First things first – You are not alone. Fear of running in public or feeling self-conscious while exercising prevents a lot of people from even beginning a running routine. You may be worried that you’ll look slow, silly, too fat, and too old to other runners or people on the street.
Like anything else, the first time is usually the hardest, so don’t be concerned about what others think! As a runner, you are now part of the running community which has no sign up fee, no restrictions, just individuals with the same interests and focus. Remember that all runners were new to the sport at some point, so they can all relate to the struggles that beginners face.
If it’s what non-runners will think that you’re worried about, try to concentrate on the positive benefits you are getting from the run and put your focus and energy into that. Be proud that you are doing something good for your physical and mental health.
Wearing the right clothes for running may make you feel more comfortable when running in public. For women, it’s especially important to wear the right sports bra.
While running can be done by yourself, at the beginning you may also feel less self-conscious if you get a friend or family member to come along with you. Not only will this help you gradually build up confidence to go out on your own, you can also keep each other motivated to run. Once you’ve run in public a few times, you’ll start to forget there are even people around.
And remember, no matter how slow you are, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch!