Running For Haters

Running Tips for Haters @

I’ve always hated running. There, I said it.

For years I have tried to enjoy running. I’ve given it my all on multiple occasions, only to find myself dreading each workout and wishing for injuries.

As sick as that sounds, it’s true.

A couple years ago I broke my foot and the first thing that crossed my mind, after the initial pain subsided, was “Good. I may never be able to run again.”

Seriously, what is wrong with me?

Well we may never know the answer to that, but I know I’m not the only person who feels this way about running. We haters are mostly the noncompetitive type, who get bored while running and abhor the jarring impact.


So why would I keep trying to like running when there are so many other ways to workout?

It’s a great universal workout.

Running develops long lean muscles like nothing else, and usually kicks your body into high-gear fat burning mode, if you don’t normally do it.

Also running is a great social workout. I don’t know how many friends have asked me to be their running buddy over the years. I have to admit, it is more enjoyable with other people around.

So if you are determined to become a runner, but hate running like I do, here are some “Running Tips for Haters” that will help ease the pain:

Running Tips… for Haters

1.  REMOVE ALL ANNOYANCES.  This is a big one so it comes first. When you already dislike something, any tiny irritation might be enough to push you to the point of quitting. Therefore…

  • Use bobby pins, head bands, ponytail holders and barrettes to get your hair out of your eyes and off your sweaty face.
  • Wear clothes that breath, and do not ride up, pinch, or rub anywhere.
  • Make sure there are no wrinkles in your socks and tuck your laces in so they don’t slap your ankles while you run.
  • Wear sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Run the cord from your headphones through your clothes so you don’t pull them out when you’re pumping your arms, and the cord isn’t smacking you in the face. You can also buy an MP3 player armband to help keep the cord out of the way.
  • If you have sensitive knees or shins, wear knee/shin compressors to keep your muscles warm and tight.

2. HYDRATE AND ELIMINATE. About 30 minutes before your run, drink a glass or two of water. You want the water working through your body before you start so you don’t feel sick from dehydration while you run. Then 1 minute before you run, eliminate. The worst thing in the world, is to be 2 miles from home and have to pee. If you plan on running over 5 miles, you may want to think about wearing a hydration belt to make sure you replenish your fluids.

3.  CAFFEINATE. A little caffeine before a workout gives you that extra boost to help push through your run. If you are not opposed to coffee try drinking your daily cup, along with the water, about 30 minutes before you run. You’ll be zipping along at high speed.

4.  GET YOUR GROOVE ON. A great running playlist really helps you to set a pace and forget that you hate running. A running playlist is not where you show your artistic sensitivity and progressive musical knowledge; it’s all about the beat.

Choose fast songs with a DAH-dah-dah-dah DAH-dah-dah-dah DAH-dah-dah-dah pace. If the songs have a get-up-and-go or overcome-the-odds theme, even better.

The music you choose should make you want to go faster. Some of the songs on my playlist are:

Katie Perry “Hot and Cold”

Bangles “Walk Like An Egyptian”

Garth Brooks “Ain’t Goin’ Down Til the Sun Comes Up”

Journey “Don’t Stop Believin”

Blondie “One Way Or Another”

Paramore “Misery Business”

You can find some good ideas for running playlists here.

5.  STRETCH. This may sound prosaic, but you need a good stretch before and after your run to loosen up your muscles and prevent injury. Take the time to stretch so your body isn’t mad at you later.

6.  START FLAT. This can be tricky if you live in the mountains like I do. You’ve got to make your first few weeks of running as optimal as possible so you don’t quit. Map out the flattest path through your neighborhood or drive to a track and run laps at a consistent pace.

Save the hills and intervals for later.

Running Tips for Haters @

7.  PUMP YOUR ARMS. A close friend shared this trick from her high school cross-country days. If you shoot your arms forward, like you’re grabbing for a rope in front of you, your legs will follow suit, lengthening your stride and creating momentum. This works exceptionally well if you do happen to find yourself running up an incline. PUMP, PUMP, PUMP!

