Tips to Make Running Feel Easier

Stand Tall

As fatigue sets in, running form often suffers. Hunching over and slumping can make running seem harder by making your breathing feel labored. Roll your shoulders back and think about standing tall. This will open up your rib cage area and make breathing feel just a bit easier. If nothing else, it will help improve your form as a runner, and better form typically leads to a more effortless run.

Mix Up the Route or the Approach

Boredom can be a runner's worst enemy. Seasoned veterans, elites, and newcomers, alike, struggle with boredom from time to time. A new place to run can give your mind the distraction it needs. If you aren't able to go somewhere new, either because of time constraints or because there isn't anywhere new nearby, consider running the same route differently. You could run it in the opposite direction if it's a loop. 

Another option is to start at the middle point of an out and back. A six-miler would look like this: Run 1.5 miles in one direction, turn around, run 1.5 miles back to the starting point, take a rest and grab some water. Then, run 1.5 miles in the opposite direction, turn around, and run the last 1.5 miles back. Breaking down the run into smaller sections can help to cure boredom because the mileage you are thinking about is in smaller sections.

Think About Something Other Than Running

Running is hard. Thinking about negative things during the run is going to make it even harder. Get your head on straight and think happy, positive thoughts while you run. Those thoughts can be about running, but it may make the run easier if you think about something else positive to take your mind away from what you’re doing. Think about happy times with friends. Write a letter in your head to someone you want to thank for something they have done for you. Think about exciting plans you want to make that weekend. Think about anything other than how hard the run is and it will make the run fly by and feel a bit easier.

Change Your Mindset

Similar to not thinking about the run while running, changing your mindset about a run can have a profoundly positive effect. Instead of your run merely being another item on your daily to-do list, make it something that you get to do that day. For 50 minutes, or however long, tell yourself that this is a break from whatever you have going on that day. This is a time for you to do something healthy for yourself and recharge. Maybe it's a break from being with your children. Maybe it's time away from your desk. Whatever it is, tell yourself that you get to run— instead have to run. Perspective can change how you feel.

Start Slower

When we jump into a run and maintain our goal pace for the entire run, our bodies don't have time to warm up, to work into the pace. Starting at a pace that is slower than the average you want to run, or starting out at a pace that feels significantly easier, can make the entire run more pleasant. As your body warms up, it will naturally feel easier to run faster and with less effort. 

Think of an average pace for a run as just that, an average. If you start slower I'm willing to bet that you will be able to run faster than the pace you had in mind, hitting your average pace by combining slower miles with faster miles, all while making the run feel easier.

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About the Author

Dorothy Beal

Dorothy Beal is an RRCA and USATF Level 1 Certified Running Coach. She became a marathoner in 2003 and hasn't looked back since. She is the creator of the I RUN THIS BODY™ and #IHaveARunnersBody MOVEments. When not training for marathons or chasing her three children around, you can find her sharing her active life in pictures on Instagram or talking about all things running on her blog at mile-posts.com.
Dorothy Beal is an RRCA and USATF Level 1 Certified Running Coach. She became a marathoner in 2003 and hasn't looked back since. She is the creator of the I RUN THIS BODY™ and #IHaveARunnersBody MOVEments. When not training for marathons or chasing her three children around, you can find her sharing her active life in pictures on Instagram or talking about all things running on her blog at mile-posts.com.

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