your overall health or relieve some stress. There’s always some dance or event or sports season lurking around the corner to “get in shape” for. And who could forget that euphoric runner’s high? There’s plenty of reasons, so pick one and run with it (pun intended).
2. Lay low. Very low.
There’s nothing worse than an uncomfortable drive-by encounter with someone you know. You’re almost guaranteed to be seen at the worst possible time. Nobody ever sees the peak of your run, when Beyoncé is belting and you’re loping down the sidewalk with the speed and finesse of a gazelle, looking like you should be in a Nike ad. It’s when your face is dripping and you have pit stains the size of Utah, or when you decide to take a momentary break that half the student body will coincidentally drive by.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received that text from someone who drove by: “I just saw you walking on Tremont!” Walking. Walking? I assure you, I’m not so dreadfully unathletic that I get dressed up in athletic shorts and running shoes just to take a casual stroll around the block.
Running on busy streets is risky; the easiest way to avoid this fiasco is to stick to the side streets. And if you choose to take a jog on the sidewalks of Northwest Boulevard, well, you’re on your own.
3. Never wear gray. Never.
Unless you use industrial grade antiperspirant, just don’t do it.
There are a plethora of potential dilemmas to be encountered while running, but there are also plenty of benefits. Even if you’re still not dying to join the cross country team, I hope these tips help make your running experience just a little bit less awful.