8.  DON’T QUIT BEFORE YOU’RE IN THE ZONE. I’ve heard people call it:  hitting their stride, getting in the zone, the 2-mile mark, the 15-minute mark. Whatever you call it, there is a moment in your run when things get easier. For most people this happens between 10-20 minutes of running.

For me it happens at 20 minutes. My first 10 minutes are fine. Then minutes 10-20 are pure hell. Finally around the twenty minute mark, I notice my body doesn’t mind the run anymore. Things begin to flow. My breathing regulates. My muscles are primed for the job. …But I would never know this if I gave up after 15 minutes.

Although I never thought I’d say this, I actually LIKE running after the first 20 minutes. I just have to push through to get there.

Running Tips for Haters @

9.  SPEND THE NECESSARY CASH TO MEET YOUR GOAL. That may mean getting new running shoes, a knee guard, shorts that don’t ride up, an MP3 player, or decent headphones. I’m not encouraging you to break the bank, but if learning to not hate running is a priority, don’t let a little money get in your way.

10.  RUN WITH FRIENDS. Like I mentioned above, running seems much less daunting when you’re doing it with a friend. You can chat a little to take your mind off the workout, and it’s a great way to keep a consistent pace. Plus, a partner equals accountability. You’re much less likely to skip your run if you have a date set with a buddy.

Over time, these running tips have gotten me to a place where I don’t dread the run. Hopefully they will help get you there too!

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60 comments on “Running For Haters

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted July 25, 2012 at 12:29 am Reply

    Great tips! I actually like running but unfortunately my allergies are so severe that I’m not running at this point – this post makes me wish I could breathe so I could get back into it!

  2. Belinda @zomppaposted July 25, 2012 at 4:05 am Reply

    GREAT tips. I’m with you. Never ever liked running but prepping for a race in the fall…feel great afterwards, but it’s the before!

  3. Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)posted July 25, 2012 at 7:19 am Reply

    Awesome tips. I love running because of how it makes me feel (strong, powerful, not crazy) so I continue to push myself through it. Sometimes, i just don’t want to but most of the time I am sooo happy that I did. Just signed up for the Baltimore Half Marathon and training starts this week. This will be my fifth half… and I’m really looking forward to it.

  4. Nakiaposted July 25, 2012 at 7:21 am Reply

    Great tips. I’ve always wanted to like running – I just haven’t ever been able to. Maybe its time to start up the “We need to buy a jogging stroller so I can start running” talk with my husband again.

  5. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted July 25, 2012 at 7:24 am Reply

    HAHAHAHA! Eliminate… yes, that’s a very good idea. I’ve grown to appreciate running… sort of. Still would rather go to the gym and spend a few hours there. ;-)

    But these are great tips. I’m definitely going to start running the iPod cable through my clothes. Very smart.

  6. Kristenposted July 25, 2012 at 7:25 am Reply

    Such great tips. I have a love / hate relationship with running. My mind thinks I love it. My body tells me otherwise. Great tips!

  7. Lydiaposted July 25, 2012 at 7:26 am Reply

    Nice post! I have been struggling as a runner-hater for over a year now and it made me feel better just reading this post, even though I already do several of the things here. I think the key for me is trying to improve my form so running isn’t so hard on the rest of my body.
    (Also at the risk of being a grammar nerd, you made a typo twice – you meant quit, not quite) :)
    Thanks for the tips! I love your blog.

    • Sommerposted July 25, 2012 at 7:40 am Reply

      Thanks Lydia, hubby didn’t proof-read for me this time! ;)

      I found the one, now looking for the other.

  8. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted July 25, 2012 at 7:30 am Reply

    great tips! I have been running since i was 15, and there’s always something to learn

  9. Marlyposted July 25, 2012 at 7:32 am Reply

    These are great tips, Sommer! I have a friend who was an all-American runner in college so she’s shared a lot of great tips with me too, none of which helped me run any faster but they did help me like the run a little bit. I asked her once why she ran so much and she threw her arms in the air and said, “I just love being outside!” That’s just one more advantage – getting some fresh air and enjoying nature.

