10 tips for those who are shy about running outside

The world is increasingly covered by a wave of running boom, and every day the number of recruits with floating feet only increases. But among those who want to go for a run, there are those who don’t dare to put on sneakers and go out on the streets of the city. And the reason is not laziness or lack of time.

In this article we will try to figure out why you can be embarrassed to go for a run, where such self-doubt comes from and how to jump over this unsportsmanlike barrier.

Why are we afraid to run?

This awkward feeling is usually inherent to those who take their first steps in the field of running. According to Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., and leading author in the field of psychological self-help, “We experience fear whenever we step into unfamiliar territory or start doing things in the wrong place. world in a new way. Very often, this fear takes away our strength and does not allow us to change our lives for the better. But there is a way to deal with it. The trick is to be afraid, but in any case, do what you decide to do.

10 tips for those who are shy about running outside


Restraint, as a rule, causes a possible reaction from passers-by. The runner may have the impression that those around him do not approve of him or make fun of him. Feelings about this can be grouped into three groups:

  • fear of failure. When faced with something new, we are afraid of doing the wrong thing, because we do not have enough experience and the existing knowledge has not been tested in practice. And the fear begins to bind: you won’t be able to enjoy running anymore, you won’t be able to run fast or correctly, you won’t be able to ignore the gaze of others, etc.
  • afraid to stand out in the crowd. Everyone walks and wears normal casual clothes, while you run and wear sports gear. In nature, running is perceived as an atypical phenomenon, associated either with the pursuit of prey or with the avoidance of danger. Animals, with rare exceptions, do not run for fun or exercise. Therefore, a person running down the street is an involuntary signal that something is happening. And all events always attract the attention of others.
  • afraid to judge your body. In psychology, the term “body-shaming” has even appeared (from the English body – body and to shame – to shame), it is understood as discrimination against people based on the appearance of their body. And a person can refuse training only because his own body seems to him too thin, fat or disproportionate, and therefore will certainly cause condemnation from the outside.

In order not to end up in the ranks of running deserters, do not close one-on-one with your feelings. Maybe advice from people who have faced a similar problem before or helped others with it will help you solve this problem.

10 tips to stop being shy and start running

Here’s what to keep in mind if running outside makes you feel uncomfortable.

1. You still have to run

Just put on your sneakers and get out there. You’ll find out very quickly that running is exactly what you do, and with every step you take, you’ll become more confident in what you’re doing. And with the advent of confidence, it will be easier for you to ignore others.

2. You attract less attention than you think.

For most passers-by, you are just part of the background scenery, nothing more. Just like you, they watch passing cars, a walking dog or playing children.

3. You inspire respect and curiosity

Passers-by in the street are not runners, and if they are looking at you, they are curious to know what you are doing. Maybe they are even a little jealous, because they themselves would like to run, but for some reason they can’t. Consider the fact that you are now in better physical shape than most passers-by.

4. Your efforts are only visible to you.

Confused breathing, drops of sweat on your face, heavy walking can cause embarrassment – but people around you don’t notice.

5. Find a support group

If you’re shy about running alone and your friend is too, then you two won’t be so shy anymore. Even better, if a friend already has running experience, their confidence will help you feel more free.

10 tips for those who are shy about running outside
Photo: dumbrunner.com

You can also subscribe to the social networks of the communities of runners in your city and come to joint training. Runners are generally welcome for beginners and are willing to help with anything, as well as tell stories of how they themselves have been embarrassed to go out for a run.

6. You can always take music or audiobooks with you

A meditative jog with immersion in your own thoughts, an exciting audiobook or lively music will help you not to pay attention to the gazes of passers-by, but to focus only on yourself and your feelings.

7. A bright outfit sets the mood

Buy sporting goods in beautiful, upbeat colors so that you always want to wear them, and then every workout will become a little vacation.

8. Join a race to motivate yourself

A tangible goal is a very powerful motivator, even if it seems small. Running your first 5k in your dream city is a big wish, but it will never come true unless you go out for a run.

9. Affirmations will give you confidence at first.

Just tell yourself that you love yourself, that you deserve a great body, that you love running and achieving your goals. The more often you practice, the more comfortable you will feel in training.

10. Never give up

Riders will never criticize or ridicule. If you are faced with such an attitude towards yourself, then the one who does this is not running at all and he will never have your success and your self-confidence.

Personal experience

Alexander Neupokoev from the city of Armavir lost 43 kg while running, created the author’s project “Healthy lifestyle in pictures” and records videos for YouTube. In his video library there is also a video “How to overcome shyness while running”.

10 tips for those who are shy about running outside
Photo from Alexander’s personal archive

Here’s how Alexander remembers when he was just starting to train:

“I decided to run to lose weight. And not just to lose weight, but to get rid of more than a dozen kilograms that interfered with normal life.

Having a fairly severe obesity, I was very shy to run in the street. I would do it again! The sight, when such a carcass runs, waddling from one foot to the other, is not the most pleasant for others. So I started training at the stadium.

But going around in circles turned out to be quite tiring and I left the stadium. I went to practice early in the morning, when there was hardly anyone on the street. If in the morning it was not possible to run, he transferred it to the evening.

Soon I fell in love with running and didn’t notice how shy I had stopped. There are three main tips for new runners:

  1. For the first time, choose secluded places to jog or a time when the streets are not crowded.
  2. Or, on the contrary, choose a place where there will be many people like you, for example, a stadium or an arena.
  3. Time is the best cure for shyness. You will get used to running, improve your physical condition and gain confidence.

For inspiration, you can read an interview with Alexei Koryakin, who weighed 120 kg, but really dreamed of running, and watch motivational promotional videos whose heroes also run, even when they are shy.