Raise your hand if you groan and/or roll your eyes when running appears on the whiteboard. You’re not alone; you can probably count on one hand the number of people who cheer when they see more than 400 meters in a workout. Most of us chose CrossFit because we don’t love running and wanted a lot of variety.
But embracing running can help you reach your fitness and weight loss goals. It’s great cardio, and it can help relieve stress, improve your aerobic engine for endurance WODs like 18 minute AMRAPs, and supplement what you’re already doing in the gym. Where a lot of people get stuck is finding a way to enjoy running. Here’s how you can learn to love it – or at least tolerate it better.
Re-train Your Brian
In the gym, mindset is everything. But that also applies to running. If you tell yourself you hate running and that you’re bad at it, you’ll continue to avoid it at all costs. However, you can reframe running as something you’re doing to improve your cardiovascular health and your gym performance, and revel in how you’re pushing to become the healthiest, fittest version of yourself.
Running doesn’t have to be running fast. In fact, if you’re trying to build up your endurance, you want to go slow. If you’re running your 400s at 2:30, that equates to about a 10-minute mile. So when you head out for a non-CrossFit run, you might want to run an 11-minute mile. Walk if you need to or want to.
Consistency is 🗝
You don’t have to run long distances, but you do have to run consistently. Set aside time to run a couple of easy miles, two or three times a week. This can be on an active recovery day. How fast you run doesn’t matter; you’re just putting in the work to build endurance.
Gamify Your Runs
A low-tech way to gamify your runs is to give yourself a goal to hit, even during a run. For example, you might decide to run to a light post, then walk to the next one. If you listen to music, you could run for one song, then walk the first verse of the next.
You can also download apps to make running more fun. There are apps that give you audio cues, like Zombies, Run! Others, like Fitness RPG, uses your mileage to level up your heroes. If you use Fitbit or Garmin apps, you can challenge your friends to see who walks or runs the most.
Running is Better Together
Running can be a lot more fun if you have company. Find someone else who wants to improve their running, or join a running group, so that you’ll have conversation to distract you on your runs – as well as someone counting on you to show up.
Make running a reward in itself by saving a favorite podcast just for your runs. Or listen to music you really like and can’t play in the car with your kids.
After a run, take the time to stretch and relax. Give yourself small rewards when you hit running goals, like running a mile without stopping to walk.
Ultimately, you will see running on the whiteboard, and it will be difficult. But it doesn’t have to be painful if you embrace how it’s helping you reach your goals, and take small steps to improve your running outside the box.Ready to make 2021 the year you’re at your fittest and healthiest? Sign up for your free intro today!