When they first get started with running, many beginner runners have a hard time getting adjusted to their new form of exercise. Since new runners struggle for different reasons, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” answer to the question of “When does running get easier?” But a lot of new runners say that things feel a little easier and more comfortable once they were able to run continuously for 30 minutes. For most new runners, that milestone can take anywhere from two to eight weeks, depending on your starting point.
So, if running even for just five minutes at a time feels like a struggle for you, stick with it and try to be patient as you continue to build up your endurance and fitness. You’ll get there! In the meantime, here are some ways to help make running easier.
Run at a conversational pace.
As a beginner runner, you should do your runs at an easy, conversational pace, which means that you can talk comfortably (in full sentences) with someone as you’re running. If you’re running by yourself, a good way to know you’re running at a conversational pace is if you’re able to comfortably sing a short song such as “Happy Birthday”. If you can’t do that and you feel yourself gasping for air, slow down or take a walk break.
Check your breathing.
Another way to make sure that you’re not running too fast is to make sure you’re not out of breath. If you feel yourself huffing and puffing during the run, slow down and make sure are breathing deeply — from your diaphragm, not your chest.
Don’t make big jumps in your mileage or running time.
Give your body time to adjust, both physically and mentally, to small increases in time or distance. Run every other day as you’re building up your endurance and don’t increase your overall weekly mileage by more than 10% from week to week. Safely increasing your mileage will help you avoid injuries, prevent burnout, and give you some proper rest and recovery time. Try following a beginner running schedule such as this one to prevent injuries and maintain your motivation.
Some beginner runners are fit enough to run a certain distance, but they have a hard time pushing past boredom or other mental challenges during their runs. In many cases, it’s simply “mind over matter.” Try to distract yourself by playing mind games, choosing new running routes, or running with a group. Treadmill running is perfect for listening to music or audiobooks, or catching up on your favorite shows.