Monday, 28 August 2017

Running - The beginners guide



I started running about 3 years ago as my cousin and I decided we wanted to do the Race for Life in honour of my auntie who had passed away from cancer. I'd never ran before in my life - apart from the odd try at cross country at school. Honestly I was awful! With this in mind, I decided to download the app - Couch to 5K to see if that could spur me into action. It did! And not only that but after we'd completed our race, I carried on running for fun. I still can't believe that was me!

But about a year and a half ago, I started to lose my motivation. I don't know whether it was because I'd lost a lot of weight or because my personal life had started to take away any time I usually had spare. Looking back I think it was a bit of both as I suddenly got too skinny and my relationship with my boyfriend stepped up a notch and I found I'd rather go out and spend time with him than going out for a run. That was my first mistake... in reality we can all find at least 20 minutes to do some exercise but in my mind if we had plans - I just didn't have the time to squeeze anything in.

It's only recently that I've started looking at myself properly in the mirror and thought I needed to get back into it. I'm by no means overweight but I could do with toning up. When you're petite and you tell people you're trying to have a healthy diet or trying to exercise more, you always get "but why? You're not fat!" This leads me on to my second mistake... listening to people who say that! There is nothing wrong with being skinny and wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle. And quite frankly, we shouldn't have to justify ourselves if we want to!

I don't believe running is the easiest thing to get into, but for anyone out there who's trying to do it or used to do it but has lost their motivation, hopefully some of my tips below will at least spur you on!

Mindset

For me exercise is all about mindset. And the hardest thing is getting up off the sofa and getting outside. Once you do it though, you'll find you can carry on but putting on your trainers is always the first hurdle you have to get over. I'm guilty for getting my exercise gear on and then talking myself out of it because I need to clean the house, walk the dog, do the shopping etc etc. But I've tried to tell myself to at least get out for 20 minutes. Even if I start running and stop and start walking - at least I'm out! Basically I have to tell myself to stop making excuses. It's hard but once you get over that, you'll be on your way.


No cost

Running is free! Why pay for a gym membership when all you need is some comfy gear and some decent trainers. Obviously when it's winter, a nice warm gym sounds appealing rather than pounding the icy pavement, but if you're on a budget - it's perfect. And if you're like me and you try to justify not going out because it's too hot, or too cold - try going out early morning or late evening as you'll usually find it's a bit more bearable. 

The fear

Is it just me that goes out and suddenly has the fear everyone is looking at them? It took me ages to go out on my own when I was first training with my cousin as I had someone to talk to and I didn't feel so alone. But again this is something you have to try to get over. My trick is wearing sunglasses as I feel like no one can really see me. Bit like Harry Potter wearing his invisibility cloak - haha!

Fitbit

I can't live without my Fitbit! It's the best thing I've ever bought as it's something I wear on a daily basis and it drives me to do more. The poor thing is nearly on its last legs now so I need to invest in a new one soon, but it's really helped me improve my fitness. Even if I'm not running, I've set myself a daily goal of at least 10,000 steps a day and it allows me to be quite competitive with myself if I don't reach it - or I exceed it! You can even set-up challenges with your friends if being competitive is what drives you to exercise more. Of course there are plenty of exercise watches out there, so it pays to do a bit of research before you buy one.

Distance VS time

I often see friends sharing their workout information on Facebook and Instagram and a lot will be time focussed as that's what they're aiming to improve. If you're more like me and you just want to at least get out, try to set yourself goals with distance rather than time. What works for me won't work for everyone but I find if I tell myself to increase my distance by 0.5-1km each time I go out, I figure I can work on my timings later. I know I'm never going to be running at Mo Farrah's pace but I want to be able to say I can run a distance of 10km - so for me distance is more important.

Endomondo

There are loads of apps available which allow you to track your exercise whether it's cycling, running, walking etc. And all of them will never be 100% accurate but Endomondo is one I've been using for years. I even use it when I track how far I'm walking the dog to make sure he's getting enough exercise, so it's handy just to switch on whenever you're out and about. 

Have faith

Lastly, have faith. If you're struggling to get out like I do or you don't go as far as you wish you had on one of your runs - don't dwell on it. I found when I did this, my motivation started to decrease and months would go by before I went out again. As long as you're getting out, then you're doing well! Remember it takes time to build yourself up, so if you feel like you're not getting where you want to be - just keep trying. I firmly believe if a non-runner like me can do it - anyone can!


Does anyone else have any tips? 



10 comments:

  1. I don't have any tips sorry! But this takes away another excuse for me to not run!

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  2. Thank you for these tips! I love running, but I really only have been successful when I do it with a friend. I need a motivator and someone to hold me accountable! I would love to look at the Endomondo. Do you use the other aspects of your fitbit? I always wonder if they are worth the investment.

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    Replies
    1. I don't tend to use the timer and stuff as I use Endomondo for that. Fitbits are great for tracking and steps and distance but not great if you were cycling etc as doesn't track it properly.

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  3. I hate running but that's a mindset thing. So thanks for the tips I just may give it another go.

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  4. These are good tips! While I can't do running as exercise due to a knee injury I agree with so much of what you said - often we just need to start, celebrate whatever we achieved, and it will be easier to continue each day :)

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  5. I myself am not a runner but rather I walk for exercise. SO if you are unable to run for any reason the most important thing is to stay active. Walking or running are both great and keep our bodies active
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  6. Oh my goodness, I totally know what you mean about being petite and everyone reacting like that when you say you want to be healthy or tone up, so frustrating!

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