Because running can be bloody awkward.

Words by

Veronica Stanford

There are a lot of potential benefits that come with hitting the pavement and running your little heart out. It’s exercise which is great (or so they tell us), it makes you feel good (apparently), and best of all, you don’t need to splash $20 a week on a gym membership to do it. 

But running can be bloody awkward. There’s nothing worse than jogging down your street, with passers by looking at your heaving, sweaty and red-faced form. 

We get it. And we’ve been there before. But because joining the gym isn't an option for us, we decided to get some expert running advice.  You’ll be a regular Cathy Freeman in no time.

Work out your pace

Start out slow. If you’re not a runner (yet) or you’re pretty unfit (ahem, us), there’s no point in burning all your energy in 500 metres. You’re way more likely to feel awks if you have to lie in the middle of the footpath two houses down from your own. If you keep things consistent, you’ll feel more comfortable.

“Pace is a very personal thing,” says Nike+ Run Club Head Coach, Sam Strutt. “Don’t get caught up in what other people’s paces are. Stay consistent and train smart and your paces will speed up over time.”

Join a club

If you think everyone is watching you as you jog along the side of the road, then run with a friend. And if your friends hate running, then join a club. “Keep learning – surround yourself with other runners and learn from them,” says Sam.

Not only will you make some new pals to support your running #goals, everyone can be sweaty and awkward together and you’ll pick up some tips along the way.

The purpose of a club, such as the Nike+ Run Club, “is to inspire athletes of all levels to run their first, funnest or fastest kilometres,” says Sam. You also have the added bonus of making new pals who can keep you motivated. “We believe in you (even when you don’t) and we’ll help show you how great you can be,” says Sam.

Get motivated

The more you practice, the better you’ll get (and the less awkward you’ll feel). But tbh, we all know exercise isn’t a walk in the park and staying motivated is rough.

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to record your running and compare your efforts. “When times get tough, look back on your training and see how far you have come,” says Sam. An app is a great way to do this, you can log all your runs and get excited when you see your (non-awkward) progress.

Be confident (embrace the awkwardness)

In the end the only person who thinks you look awkward is you. Once you feel confident, you’ll look confident.

Put on your most powerful Beyoncé tune or your fave RiRi banger and hit the ground running (literally). The only thing holding you back is your own perceptions.

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