If you think you’ll never be one of those people who runs five miles before work or trains for a marathon, don’t write yourself off so fast. Lena Dunham recently confessed she hated running her whole life — until she started training with Matt Wilpers of the Mile High Run Club. “Working with Lena was an awesome experience for me,” Wilpers tells us. “I helped transform her attitude about fitness by helping her build confidence.” Here, he shares how you can start enjoying it, too.
Set specific and measurable goals
If you aren’t one of those people who just naturally loves to run, you need a reason to do it or it can seem a bit pointless. “Some people [set a goal] to work up to their first race, such as a 5K,” Wilpers says. “Other people, like my dad, start running to improve their overall health. I think it’s really important to set specific and measurable goals so you can track your progress and feel a sense of accomplishment as you progress.” Wilpers says once you start doing that, you’ll be motivated to keep running.
Switch it up
If you think running is boring, try it in a new way. Wilpers says he grew up running the mountain biking trails in his hometown. While that may be hard to do in an urban area, cities boast amazing skyline views. Never underestimate the power of beautiful scenery to make you look forward to a run. Another new way to challenge yourself: take a treadmill class. “I love coaching treadmill classes,” Wilpers says. “People who come in can expect a well thought-out workout with motivating and experienced coaches and participates of all fitness levels.”
Do it with a friend
Making friend-dates for a run and indulge in a post-workout smoothie gives you something to look forward to, with the bonus of holding yourself accountable to actually work out. “Before you start running with a friend, set expectations about the run so you can accomplish your goals,” Wilpers says. “Then you can spend more time enjoying the company of your friend and less time competing.”
Come up with a motto
Wilpers says he has lots of mottos that he lives by, but his favorite is “Sharp Body, Sharp Mind.” A running motto can keep you going and also can bleed into other areas of your life. “As long as I maintain my fitness, I think clearly and make better decisions,” Wilpers says.
The Mile High Run Club just launched a marathon package for both beginners and seasoned runners. The 16-week training program is designed to get any aspiring marathoner to the finish line. Head to milehighrunclub.com for more info.