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Ultimate Guide to Half Marathon Training When You Hate Running

January 27, 2023

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Have you ever wondered how to start running when you absolutely hate it? Because same. I’m taking on a half marathon training program as a beginner and teaching you everything I’ve learned in my first 30 days.

Every time I’ve ever tried to run more than seconds at a time, I give up. I find running pretty boring if I’m being honest.

I watch people talk about how easy running is or how they love getting the runner’s high, and I don’t believe them.

However, something changed within me a month ago. I saw a TikTok that changed my mind about running and now I’m taking on a Couch to Half Marathon Training Program.

Over the past year I’ve overcome a lot of limiting beliefs and now I’m going to try to overcome one I thought was just part of my personality.

I’m attempting to go from hating running to running a half marathon (aka 13 miles).

I’m 38 days into my half marathon training program and here is everything I’ve learned about myself and running as someone who hates running so far!

How to Run a Marathon When You Hate Running

Section 1: 3 Reasons You Should Start Running

Section 2: Becoming a Runner When You Really Hate Running

Section 3: The Runner’s High

Section 4: The Best Half Marathon Training Program for Beginners

Section 5: 3 Running Tips for Beginners

Section 6: The Running Mindset You Need to Run Longer

Section 1: 3 Reasons You Should Start Running

There are probably a lot of good reasons why you should start running.

  • It’s good for your health
  • It’s good for your heart
  • It’s good for your mindset

The reason I wanted to start running is really silly when I think about it.

The beginning of December 2022, I saw a TikTok video that inspired something in my brain.

A creator name Chayse posted about how she swapped weight lifting for running and although she lost a little bit of muscle, she can now run 9 miles any day she wants.

After seeing her video I immediately thought…

“I want to run 9 miles any day I want!”

I was in shock hearing that statement run through my head.

I have HATED running for years. Do you know what I don’t hate? Freedom.

There’s something about running as far as I want, any time I want that felt so freeing.

So, these are my 3 good reasons to start running:

1. You’re bored with your current form of exercise or movement and want to try something new.

My kind of cardio is stationary… and inside. Yes, indoor cycling, I’m looking at you.

But if I’m being honest, I was getting kind of bored with cycling. I have been doing indoor cycling for more than 5 years. I don’t get the same energy and excitement from the exercise that I used to.

For a while, I had been looking for a new form of exercise that felt exciting and challenging.

The universe, or maybe the TikTok algorithm, served me with Chayse’s video and I knew running was my next challenge.

2. You, like me, want to run really far anytime you want.

As I said, I loved the idea of being able to run as far as I want, anytime I want. If you’re someone who loves freedom, then maybe you can become someone who loves running.

Or at least, that was what I was hoping.

My hair stylist also said I’ll increase my chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse and that sounded pretty good to me.

3. You want to prove to yourself you can do hard things.

Over the past few years, I have grown a successful business, burnt that business to the ground, and rebuilt it back better. In that process, I had to face a lot of limiting beliefs and doubts.

To me, running felt like another place of doubt that I could overcome.

If I could go from someone who hated running to someone who was really good at it, what else could I do?

That was the challenge I was ready to take on.

Section 2: Becoming a Runner When You Really Hate Running

If you’re someone like me who absolutely hates running, you’re probably wondering, “How do you start running when you hate running?” A valid question.

Have you ever wondered, “What percentage of people hate running?” Well, Strava, an application that tracks sports activities, surveyed 25,000 runners and found that half of them say they hate it and only 8 percent said they love it.

Only 8% of runners even like the running they are doing!!

This is insane. How is anyone staying motivated to run if most people don’t like it in the first place?

I guess the good news is, if you don’t like running you’re not alone.

Basically, if you’re going to become someone who likes running or tolerates it, you’re going to need a really good reason to start and keep going.

If you don’t have a good reason to motivate you to overcome the belief that you hate running, you won’t ever start.

Here are two of the worst reasons to start running, especially if you hate it:

  1. You want to lose weight
  2. Someone told you to run

You have to find something greater to motivate you. For me, I looked at “I hate running” as a limiting belief. One that I wanted to shift out of and prove to myself was wrong.

That way, on the days when you really don’t want to get up and go for a run, you have a reason to.

If you tell yourself, “I have to run because I need to lose weight,” you’ll probably stay seated on your couch. Us humans aren’t motivated by negative thoughts like that.

