I have run more than 30 times for two kilometers, why cant I feel happy from running? Every time I just feel tired

Out of the need to exercise and because of school requirements, I started running two kilometers a few months ago, about five or six times a week Through running, my physical fitness has indeed improved Initially, it took me nearly eleven minutes to complete the two kilometers, but now, if my physical condition is good, it takes a little over nine minutes However, I have never been able to feel the same joy in running as running enthusiasts do Every time I run, its just for checking in and improving my physical fitness, not because I truly enjoy it During and after running, I dont feel any mental or physical pleasure I start feeling tired after running about two laps, and I rely on willpower to keep going So I want to ask, how can I truly enjoy running and find pleasure in it? How can I make running my hobby rather than just a task

Adjusting pace and exercise intensity correctly can improve running enjoyment

If you haven’t experienced the joy of running, I think there are two aspects to the problem. First, you run too fast; second, the distance is too short.

You ran 2 kilometers in 11 minutes, and later in 9 minutes, which means your pace, at the beginning, was 5 and a half minutes per kilometer, and later reached 4 and a half minutes per kilometer. This is a bit too fast for a beginner runner. After running two laps, you feel exhausted. This is because your aerobic metabolism capacity is not yet able to support such a fast pace. When oxygen cannot supply the energy needed for exercise, your body initiates the glycolysis energy supply system. Glycolysis breaks down glycogen in the body to provide energy when oxygen supply is insufficient. The glycolysis process produces a byproduct, lactic acid, which causes fatigue. This fatigue is not because of your physical strength being insufficient or your body running out of energy, but the sensation caused by the action of lactic acid on nerves, so it is also called neural fatigue.

To avoid this situation, you need to slow down your speed. You can reduce the speed to the level where you can run and chat at the same time, and your body is slightly sweating, which is called aerobic state. Use heart rate to measure exercise intensity, which means keeping your heart rate at 60-85% of the maximum heart rate during running. By running at this intensity, you won’t feel tired and you can run a longer distance. Exercising at the aerobic heart rate allows the heart to pump blood to the maximum capacity. If you often exercise at this intensity, it can train your cardiac ability, and gradually your aerobic metabolism capacity will improve.

To achieve exercise effects, it is better to run for more than half an hour each time. You can gradually increase the running distance and eventually reach about one and a half hours of exercise per session.

People often say that running brings joy because running promotes the secretion of dopamine and endorphins, making people feel happy. However, dopamine and endorphins are not produced immediately when exercise starts, but after a certain period of exercise.

If you engage in low to moderate intensity exercise for a period of time, your aerobic capacity will gradually improve, and gradually you will be able to adapt to longer durations of exercise, and then you will experience the joy that running brings. After your aerobic capacity improves, you can try to increase your speed. You may attempt 10 kilometers, a half marathon, or even a full marathon.

Insufficient Exercise Duration

Running, as a foundation, requires a minimum of 40 minutes. Most long-distance runners typically run for an average of 60 minutes per session, while a full dopamine and endorphin stimulation can be felt after 90 minutes.

However, you have only managed 9 minutes.

Balancing Skills and Challenges

First, speaking scientifically, it is only when one has reached a higher level of skill that they are able to fully enjoy the pleasure of running, as shown in the figure below.

When both skills and challenges reach a high level and are balanced, it is easy to experience a state of flow, which is a wonderful experience that brings happiness and addiction.

If individual skills are low and task challenges are also low, it can easily lead to indifference.

If individual skills are high and task challenges are low, it can easily lead to boredom.

If individual skills are low and task challenges are high, it can easily lead to anxiety.

You are currently experiencing more of this anxious stage.

Second, improvement requires a process, step by step, taking it slow.

Speaking scientifically again, alternating between running and resting can lead to better improvement. Running every day is good for losing weight, but not for improvement!

Giving up tasks and focusing on progress

Your problem is that when you treat actions as obligations rather than as enjoyable tasks, the result becomes passive rather than proactive. If you shift the focus from the outcome of giving up tasks and instead concentrate on the process of progress, perhaps you can find some happiness in it. Of course, this applies to almost everything in life. It’s just that most of our choices tend to be passive rather than proactive, such as ceaseless studying every day and continuous household chores. For those who dislike spending time on these tasks, cooking at home can actually feel no different from hardship, and they cannot experience any joy from it.

Experience the Joy of Running

Take it easy.

  1. The distance you run is too short. 2 kilometers is just a warm-up. Usually, after 3-4 kilometers, your body will adapt to the operating state under a certain condition.

  2. Your running speed is a little fast. At the beginning, you can start with a pace of 6 minutes 30 seconds to 6 minutes per kilometer, and gradually accelerate after 1 kilometer. If you run too fast, it’s easy for lactic acid to accumulate, and you will quickly get tired and gasp for breath.

  3. Keep running for a while longer. Don’t worry about checking in or posting on social media. Just run freely at a speed that feels comfortable for you in an environment you like.

Believe that after a while, in some unexpected moment, you will find that joy of running.

Try running more than 30 kilometers twice

Another approach: How about trying to run more than 30 kilometers twice?