Getting Into Running
Friday, December 12, 2014
If you've been following my favourite posts and my Instagrams, you'll have noticed that I've been trying to get back into running shape. My goal is to run 5km in one go without feeling like I'm going to collapse afterwards - yes I know that for some of you this probably sounds super easy. So instead of just going running randomly like I used to, I am following a well thought out plan with different stages. It hasn't been very easy sadly as my never-ending cold has been keeping me inside, but I'm trying to pick up again now that I've been feeling a little better. Even without being sick it can be such a struggle to find the courage to face the cold and often rainy weather, so I've been using a few tricks to keep myself excited about my goals. And one of them just might be wearing excessively pink running gear..
My first trick is not to let my body touch the sofa when I get home from work - if I do, chances are all is lost for that day. On days I should run I try to immediately shift into my running gear and head out the door five minutes after coming home. I'm almost always dreading this as your body makes you feel like you've deserved chilling out after a whole day of work, but the truth is that relaxing only feels better after a well planned workout. I'm hoping that soon I'll be able to feel awesome while running too, but for now my biggest kick comes after have gone for a good run. Running together with friends is a great trick too as there'll always be someone pushing you to go, even when you wouldn't have gone on your own.
Having a plan also makes it easier because you know in advance when you'll be running. I don't run with a voiced running programme or app, but I do have a schedule that prepares me properly for my goals. Right now I use the app My Asics which lets you choose a goal and asks you what your current running level is, and accordingly cooks up a running plan for you. I've also used Runkeeper and Nike+ before, which are your go-to apps if you're not working towards a particular goal but just run to stay fit. These will update you throughout your run on your pace & distance. If you have trouble finding running fun (a friend of mine can run for hours but says it just bores her), you might like the app Zombies, Run! I've never tried it before, but it basically turns running into a game in which you need to escape from zombies. Personally I love running with some good music, so I always have TuneIn Radio open as well, with BBC Radio 1 Extra as my preferred frequency.
There are running shoes that have a chip that can tune in with apps such as the Nike Free shoes, but I've honestly never used this feature before. I run with neon yellow Nike Free shoes, and just ordered Nike Rosherun shoes with a beautiful print (with a special thanks to my wonderful friends for the awesome birthday present), although I don't use them for running as they're much too pretty. A friend of mine that runs a lot did tell me though that I should probably look out for something heftier if I intend to run frequently - she advised me to have my feet measured and analysed for the right running shoe. I will definitely keep you updated on how that goes!
I also like to have lots of fun with my workout gear and make it all about colours. You should know that I wear black 90% of the time because it's just more of my thing, but when it comes to running gear.. I go all out. Especially in colder seasons it's very important to dress warm enough and to wear enough layers. Asics suggests wearing two layers (top & jacket) during colder months, and three layers during the coldest times. Wearing three layers will allow you to take off one layer when your body temperature rises, on the condition of course that you pick your first and second layer well. Choose a top made from a breathable material as the first layer, and add a turtle neck long sleeve top from a similar material on top. A lot of brands now produce running tops with fabrics that dry quickly - I've been using this breathable purple long sleeve top gifted to me by Asics lately, which keeps me comfortably warm but also prevents my body from getting too hot and sweaty. What I really like about this Asics long sleeve top is that the sleeves are actually long enough for the tall girl that I am.
Layered on top of that I am wearing a neon yellow Nike jacket with special pockets for your phone, although I should look out for a fleece lined running vest now that it's almost actually freezing outside. When it's cold I also try and use a long legging - I went all out with this pink leopard legging I ordered on the Nike website. Inside it also says JUST DO IT - which I know is just a branded slogan but still motivates me every time I see it. Nike does fun tops with slogans as well, such as the FEARLESS top I got on their website. As much as I'd love to use other cool t-shirts for running, it's important that the materials are breathable and sweat proof which isn't always the case with regular t-shirts. I put my hair up in a high bun when running, and keep everything in place with a neon pink reflective headband I bought at H&M. I wasn't aware that H&M had a huge sports department - when I was in Rotterdam (the biggest H&M in Europe I was told) I didn't know where to look first as they had so much! I am definitely looking forward to the arrival of the online H&M shop in Belgium - I will definitely buy much more running gear there.
So I guess I'm pretty much set for a steady training towards that 5km goal.. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. And do please share your running or workout tips & tricks with me - sharing is caring!