Despite wanting to run, many people don't start because they are embarrassed to run in public. If you fall into this category, then you have something in common with Joan Benoit Samuelson, the winner of the 1984 women's Olympic marathon. When she started running, she was so embarrassed that she would slow to a walk, and pretend to look at flowers when cars passed.
Running in public may be outside of your comfort zone, but here are eight tips to get you pounding the pavement.
1. Remember that most people you pass will not see you.
Seriously, most people are so wrapped up in their own lives that they won't notice you as you go by. If they do see you, you won't even make an impression. Think about your own life. How many people do you pass every day that never register in your brain?
2. Run in the dark.
Get up and run before the sun is even up. Not only will it be too dark for most people to see you, but it will also be too early for most other people to be awake. Alternatively, run at night after the sun goes down. If you do choose this route, just be careful of traffic. You may want to think about reflective clothing for those few cars you might pass.
More: 7 Safety Tips for Running in the Dark
3. Run with a friend.
Find a supportive friend, either a new runner like you or an experienced one, who will be your running buddy. Having someone else to share the road with will keep your mind off of any other insecurities you may have. Plus, companionship will make the run more fun.
4. Run with a beginner running group.
Many running groups have beginners, and there are also many new beginner running groups forming every day. Look for groups in your area, or even start your own using meetup.com or a similar service. Being with a group of beginners will make you feel less conspicuous on the roads. There are many more beginners out there than you think.
More: 4 Tips for Group Runs