If I need to motivate myself to go for a run, all I have to ask myself is, “Don’t you want to prove yourself wrong?”

And my little booty is off to the races!

Bonus tip: If you want to start running when you hate it, you have to start small! But more on that in Section 5!

Section 3: The Runner’s High

Another reason I wanted to start running was that I was tired of living in a world where I had never experienced the “runner’s high.”

What is the runner’s high?

People talk about getting this euphoric feeling after they hit a certain mileage point. They say once they hit that point, it feels like they could run forever and nothing matters.

I am skeptical about whether or not this runner’s high even exists, but I’ve never an far enough to truly know.

Some people say the majority of athletes never experience runner’s high, while others say nearly two-thirds of runners will experience it.

My mission in this training journey is to figure out if it exists and if so, what’s the magic mile number when it happens.

Given that a half marathon training program prepares you to run 13 miles, I’m sure the magic number has to exist in there somewhere!

Section 4: The Best Half Marathon Training Program for Beginners

If you’re looking for a half marathon training program, you’re probably wondering:

  • How many weeks do you need to train for a half marathon?
  • How many miles should I run a day to train for a half marathon?

Experts recommend training for 12 to 14 weeks if you’ve never ran or if you are currently running less than 10 miles per week.

They also say you should start at 10 to 15 miles per week and build up to 25 to 30 miles per week to succeed in your half marathon training. So basically, 6 miles a day if you are running 6 days a week.

Here’s the deal, when I first started running, I wasn’t worried about a half marathon. All I wanted to do was run a 10K (aka 6 miles).

I actually didn’t even think about running a half marathon until a family member said she was running the Disney Half Marathon in November and that I should join her!

Remember, my main goals were to run far and prove to myself I am a runner.

I searched many 10K training programs and plans on Pinterest until I found this one I liked.

What to look for in a half marathon training program for beginners:

1. A short number of runs per week

As someone who has not been running, I didn’t want to overcommit and run 5 days a week.

With the program I picked, I enjoyed that I only had to commit 3 days per week to running.

2. Easy progression into running

You don’t want to start running with a program that forces you to run for many minutes at a time. There’s nothing wrong with mixing up walking and jogging when you first start running.

I loved this program because it started out really easy in the beginning. Running for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds felt so doable!!

It’s not even until you get into the 5th week that this program removes the walking altogether. This gave me time to build up my confidence and endurance when it came to running.

3. A plan to build your confidence in running

I loved using this program to start running because it built up my confidence. The first weeks felt so easy and doable. I found myself excited on the days I got to run, because I could see how I improved and try something new.

There were moments when I thought, “Well, maybe I should skip ahead because this is too easy.” But, I’m pretty sure it’s that easiness in the beginning that built up my confidence!

Section 5: 3 Running Tips for Beginners

If you’re completely new to running like me and want to learn how to run when you hate it, here are my 3 best tips.

1. Start off running slowly

Go into each run with the mindset that you’re going to finish, not finish fast. Take it from someone who is also new to running. Your first goal is not speed. Your first goal is to just prove to yourself that you, in fact, a runner.

There were days that I ran way too fast. Those were the days that I doubted myself most because by the end of the run I was exhausted.

The days I felt most confident running were when I kept a steady pace, even if that was a slower pace.

2. Start off with less running and more walking

Don’t dive right into running for long distances if you’re new to running. Start off with a jog/walk combo.

In the beginning of my training program, I was jogging 60 seconds and walking 90 seconds. Some people think walking is cheating, but those jog/walk days in the beginning are what build up your confidence.

3. Have a really good reason to run

Make sure you have a really motivating reason to run. Remember, we aren’t running to lose weight or doing it because someone told us we should.

My really good reason to run is that I want to prove to myself that I can do hard things.

On the hard days, when you don’t want to lace up your shoes, you want to have a question to ask yourself that can push you to into your run.

For me ask, “Want to prove to yourself you can do hard things?”

My immediate answer is always yes, because I love when I get to prove people wrong, even if it’s myself.

Section 6: The Running Mindset You Need to Run Longer

I am convinced that running is 95% mindset. Odds are your body will keep going and going, the question is will your mind let it?

I’ll never forget the first couple of runs where I had to run for 5 minutes straight. Check out this Instagram post where I talk about my feelings.

As I was nearing the 5-minute mark, I kept thinking, “Maybe I’m not meant to be a runner.”

