Even though running is wonderful, and I love it, and I never want to ever have to stop running, I will be the first to admit that running is not the SINGLE ticket to losing weight or being fit. You can be extremely physically fit and lose lots of weight without running AT ALL.
So if you hate running, you're off the hook. There's no reason to take up running unless you love it. If you don't love it, there are plenty of other ways to reach your fitness goals.
However, there is nothing WRONG with running. A lot of fitness bloggers poo poo it. But I don't think it's the actual running that they think is horrible. I think what they don't like about it is that most runners...
Run for the wrong reasons.
What's wrong with only running?
You're neglecting other key aspects of physical fitness! What about flexibility, muscular strength and muscular endurance? Plus, only running can lead to over training...
What's wrong with over training?
Lots of things! Your performance will suffer. You'll be tired and stressed and hungry. You'll get injured.
What do you mean people run for the wrong reasons?
What I mean is, they think running will help them reach certain fitness or weight loss/body composition goals that actually would be more easily reached through other forms of exercise. For instance, if you wanted a ripped upper body, you'd do more than just run, right? I know that sounds simple, but let's take it to the next level. If you wanted to strengthen your lower body, you should also do more than just running!
Okay, now it sounds like I'm hating on running too. I swear, I'm not. I love running! And there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, but just be sure to...
1. Run SMART. Don't do anything stupid. Like run a marathon without training for it. Or run 60 miles a week for no particular reason at all except so you don't get fat. (Been there, done that, still had a lot of body fat.)
2. Take rest days. I really hate complete rest days. But there are ways to get around them if you are like me and get anxiety over taking a complete rest day. Do something low impact. Lift upper body one day and lower body the next. You get the idea. Do not run 7 days a week.
3. Don't OVER TRAIN. Most runners are over prepared for their races. Being over prepared can lead to injuries or tired legs. Also, if you're not training for a particular race, do not hold yourself up to the same training schedule as you would if you were preparing for one. You don't always need to push yourself. There's a time to push and there's a time for recovery. If you allow yourself to recover, you can push all the harder next time.
4. Cross Train! Especially strength training. Please strength train.
5. Don't try to be a hero. If you are injured, lay off the running. This sort of falls in line with #1. (Actually, all of these tips could fall under #1!!)
6. Don't put yourself in a running box. Aka: Don't run the same distance at the same pace every day. Do speed work. Do hill repeats. Run long. Run short. Mix it up! You'll be a better runner for it, I swear.
Running is wonderful. If you love running, keep running! Just run SMART!
If you don't like running, DON'T RUN! There are one billion other ways to be fit, healthy, and happy! If runners try to convince you to take up running, it is probably truly just because they love it so much and get so much enjoyment from it that they want you to experience the joy as well.
It's kind of like how I recommend my chiropractor to every single person I meet. I want YOU to know the joy of a good chiropractor!
Do you love running, hate running, or are you neutral?