Making Daily Run Happier and Enjoyable

This note is inspired by the two articles listed below (see related resources, below) about running. Though I don’t run because of my damaged plantar fasciitis, I do my daily walking and other in-house stretching activity routines for a while.

Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually the worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or when you get up from sitting.

Mayo Clinic

According to Amy Marturana Winderl, C.P.T. and a freelance writer, running is not known an easy activity even for professional athletes. Chloe Gray of Stylist magazine (UK) says that little tweaks can make the activity more joyful.

Whether you’re a beginner, have been running for months but have hit a plateau or are struggling to nail your form, there are little tweaks you can make that will have a big pay off.

– Chloe Gray on Stylist magazine (UK)

The following are a few selected Tips from the Stylist and Self articles. The text below is directly adopted from the articles.

  • Following a plan: “Rather than jumping straight into half an hour runs, it’s important to build up your stamina and speed.
  • Wearing the right trainers : “The one thing that made running better for me was having a gait analysis and wearing custom insoles,” one reader told Stylist. According to Asics, 81% of us could be wearing the wrong shoes, which can result in discomfort, pain or injury
  • Breathing Properly: “There is no worse feeling than struggling to catch your breath, so mastering your breathing is a great way to feel more in control of your training.
  • Warming up: “The best thing you can do before running is to prepare your body properly,” says personal trainer and athlete Risqat Fabunmi-Alade. “Whether that’s foam rolling, doing dynamic stretches or some running drills, it’s better to do something than nothing. A good warm-up relaxes stiff muscles and joints, gets you mentally ready, improves performance and reduces injury risk.” 
  • Strength training: “To get better at running, you don’t just need to improve your cardiovascular fitness – you also need to strengthen the muscles, joints and bones that carry you through the run.
  • Finding a friend:”Running with a buddy was one of the most popular pieces of advice we’ve received. In these times, why not try virtually running alongside someone by tracking your runs and sharing with each other?
  • Upper body form: “People hold their arms very stiff while running, either at the shoulder or elbow joint or, on the flip side, a few people bring their arms right across their body causing their torso to swing side to side. Instead, on each stride brush your hand by your hip, passing backwards and forwards. This should encourage your elbow to bend and straighten, improving general arm swing,” says Risqat.
  • Stretching: “Running regularly is tough on the body, so it’s important to allow yourself to rest and recover. An important part of that is stretching, releasing tension that builds up from the pressure of your foot strike and improving range of motion through the hips, which take on a lot of work during running. 
  • Go somewhere quiet: “My number one tip would be making the effort to run somewhere that you won’t be slowed down by traffic lights or lots of people,” says Stylist’s senior digital writer Megan Murray.
  • Tracking your run: “Using your phone or a smartwatch can take some of the guesswork out of your run – a quick glance at your wrist will show you how far you have left of your planned route and show whether you’re being consistent with pace. Being able to look back at your tracked runs to see how you’re improving can also be a huge motivator. 
  • Going slow: “Going slowly rather than chasing PBs”, “running slowly for the first KM”, “going slower and focusing on the feeling”, “not caring about pace and not comparing yourself to others”
  • Remind yourself why you run: “If you’re having a tough time keeping your head in the game, think about why you’re running. What are your goals? Is it race related? Is it health related? Are you trying to PR, or just finish the race?
  • Think about anything: “”Running is great because you can think about whatever serves you in the moment,” Deena Kastor, ASICS elite athlete and American record holder in the marathon and half marathon, tells SELF. Focus on whatever occupies your mind, but just make sure it’s positive so you don’t ruin your momentum.
Related Resources