  10. Cécyposted July 25, 2012 at 7:35 am Reply

    If I may: You don’t want to do static stretching before you start. You want to do movement that are active and dynamic, more like plyometrics. The goal is to warm up. So jog or walk a little. Squat, etc. Great video here

    • Sommerposted July 25, 2012 at 7:39 am Reply

      Thanks Cecy!

  11. Shelby N.posted July 25, 2012 at 7:55 am Reply

    Great tips! Love this post.

  12. Jillposted July 25, 2012 at 8:11 am Reply

    Great tips! I hate running, but I want to love it. “Maybe” I”ll give it another try. ;)

  13. Cookin' Canuckposted July 25, 2012 at 8:39 am Reply

    These are great tips, Sommer! I obsessively make multiple trips to the bathroom before heading out to make sure I don’t have a drop of anything left in me. And I totally agree about pushing through that initial discomfort. The run doesn’t start feeling good to me until after I’ve completed 2-3 miles.

  14. Myndaposted July 25, 2012 at 8:59 am Reply

    Awesome tips! I couldn’t run when I was younger because of asthma… over the last few years I found that I “grew” out of it and love to run… so even advice tips from a seasoned running hater is GREAT! Thanks Sommer!

  15. bake your dayposted July 25, 2012 at 10:24 am Reply

    This is awesome Sommer! I have a definite love-hate relationship with running. These are great tips!

  16. Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookiesposted July 25, 2012 at 10:32 am Reply

    I really HATE running. Least favorite workout ever. Every time I run, I find myself wishing my knees were good enough for zumba.

  17. Elizabeth@ Food Ramblingsposted July 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm Reply

    Great tips! I running, but I signed up for a 10K in November…better get training!

  18. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppersposted July 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm Reply

    Great tips! I do hate running! I always feel good when I’m done, but the motivation to go and do it is impossible. I always have an excuse. My neighborhood is boring, I don’t want to drive somewhere to run and I don’t own a treadmill. See I’m full of excuses. I should just do it, but it’s hard! Why can’t I like to do it? I really do love all of your tips, if anything I can buy a cute outfit to run in, maybe that will motivate me?

  19. Denise @ Creative Kitchenposted July 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm Reply

    Hi Sommer!

    Loved this!! There are SO many things I love about running, and I totally get what you mean though about pushing through that certain point. Once through it, running becomes effortless. The other thing is understanding that not every run is going to be a good run. And then there’s the great run…every so often I get one of those and feel like I’m on top of the world!! ;)

    Hubby and I started back to running 2 months ago, and are almost up to 3 miles. We’re running a 5K together on August 18th. After taking many years off (my youngest is 4.5), I’m so thrilled to be back to it. It really is such a great quick workout!!

    He and I were just talking about this: We don’t have a gym membership but prefer outside running to running on a treadmill. We were just saying that by the time we drove to and from the gym…that’s the amount of time of our workout…we’d be done! So it’s a time saver, money saver and we love being outdoors. We live in a beautiful area of South Florida to do it, and you’d be envious of all the flat land for running here.

  20. Denise @ Creative Kitchenposted July 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm Reply

    P.S. LOVE your title!! :)

  21. leslieposted July 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm Reply

    I collapsed my arch while training for the NYC marathon and haven’t ran since. I really need to get my butt back out there!

  22. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted July 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm Reply

    Wonderful tips and inspiration, Sommer!

    Hugs <3

  23. MIss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted July 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm Reply

    I hate running and these are really great tips! Wish I lived close enough to run with you!

  24. Kathy - Panini Happyposted July 25, 2012 at 11:01 pm Reply

    I really needed this, Sommer! I tried to get into running about 6 months ago, was doing well with it, then stopped (can’t remember why, maybe a few days of inclement weather or something). I have my big book deadline next week after which I’m ready to resume. Thanks so much for the much-needed kick in the pants!

  25. Jen at The Three Little Pigletsposted July 26, 2012 at 12:02 am Reply

    I’m still not sold on running, but it certainly makes me feel like a whiner sometimes that I don’t even try!

