It’s Okay To Be Afraid of Running

It’s Okay To Be Afraid of Running

Not long before my Sophomore year of high school my friend Nathalie showed up at my door and asked me to join the cross country team. For some reason, I said yes.

For three years I fought injuries (mostly) from gymnastics and ongoing ankle problems. After a three year running career I said goodbye to running forever and transitioned to throwing shot-put and discus on the track team.

Or so I thought that was the end of my running career. 

Fast forward a decade to early 2014.

I was a new(ish) mom struggling to lose that pesky baby weight. We had joined a gym and I was ready to use that membership to become the healthiest mom ever. Okay, maybe I was a little too competitive back then. 

One snowy February day, I found myself face to face with a treadmill. The ellipticals were full and I didn’t have the patience to wait for one to clear up. Up until this point I swore I would never run again. It had been a decade since I had run any distance but for some reason I pushed start that day.

The speed was nothing to write home about. With no background of how to build up mileage I told myself to run as long as I could.

I ran one mile.

To be a runner, you don’t have to run fast, you don’t have to run far.

“If you put shoes on and run, you are a runner.” – Kara Goucher (Strong)

By the end of 2014 I finished a half marathon and numerous 5k’s. After years of being scared of running, it changed my life. 

Over the years I’ve found that the hardest part of running, is putting on my shoes and getting out the door. It’s okay to be concerned about a route, fear the unknown of a race or wonder if your body can handle the miles. You never know if you don’t give it a try.

It's Okay to be afraid of running

Running can give you so many things that you would never expect a sport to give.

A Greater Appreciation For Your Body: This is something that took me a few years to realize. Running doesn’t require fancy equipment (but please get a good pair of shoes) it just requires you to put one foot in front of the other for a distance. It’s incredible what our bodies can do when our mind goes to work. Let’s not forget the extra toning and fat burning that comes with a run.

More Discipline at Planning: As a full time working mom I have to make the conscious effort to plan my running time. Whether it be (extremely early) in the morning, on my lunch hour or while the kids are off with dad somewhere… I know that planning is key. I know ahead of time how many miles I have time for and what type of workout I’m going to do.

More Love For H2O: Just getting out and going for a run I find myself already in the mood to drink more water. Finishing up a run makes it to want to chug a drink as soon as you get home. The more water you drink, the more toxins you flush out, the better you’ll feel.

I promise you, that by giving running a chance you are opening up a whole new world for yourself. So next time you find yourself afraid of the run, just try it… or as I like to say lace up and go.


How To Entertain Yourself While Running

How To Entertain Yourself While Running

One of the biggest objections I hear to running is “oh my gosh, it’s so boring.” You know what that means? It’s time to try something different. When you’re starting to experience running for the first time, it can take a bit to settle into your running entertainment.

Through the years I’ve learned that everyone has their own way of entertaining themselves through a run. Whether it’s one mile or twenty-two miles, you have to figure out what works best for you. Our brains are all different!

Some runners choose podcasts, others prefer to stream a tv show (if they’re on a treadmill), some like music, others like silence.

Spotify Playlists

Personally, I’m a pop on some music and let my brain wander type of runner. Spotify is my go to music solution, mainly because I’ve found so many other playlists I love on there. There is something for everyone and you can find pretty much anything.

Years ago I started a playlist called upbeat running. Not understanding the ins and outs of Spotify it never occurred to me that others could follow it.  I add to it on occasion and others have added to it as well. I will warn you, it is explicit so I don’t recommend blasting it on the treadmill if kids are around.

I have playlists in my rotation for pretty much every type of mood. Generally I stick with upbeat running since it is over three hours long, but I will change it up on occasion. These are a few of my other running favorites.

How To Entertain Yourself While Running

Bonus, you can absolutely break out into song with ANY of these playlists. Have you ever run down a hill singing “I’m Super Girl” with your arms out wide? Okay, maybe that’s just me.


Everyone is different when it comes to running and I know many runners who cannot stand running with music because it can affect their pace. Podcasts can be another source of distraction if you need something to listen to on your runs. Here are a few of my favorites right now that would make for great running distractions:

  • The Rambling Runner
  • I’ll Have Another
  • Ali On The Run
  • Off The Vine
  • Coffee With Kate and Kri

Some of these are running focused and some are not. I like a good conversational podcast if I’m taking it for a walk. I have another group of podcasts that are perfect for working or winding down in the evening that I love spending more time focusing on.

Take Time With Your Thoughts

This one is the hardest for me, but something I think is important to do every once and awhile. Ditch the headphones and just listen to your surroundings. Say good morning to everyone you pass, listen to nature around you, hope that someone out there is blasting some good music early in the morning…. etc.

Lots of runners prefer this time alone to run in silence. There is nothing wrong with it!

When it comes to entertaining yourself on a run, it’s something that might take trying a few different things out. It didn’t take too long for me to realize that music is what gets me through a long run. Yet there are days where my headphones are just not hanging in there and I use the time to run with my thoughts.

The most important part is that you enjoy your run.

How do you like to run? Music? Podcasts? Quiet?