When Does Running Get Easier – A Complete Guide
If you’re a runner starting for the first time, it can be hard. This is because the body needs to adjust to the stress placed on it. Your cardiovascular system and muscles need to develop to increase your fitness level, so you can run further and longer. But When does running get easier?
For most people, running can take time to build up enough fitness and for the cardiovascular system to develop enough to make running enjoyable.
In this article, we discuss how long it takes for running to get easier and why it can take different amounts of time for different people.
When Does Running Get Easier
If you are just starting, you may find you struggle for the first few weeks. This is because the body needs to adapt to the stresses placed on it. This includes your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cardiovascular system. This is why it is important to start slowly, by running at a low intensity for a short period with a mix of walking and running.
The walking and running period for most people will last between 3-5 weeks. However, during this time the walking periods will be reduced, and the running time increased.
Once you have eliminated the walking periods in your training, you will start to find running becomes much easier. For most people, running becomes easier after 6 weeks. This is the period when the body’s cardiovascular system has developed enough to make it comfortable running and any aches and pains from running have subsided.
However, this can vary a lot between beginner runners. If you have a background in another endurance sport, you may find your cardiovascular system is already strong enough to allow you to breathe comfortably and stay relaxed when running.
There is a saying often used in running, “running never gets easier, you just get faster”. This quote is generally correct as you get fitter you can run faster and longer than you did before. However, the body needs to be pushed to reach another level, which gives you the same discomfort as you once did when you started.
Ways To Make Running Easier
Luckily there are some ways to make running easier when starting. First, make sure you have days off between each run, this will help prevent fatigue from being dragged into the next run, and allow the body to recover and get stronger.
Secondly, once you have passed the run/walk phase of your build-up, you should start to incorporate some runs that are slightly more intense than your normal runs. This will help make you more efficient running at an easy pace, and also help develop your cardiovascular fitness quicker. These can be short 1-2 minute efforts or even an increase in speed between lampposts.
Lastly, to make running easier, it is important to continually place stress on the body and allow it to recover. That means intensity or volume should be increased each week, followed by a recovery week (every 3-4 weeks) to allow adaption.
Remember, mental fatigue is one of the biggest roadblocks to making running feel easy. A study in 2015 found that negative thoughts were a major cause of runners feeling that the workout is much harder than it actually is. If you can change negative thoughts that creep in, you will most likely find your runs aren’t actually as hard as you think.
Running Will get Easier
Like most things, the more you do, the more the body will get accustomed to it. If you stick to consistent running, it’s just a matter of time before you start feeling comfortable on your runs.
At this point, your comfortable-paced runs should start to become enjoyable and breathing will no longer feel labored.
Once you get to this point (5-6weeks into running) you will start to find your confidence will improve and you will start to enjoy running much more than when you started.
Remember there is no shortcut to making running feel easier. fitness takes time to build and if you try to speed up this process, you may find you get burned out, injured, or just lose interest.
So, if you are wanting to know – when does running get easier?
Give yourself 5-6 weeks and you should start to see a shift in how the body feels and an increase in fitness level. Breathing shouldn’t feel labored anymore and DOMS should be close to non-existent. By the 3rd month, should feel comfortable running at an easier pace and start to enjoy the benefits running can provide.
If you are still struggling with your running, reach out to a running coach. They can help design a training plan that can help running get easier without putting too much stress on the body.