If you think jogging isn’t really your thing, but wish you could enjoy the benefits of it, there is still hope. With the right motivation and a few helpful tips, becoming a runner could be in the cards for you. 

1. Shift your mindset

Was there a time when you decided that you simply aren’t a good runner, or maybe that you just don’t enjoy it? A mindset shift could be all you need. 

When phrases like, “I can’t do this, it’s too hard” float through your mind while lacing up, remind yourself that it’s not a competition. 

Instead of focusing on the tough aspects of running, consider the things you like about it, like spending time in nature, with friends, or just by yourself. And don’t forget all of the health benefits that it offers.

2. Invest in the right running gear

You may have heard the phrase “never cheap out on a mattress.” The same rule applies to running shoes. The gear on your feet will make all the difference, even if you’re just planning for light morning jogs. 

Investing in a solid pair of shoes means less chance of injury - and they’ll likely last you a few years. The shoes you wear will influence the way you run, which impacts the muscles and bones in your legs, feet and back.  

Your runners should allow at least a thumb’s width between your longest toe and the shoe’s end. You should also be able to pinch some material at the sides or top to ensure appropriate width. A properly fit running shoe should be about a half size larger than your typical shoe size.  

3. Make technology your running mate

Whether it’s listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks, entertain yourself while exercising with the help of a good pair of earbuds, a smartphone and some downloaded content. 

Some uplifting music can do more than distract you while working out. It can reduce pain signals being sent to your brain, as well as feelings of fatigue.  It can even help you reach a “runner’s high” which is a state of euphoria that can be achieved during lengthy exercise. This will help motivate you to finish strong. 

Be sure to keep the volume at a level that allows you to hear what’s going on around you. Stay safe!  

4. Break goals into smaller steps 

Just because you can’t run five kilometres without a rest, that doesn’t make you a failure. Breaking goals down into manageable steps will help you to achieve long-term results. 

Try jogging for 30 seconds without stopping, on your first time out. Then try going for a whole minute. When you achieve the small goals, reward yourself, no matter what that looks like. A pat on the back for a small win is an important part of the journey toward your ultimate target. 

5. Choose a good running route, then switch it up 

The route you choose can have a big impact on meeting your goals. Some people set out and run wherever their heart takes them, but if you’re a planner, there are many apps that can help you find a route that best suits you. 

Google maps has an option to find walkable routes. The popular app AllTrails: Hike, Bike & Run provides detailed trails for exercise, no matter where in the world you are. 

And don’t be afraid to mix it up. Once you find yourself getting comfortable with your current path, look for a new one to keep things interesting. Maybe try a trail with a bit of an incline -- or one with different landscape. A change of scenery can hold your interest, and motivate you to achieve your goals. 

6. Run with others 

If you’ve ever planned for a run, then cancelled at the last minute because you don’t feel like it, you’re not alone. Getting yourself a running buddy or two helps to hold you accountable. 

On the days where you just aren’t feeling it, a friend can help give you the push you need. And when they’re having an off day, you can give them a boost. 

Research shows we’re more likely to push ourselves harder when working out with others. If you’re hitting up a new route, it’s also safer to test it out with a buddy. Working out with others is a healthy way to stay social and active at the same time. 

Becoming a runner is an attainable goal, and applying these ideas will help you to get there.  The feeling of accomplishment after a great run will have you coming back again and again. Happy running!