If Running Feels Too Hard, Try This

If you're just starting to run or coming back from an injury or a hiatus, you might feel excited, determined, or anxious to get going. You might tell yourself, "I'm going to do this. I'm going to get myself out there and run three or four times a week!"

This can be an ambitious goal for a beginner. After those first few runs, you might start doubting yourself. You might think: "I'm too out of shape. I get winded just running down the block," or "I'm too old to run. I'll ruin my knees," or " Who was I kidding? Running is just too hard," or "I'm so slow—what's the point?"

More: When Does Running Get Easier for Beginners?

ChiRunning has good news. Running is for everyone, no matter your experience, age or size. It doesn't have to be hard, and it doesn't have to hurt. You can reach your fitness goals without getting sidelined by pain or injuries. Many beginning runners need to work up to a run-only program, and the ChiWalk-Run approach is a great way to get started.

Start Where You Are with ChiWalk-Run

If you can't run a mile or even a minute, don't think running isn't for you. Walk-run is a series of short runs interrupted by very short walking breaks. Because the walking and running segments are relatively short, they're easy to do, and they help build your cardio-aerobic conditioning so you can gradually phase out your walking breaks.

ChiWalk-Run takes it a step further by teaching you how to walk and run to make your workouts feel easier, prevent pain, and reduce impact to lower your risk of injury. Here are a few tips to get you started.

More: How ChiRunning Reduces Injury and Promotes Healthy Running

Practice Your Posture

Before every workout: Stand tall. Imagine a straight line running vertically down your body. Line up your shoulders, hips, knees and feet. Engage your core slightly so you feel a light tension in your lower abs. Relax all your other muscles as much as possible.

More: Build Your Core With ChiWalking

Begin With a Warm-Up Walk

  • Shift into a brisk walking pace when you're ready. You should feel your breath rate increase, and your arms should swing faster along with your legs.
  • Keep your stride short as you increase your walking speed.
  • Don't land hard on your heels. Try to land softly and practice "peeling" your feet off the ground when you take a step.
  • Walk at this brisk pace for five to eight minutes.

More: 7 Running Drills to Warm Up the Right Way

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