  26. shelly (cookies and cups)posted July 26, 2012 at 5:54 am Reply

    Love these tips. I am a run-hater…and I know it has a lot to do with all the hills where I live. Makes it so hard!!

  27. Tickled Redposted July 26, 2012 at 5:59 am Reply

    Great tips love!! As a worn out (knees shot) old runner, who had to learn to like running longer than my preferred 100 yard dash you hit the nail on ALL of the heads :D

  28. PancakeNinjaposted July 26, 2012 at 6:46 am Reply

    This was so much fun to read! I’m with you on running not being much fun most of the time. And ankle slapping laces are the worst!

  29. Laura @ Family Spiceposted July 26, 2012 at 8:07 am Reply

    I don’t hate running, I DESPISE it! But, I keep trying to get into it. I’ve never made it past the 10-minute mark. I can hike for hours. I can do the elliptical for an hour. I can bike, no problem. But that hard bouncing that running requires gets to me. But, I will still keep trying, but next time I will use your tips and try to get myself to the 20 min mark! Even if I’m screaming all the way through it!

  30. Shawn @ I Wash...You Dryposted July 26, 2012 at 8:55 am Reply

    I am not a big fan of running either. Too much heavy breathing. But once I get into it, it does get easier. I really want one of those iPod cases, right now I am just carrying my iPhone in my hand and I am always worried I am going to drop it.

  31. Chung-Ah | Damn Deliciousposted July 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm Reply

    I hate running too but I have my moments where I enjoy it here and there. Thanks for all the tips, especially with the one with the headphones being laced around your top. That’s genius!

  32. carolinaheartstringsposted July 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm Reply

    Love this post. I have a love/hate relationship with running myself. Glad to see I am not alone.

  33. Jeanetteposted July 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm Reply

    Great tips Sommer – I used to run when I was much younger, but don’t really like it anymore. Maybe I’ll have to give it another try using some of your tips to get me past the first 20 minutes.

  34. Shellyposted July 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm Reply

    I think you should only run if you’re being chased by a giant squid or a maniac with a axe.

  35. Chrisposted July 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm Reply

    One of my favorite running songs in my playlist is Marathon by Rush, I always try to have it at about the 3/4th mark of my run, when I’m usually hitting the wall. Great tips.

  36. Alison Ray (@SassyMomChicago)posted July 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm Reply

    Love these tips but most of all I LOVE the pic that shows looping your headphone cord into your workout tank strap. How smart is that??? I’m not a big fan of running either but this is motivating me to incorporate it back into my workout routine.

    Also, for all you runners out there in need of playlist of songs that has a consistent beat, check out Running to the Beat on iTunes. It’s a free podcast you can download right to your phone. I wrote about it here.

    Thanks again for the tips and your photos are fantastic!!

  37. Divacowgirlposted July 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm Reply

    I hate running. I’ve tried so many times to like it but it’s not going to happen. I switched to a bicycle, lol, which I enjoy a lot more.

  38. Aimee @ ShugarySweetsposted August 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm Reply

    This is great Sommer. Especially since I just instagrammed TODAY that I HATE RUNNING. Love all your tricks. Especially the first one. One little annoyance and I call it quits. So so true…I haven’t yet hit that sweet spot…hopefully soon!

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  40. Mary Kayposted August 3, 2012 at 6:36 am Reply

    I really needed this. I am seriously wasting time on my computer right now, putting off going out to jog. I am going to run the cord through my shirt because that drives me crazy too. I’m in week 3 of my Couch to 5K program and trying not to quit! (Nice to briefly meet you last weekend :)

  41. JoDee Georgeposted August 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm Reply

    Hi Sommer – Thanks for this great post. I just started running again and the caffeine kick makes it much easier. Also, the song recommendations are a big help!

