Running in public for the first is the most challenging thing for many people. For a new runner, it is common to feel weird to run in your neighborhood or to run on the road. For many of them, it is beyond their comfort zone.
Many are worried about the impression that they may be giving; is it of a serious runner, or do they look silly. Many beginners are self-conscious. If you are serious about running, do not allow any concerns to prevent you from doing so.
After running a few times in public, you will be comfortable and confident. Running is the simplest and the best way towards your fitness journey. This moves you towards greater wellness, fitness, and overall health.
The following are the tips to overcome embarrassment and your initial hindrances:
Improve your confidence as a Runner
To reduce your self-consciousness, dress like a runner. It would help if you had a good pair of jogging tops, pants, and running shoes. Sports-specific clothes make you feel more comfortable and are suggestive of being a committed runner.
Proper Running Clothes
To make your runs comfortable, wear your running pants, top, and jacket made of moisture absorbent materials, or high-tech fibers. When you wear proper running clothes while running, it helps you move confidently during your run and prevents the risk of chaffing. Wear more relaxed clothes in the heat and do not wear heavy fabrics. Being a new runner, in winter, wear a pair of gloves and a cap to maintain your body heat. Try to wear something comfortable while running.
Proper Running Shoes
Wearing proper running shoes makes you feel part of the sport and makes you feel more confident and robust. It also helps you prevent injuries.
Proper Form of Running
Proper running form makes for more confidence. To be more comfortable while running, always look forward and run and do not look down. You can always learn the upper body posture and proper gait of running. Even if your form of running is not perfect, do not bother but be proud that you are working on it and remember that practice makes a man perfect.
Understand Your Hindrances
Try to understand your fear and what stops you from running in public. Try to find ways to deal with your fears. Accept your insecurities and find a solution to overcome them. Your fear should not stop you from doing something right, which is beneficial for your health and mind.
That is the time you should shift your focus from all your insecurities and get going. This helps you to overcome your fears and insecurities and accept the challenge.
Have a Proper Plan
It is essential to have a proper plan for your running. This will help you keep going or sustain you in your plan and stay committed without any break. To build up your endurance and confidence, start running for 20 to 30 minutes for 6 to 8 weeks.
You can run for 1 minute and walk for 1 minute, or you can even run for 30 seconds and walk for 30 seconds till you reach your 20 to 30 minutes. To maintain your improvement, you can keep adding 30 seconds or 1 minute to your every run/walk interval.
Be proud of yourself for following your plan. These regular runs will help you to overcome your self-consciousness.
Running on a Treadmill
To gain confidence and to be more comfortable, you can start running on a Treadmill before you start running in public. Practicing on a treadmill helps you to build up your endurance and confidence. Once you are comfortable running, you will not be so self-conscious when you start running in public.
Run with New Runner’s Group
If you are not comfortable or are uneasy about running in public. You can join a group with beginners or else form a new runner’s group if you are not comfortable running with an already established runners group.
You will find many groups with new runners. Running with this group makes you less conscious while running on the road or in public.
Run with a Friend
To make your run comfortable, you can run with friends or family members, whether they are experienced runners or a new runner. You will have a running companion whom you are comfortable with, to run on the road.
If you have someone to run with you in public, it helps your mind off from all insecurities, and it helps you feel less self-conscious. It also adds more fun to your running. It also allows you and your running companion to motivate each other before, during, and after your run.
Sign-Up for a Race
For any race, date and distance is fixed. If you sign-up for a race, this will remind you that you have to achieve your target or goal. Train your mind and remind yourself of the target you have to reach and ignore negative thoughts. This will motivate you and help you to overcome all your embarrassment, fear, and all insecurities.
Run in the Dark or Choose the Quietest Time to Run
You can even run early in the morning before sunrise. It will be too early for most of the people to be awake. So you can run comfortably on the road. You can run in the afternoon.
This will increase your confidence while running on the road without the fear of being noticed by people. You can run in the night also after the sunsets.
Only you will have to be more careful of the traffic. You can keep running at odd hours until you get used to running in your area and the local park.
Things to Remember when Running in Public
You need to remember when stepping out to run in public that no one is looking at you. You come across so many people every day, but it never registers in your brain; it is also the same thing for others.
So it would be best if you did not worry about who is watching and who is not watching you. If you are thinking about an already experienced runner, remember that at all runners were once new to this sport and know the problems you are facing. Most of the time, they are concerned about their runs.
The runners love to see other runners on the road. Non-runners are so busy with their own life that they don’t even notice you. So do not get perturbed about non-runners. Instead, focus on your targets and goals and improve your fitness.
Be proud because you are doing something that will enhance your fitness and health and is also good for your mental and physical well-being.
Be engrossed in Music
You should keep yourself busy rather than thinking if people are watching, whether they are passing comments on you. Wear your earphones; turn on some good music while running.
This will shift your focus from people, and you will not notice the people around you. Music reduces your exertion, and you feel less tired. It also encourages you to run.
Music helps reduce your moods’ negativity, such as confusion and anger, and increases the positive side, such as excitement and happiness. Be mindful of your form of running and try to run with the beats.
You can follow Podcast running programs while running. This helps you to focus on your targets and also pushes you forward. Podcasts take your mind off from your insecurities and fear of running in public. Podcasts contain audio markers that help you in tracking the distance and focus on your next target.
Keep Your Mind Busy While Running
You can keep your mind busy by counting the number of steps you have taken in one minute. This will keep you engaged rather than focusing on people. Even if you run at a comfortable speed, it will take around 180 steps per minute.
While running outdoor, if you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, remind yourself that you are doing it to increase your fitness. Try to motivate yourself by saying to yourself that “you can do it” and “you are awesome.” This will help you to move forward.
The above tips will help you to build your confidence. Along with all the above information, you should follow some safety measures to keep yourself safe if you have planned to run alone on the road.
While running on the road, it is better to wear your earphones and talk to yourself. This shows that the other person knows what you are doing and the place where you are running. You will be targeted less when you give the impression that your whereabouts are known to someone else.
Street harassments are common if you are running by yourself. You keep running and try to ignore such things. Yelling back at them or picking up a quarrel with them will only worsen the situation. It is safer to run in public areas, trails, bike paths, or parks where you will face less street harassment.
It is a smart step to be wearing an ID bracelet or carrying any identity card with you. In an emergency, it will help the responder to trace who you are and whom to contact.