How to get over feeling self-conscious when running in public

Person Bending Over

Making the decision to start running is a huge step towards living a healthy and active lifestyle, but many new runners may feel a little self-conscious when they first start out.

Many will worry about what they look like, wondering if they are holding the right form or running fast enough. Unlike some exercises like yoga, or circuit training, running needs space or a treadmill to be effective. This means you may find yourself running in your local park or along roads, potentially in front of strangers.

We take a look at some of the ways you can start to build your confidence when it comes to pounding the pavement and exposing your new running skills to the public.  

Immerse Yourself In Music

One of the best ways to take your mind off what others may be thinking of you, is to turn up your music and focus on the tempo whilst running. Be mindful of your form and try and run in time with the beat. This helps shift your focus and soon you won’t even notice others around you.

Follow A Podcast Program

Podcast running programs like the NHS’ Couch To 5K programme, can help you to set goals and focus on pushing forward. These podcasts help to take your mind off the fact you are running outside, by providing audio markers to help you keep track of your distance and helping you focus on pushing through to the next goal.

Find A Running Group

You may find that it is the thought of running solo that makes you feel a little uneasy. If that’s the case, why not find a local running group to join? If you find it too intimidating to join an already established club of seasoned runners, ask around your friends and family and get a beginners group going!

Find your local running club on the Run Together website.

Person Putting On Running Shoes

Choose The Quietest Time Of Day

Choose a time of day that is a little quieter than usual. This could be early in the morning or after dinner time. This will help you to build your confidence when running outdoors and will take away the fear of being judged by the public. Once you’ve become accustomed to running in your local park or on local footpaths, you’ll notice that you aren’t as caught up in how you look.

Selecting the right route can also be a major factor and contribute massively on your decision to go for a run, websites like Map My Run can help you discover exciting routes in your area that may sway your decision.  

What To Remember When Running In Public

The most important thing to keep in mind when you step out of your door to go for a run, is that people are not looking at you as much as you think. Other runners will be focused on their own runs and are probably thinking the same things as you. Pedestrians probably don’t even notice you running and people in cars are usually focusing on the road ahead.

Set yourself goals and targets and focus on pushing yourself to improve your fitness. Keeping your mind trained on the task at hand will prevent any negative thoughts from popping up and throwing you off your game.

Helpful Running Apps

Apps can be a great tool to help you get motivated for that next run in public. Below we have listed some running related apps you may want to try:

- Strava / Cost: Free

- Nike Run Club / Cost: Free

- Map My Run / Cost: Free

- Road ID / Cost: Free

- Weav Run / Cost: Free

- Train As One / Cost: Free For 21 Days

- Zombies, Run! / Cost: Free (In App Purchases)

- Charity Miles / Cost: Free

Make sure you are looking after your body once you start a regular running schedule. The Jointace range has been developed by our Vitabiotics nutritional experts and provides unique combinations of trace minerals, vitamins and nutrients, ideal for those with an active life.

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