Before I became a runner I was full of excuses. I had never been happy with my weight but always had every excuse under the sun as to why I couldn’t get in shape. It was my body type, it was my parents cooking, it was because I couldn’t afford healthy food, I couldn’t get a gym membership, etc. etc.. I’m also super duper shy and when it came to exercise I was just too embarrassed to try. I was so self conscious of how my body looked when it moved that I just decided no, running wasn’t for me. Until about 3 years ago when my mom put a treadmill in the garage.
I would go into the garage to get water (we had a fridge in there) and I would look at it, contemplating, but never attempting to try it. But after a while of staring at it, taunting me that now I had a chance to run in private, well, I couldn’t give myself anymore excuses. It was time to stop being lazy. I needed to suck it up and face the machine. It was a clumsy start but a start none the less. And before I new it – I was a runner! Now I run anywhere from 2-5 times a week depending on how I feel for 20 minutes to an hour. My stress fell away as well as some anxieties but most importantly – my insecurities! Not saying I’m the most confident person ever but compare to how I used to be, I’m doing pretty good. Here’s how to fall in love with running like I did!
Buy Proper Running Shoes
This made a big difference for me when I started running. Before I knew about Nike I would just use my moms ‘running’ shoes which were two sizes to big for me. Don’t do this. You’ll overwork muscles and have back problems and all sorts of messes. Running shoes are worth the investment!
The worst thing to kill your mojo is expecting to run farther than you can. I mean models and sporty girls can run for days then why couldn’t I? The answer is practice. This is one of the things I hated about running because I couldn’t run for more than 10 minutes without being winded. It really bummed me out but I kept trying to best myself. Not being able to run as far as you thought you could is okay and normal and should not discourage you. Aim for shorter runs but increase the time by a few minutes each week. Example: Week one 10 minutes, week two 15 minutes, week three 17-20 minutes, etc. You’re less likely to quit this way! Also aim for 3 days a week to start and see how you feel from there!
Music Is Life
Have you ever tried to run with no music? I find it miserable. I love playing fast EDM tunes like Rehab, Knife Party, A few Top 40 songs, and Major Lazer. These upbeat songs make me run harder and faster. I especially love when the music skips to a song and suddenly I feel like I have to keep running because the songs not over. Make yourself a playlist that gets you into a fiery mood and you’ll never want to stop running!
Another thing you can do to love running more is slowing down your pace. It’s okay to jog, it’s not a race. If you feel like you can’t keep up with yourself then slow down a bit, for now. Just enjoy a leisurely pace and let your expectations go. Running should almost be babied when you’re getting started or else you might end up hating it. For shorter and more intense workouts try your hand at interval training! This burns fat and gets your heart rate up.
Think Of The Perks
There are so many perks of running. Stress-relief, anxiety-relief, makes your heart strong, helps your blood flow, boosts you metabolism, helps with weight loss, and is just great for the mind. I noticed if I didn’t go for a run within a few days I would feel all pent up and angry. It got to the point where Aaron would ask, “Did you go for a run yet today?” To which I would reply a sheepish “no.” Lucky him – He gets to deal with the hangries and the.. run-gries? Is there a word for that?
Wear Cute Workout Gear
When I started running I would wear sweatpants or pyjamas and my moms sports bra. I borrowed a lot of my moms clothes. But when I started getting more serious about running I went to Lululemon and bought myself my first pair of workout tights. I still wear them. Actually I’m wearing them as I write this. Next came the Nike sports bra and finally, my own pair of running shoes! Once I started presenting myself as a runner I fell in love with it more. I mean when you look in the mirror and you’re one of those people, it’s kinda a good feel. Transformed some would say.
I loved when I would set running goals for myself because it was nice to demolish them. I would set goals like run for 30 minutes 4 times a week, or if I could run for 40 minutes at 6MPH. It was so good to conquer them. When I got into sprinting I would see how far I could sprint in 20 minutes. Its nice to challenge yourself and you feel like an athlete. You can set your goals small and work your way up!
Finally. Rewards. If you are crushing it at the running game then you deserve a reward! New sports bra, a cute water bottle, some sweet patterned leggings. Treating yourself is both fun and awesome. While I try not to treat myself to food there have been many occasions where I know I would be going out so I would do at least a twenty minute run so I felt like I earned the pizza. Not that it would have stopped my anyways 🙂
Take The Pressure Off
I found the best way to keep me motivated and running is to take all the pressure off. When I run I aim for twenty minutes. If I wanted to go longer I can but once it hits 20 minutes I give myself permission to stop if I wanted to. This had helped me so much. I feel less guilty and I don’t beat myself up if I didn’t go for 30-40 minute run. 90% of the time I keep running to 30-45 minutes but it’s nice to have a quick little run just to help with some anxiety and stress.
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