  42. kellyposted August 4, 2012 at 5:35 pm Reply

    if ever there was a post for me to read, it’s this one! i hatehatehatehateHATE running, but know that it’s good for me and that I need to do it more. I’ve been trying to, but I fall into that omg-i’m-so-bored-my-legs-will-fall-off-im-going-to-die category around 12 minutes or so. I’m glad to know there’s a light at the end of twenty minutes [now if only I could get there…]

    It was wonderful to meet you at BSP last weekend!

    • Sommerposted August 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm Reply

      You too Kelly! I’d love to hear how you feel after the 20 minutes mark…

  43. Sweetsugarbelleposted August 8, 2012 at 1:27 am Reply

    All I have to say is THANK YOU FOR THIS!!

  44. Cynthiaposted August 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm Reply

    I ran cross country for two years in high school only because of the people. When I got to college, I ran once. In four years. I realized that I hated running. It simply made me feel a little awful, not to mention it’s hard work.
    I finally started running again this summer – barefoot – and discovered I loved it. My feet feel so light, and I love not bothering with shoes.
    My dad recently got me some Vibrams because he didn’t like me running completely barefoot (I’ll admit, it was in the dark too. But it’s in a gated community – the wost I can step on is a toad). It’s not the same, but it’ll do :).
    Thank you for the tips!

  45. Alex Garciaposted January 8, 2013 at 12:03 am Reply

    What a great tip about the headphones cord. That’s been my top annoyance forever… Well, that and holding the keys to my car/home in my hand.

    Now, if I could only stop staying up so late at night and get more sleep, I’d be in better shape.

    Thanks for the great post.


  46. Aaronposted July 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm Reply

    Great tips thanks, glad you had running with friends in there, it is by far the biggest motivator for me, I joined a harriers running group as I wasn’t getting out as much as I wanted to. Was intimidating going for first time but once I was there it was awesome, people to chat to while running, make new friends, lots of people running at various levels beginner to advanced so u naturally run at the pace that feels comfortable. If u want a bit of competition then you can find it. Highly recommended.

  47. alexposted August 16, 2013 at 11:00 am Reply

    would you recommend starting off at a slow pace or a fast pace because i always stop running after 5 min. Im just wondering if it could give me motivation to keep going.

    • Sommerposted August 17, 2013 at 6:56 am Reply

      I would try starting slow, until you can run consistently for 20+ minutes. :)

  48. bakeca Catanzaroposted September 3, 2013 at 1:39 am Reply

    good to know…nice post

  49. Nicole (MyLoveForCooking)posted September 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm Reply

    Hi there! I have long been a fan and was so happy to see you pop up when I typed “running for ppl who hate running” :) I decided today I was finally going to put my HS running failure to bed and try to see if maybe I could love it. Thanks for the great tips! :)

    • Sommerposted September 12, 2013 at 6:47 am Reply

      Thanks Nicole, Good Luck!

  50. Stephanie (Heavydutymom)posted September 19, 2014 at 11:45 am Reply

    These tips will definitely help. Thanks. I am trying to lose 100 pounds. As much as I want to learn to run, it’s been very difficult making it to 20 mins period. Hopefully soon I will be running like a pro… in the meantime I’m taking it one step at a time. Thanks!

  51. Jamesposted April 9, 2015 at 8:24 am Reply

    Excellent tips. I wish I had read them a year ago when I started running. I had to learn from my own mistakes.

  52. Nicoleposted September 24, 2015 at 7:40 pm Reply

    This is exactly me when I started to lose weight, and hated running. Now, I don’t carry any gadgets only my timex watch and some coins and water. Make it simple and concentrate on the running part :) I love your article!

  53. Arinaposted March 22, 2016 at 8:14 am Reply

    So true Sommer! I am also the one who hate running, but you know, if you want to lose weight, you HAVE TO run. Everytime I jump in the running machine, I imagine there is a dog chasing after me (lol). Thank for sharing tips. It’s useful for me!

  54. Nikeposted November 14, 2016 at 1:16 pm Reply

    Excellent post, thanks – very relevant info.

  55. Laryposted March 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm Reply

    Great tips, I agree that sometimes run with a friend or friends is a great motivation and an extra incentive.