But I didn’t give up!

Something that helped me that day was remembering that it takes 30 days to build a habit, 60 days to change your mindset, and 90 days to change your identity.

That meant I was just in the process of changing my habits and running consistently. If I could just get to the 60-day mark, I might get to the point I changed my mindset around running.

Now, it’s one month later and I just got home from running 20 minutes straight. STRAIGHT!

That is insane. I never thought I could make it past the 5-minute mark and here I am after a 20-minute run. I’m so proud of myself!

Are you wondering, “How can I improve my running mindset? Here are 5 tips that can help you improve your running mindset:

1. Start running slower

Go into every run with the mindset that you are here to finish, not finish fast.

Part of the reason I was so frustrated after the 5-minute run was that I was running way too fast. I was giving it all I got instead of giving it a steady pace.

The very next run I focused on finishing instead of finishing fast and this changed everything! I felt more accomplished and less winded at the end of my next run.

2. Stop focusing on the clock

One of the biggest mistakes you can make while you are running is focusing on the time you have left. This will make those running moments last FOREVER, even if it’s just a 5-minute jog.

Everyone is always saying it’s about the journey, not the destination and the same is true for money. Forget about the end time and just think about one foot after the other.

If you can’t stop staring down the time you have left, get into the present moment by focusing on the feeling of your feet hitting the ground. This will make your runs go by much faster.

When I first started running, I had to obsess over the clock, especially with those jog/walk routines.

As I got into runs that were 10-minute jogs with 3-minute walks, it was so much easier to forget about the clock and just let my body go. For me, after 5-6 minutes of running my mind thinks, “Oh, this running is just something that my body is doing and I can do this forever.”

It’s pretty cool! That’s a bonus tip for you. Think to yourself, “Running is just something that my body is doing, just like walking on autopilot.”

3. Create a mantra for when you want to give up

No matter how well-paced you are or how unaware of the time you become, your mind will have moments when it screams, ‘I CAN’T DO THIS!”

Don’t feel bad about negative thoughts that pop up while you’re running! It doesn’t mean anything about you. It’s your job to challenge those thoughts and get yourself back into a positive mindset.

For me, I like to tell myself, “I can do hard things!” This has helped me make it to the end of many runs.

When you’re trying to create a mantra for yourself, think of the reason you’re running in the first place. If you have a good enough reason to get running in the first place, your mantra can become a good enough reason to finish.

4. Commit to 60 seconds at a time

If all else fails, commit to 60 more seconds.

Sometimes when I’m nearing the end of the run, especially the 20-minute one I just conquered, my brain is so ready to give up early.

Instead of giving up, I just promise myself I’ll go for 60 more seconds. Then, once that 60-second point hits, I promise to go for 60 more.

Silly little tactic, but it works!

5. Find a focal point

Pick a spot on the road or in front of your treadmill and dial in.

I don’t know why this works, but it does. When I’m running on my treadmill, I’m lucky and have a gorgeous view of the Boston Harbor.

I usually pick a spot on a skyscraper and that becomes my focal point for the duration of my run. It keeps me focused and out of my head.

How to Start Running Today

38 days ago, I thought I hated running and today I ran 2 miles straight. If you want to become a runner today, you can. All you have to do is start.

As a reminder, here are 3 simple things you can do today to start running, even if you hate running:

1. Find a really good reason to start

For me, I want to run really far any time I want and prove I can do hard things. So far so good!!

2. Start off with a walk/job combo.

This is the number one reason I haven’t given up yet!

3. Stick to in on the days you want to give up

No matter how hard things seem, it will get easier! I used to think running 5 minutes was impossible and now I can run for 20 minutes.

Right now, when I near the end of my 20-minute run I think, “How will I ever run more than 20 minutes??”

Thanks to my progress so far, I know that’s a passing thought that’ll disappear when I hit my next running milestone. We just have to keep going!

2 miles down… 11 more to go until I can run a half marathon!!

Following along on the blog for more running updates and feel free to connect with me on Instagram too!

What’s the longest you’ve ever ran? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. When you’re ready, here are other blogs posts that can help motivate you:

Why Your Goals Won’t Solve Your Problems

You’re Intuitive Too

The Morning Routine of Billionaires

Hi, I'm Ashley!

Certified Life and Business Coach helping women around the world discover their intuition, become microcelebrities, and build a business they love.






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