How to run a 5k when you hate running

Yesterday if someone told you you’d run a 5k, you’d laugh in their face and say you’d never even dream of it. But today, you’re reading this post which means you’re at least a bit intrigued. While 5k seems daunting if you’re not a runner (and actually hate running!), you’d probably surprise yourself at how quickly you could complete it. Here’s how to start on your running journey and learn to love running!

Baby steps

Remember: slow and steady wins the race. There’s no need to smash out a 5k straight away. You’ll find it much easier to love running if you start small and build up your distance. Start with a 15 minute run and add 5 minutes every other day. You probably won’t even notice that you’re running for a little bit longer!

It’s also important not to race through your first 15 minutes. Run slowly so you can complete your 15 minutes (or longer!) without stopping. You should be able to hold a conversation throughout the run, especially when you’re starting out on your running journey. This gives a clear indication of how far to push yourself to begin with to avoid burning out!


Think about what time of day is best for you. Go for a run when your energy levels are the highest. This might be when you wake up, before lunch or when you get home from the office with your second wind of energy! Also factor in your food schedule. You’ll feel way more sluggish if you’ve just eaten a massive meal. On the other hand you don’t want to be hungry – make sure you’ve eaten something before you exercise, even if it’s just an apple or a spoonful of peanut butter!

Run for time, not distance

5k sounds like a lot, but you’ll get there with some perseverance and dedication! The trick is to stick to running for a certain amount of time, not distance. You can gradually increase the distance within this time, but if you set out on day 1 doing 3k, you’ll most likely struggle. By sticking to a certain time, you can ease yourself into the running lifestyle and you’ll hit 5k in no time!


Be inspired by your location. Run somewhere you actually want to spend time. Whether this is the local park, your favourite local street or a short drive to the countryside – make sure you’re excited to be there. It might help to find a place where you feel totally at one with yourself, where you can feel completely free. This will inspire you to run and connect your emotions of freedom to running – i.e. you’ll start to love running!


It’s easy to think, ‘I’d like to be fit, so I’m going to become a runner’. But unless you have some clear goals, it’s hard to stick to the running lifestyle. But how do you choose your goals? Think about why you’re getting fit. To get leaner? To get healthier? Then figure out the distance you’d like to achieve. It might be useful to start working towards your 5k, then think about 10k, then a half marathon… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, take it slow and purposeful!

Make it entertaining

Running is a great stress relief and can be enjoyable, especially if you stick to the advice above. But sometimes it can be boring. This isn’t to say it has to be like this. Make it entertaining! Download some interesting podcast, blast some pumping tunes, or even go running with a friend and have a chat along the way. Whatever you choose to do, keep changing it up so that running never becomes a chore!

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