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Hate running but want its benefits? Try these tips to improve your endurance

When I first started running I absolutely *hated* it. I wanted the benefits of a good cardio workout to tone up and get my heart rate going, but I could never get into a groove and ended up quitting after just a few minutes.

Although it was tough at first, I kept working at it and eventually found that it got easier every day. As I started to improve I noticed results, not just in the way my body looked, but also in how I felt and how excited I was to work out regularly. Here are some tips that worked for me as I built up my endurance over time.

Find the right environment 

I personally hate treadmills and the feeling that I am not actually going anywhere, so I immediately started to have more fun running outside through my neighborhood and local trails. Exploring new routes helped me lose track of time, and I ended up going a lot longer than I thought I could.

Maybe your ideal running environment is the new gym that just opened on the other side of town, or maybe it's your local park — regardless, the most important thing is just to make running fun and comfortable wherever you are! 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Practicing social distancing with the ground. Wearing @fabletics #fableticsambassador

A post shared by Caelynn Miller-Keyes (@caelynnmillerkeyes) on

Don't forget to stretch 

Running can be tough on your muscles and joints, so you definitely need to loosen up a little before you begin an intense course. Rolling out your ankles and stretching your hamstrings only takes a few minutes and will help you run longer without feeling uncomfortable. It will also help your muscles recover more easily, which will help keep you motivated to continue adding distance with each run. Try some of these stretches from @kaypuregym to get you started! 

Create the perfect cardio playlist 

Music is key when you are trying a high-intensity workout, and finding the right tunes can make the difference between a great sweat sesh and an absolutely miserable time. You can search for premade cardio playlists on Spotify or Apple Music, or collab with your besties if you need some inspo for heart-pumping tunes. Another tip is to run to the theme song of your fave action movie or TV show and pretend you are the hero running from the bad guys (it may be silly, but it works! For Outer Banks fans, try "Left Hand Free" by alt-J). 

Stick to a schedule 

It's wayyy too easy to convince yourself that you don't have time to get a workout in, and one of the best ways to avoid making excuses is to set aside a specific time of day to exercise no matter what. By reserving 30 minutes to an hour at the same time every day, it will eventually become a normal part of your daily routine — and more enjoyable, too. It will also help your progress become more noticeable over time!

Start slow and increase your distance over time 

The idea of setting out on a 3-mile run is understandably daunting if you aren't a huge fan of the exercise in the first place, so be realistic in setting your goals and start with a distance or time that is manageable for you. Then try to increase that length by a constant amount to feel recognizable progress and maintain that progress over time.  

Be sure to try these tips the next time you decide to go for a run, and stay committed to achieving your goals even if they seem impossible at first!

Are you trying out a new workout? Tell us how it's going on Twitter @girlslifemag!  

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by Lexi Casazza | 7/6/2020
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