My body… was not built to run. In my younger years… running in gym class was undoubtedly my most HATED activity. It wasn’t that I wasn’t athletic… because I spent hours at the barre (the ballet one…not the one with alcohol) but I just couldn’t possibly fathom the boring, breath-taking activity. I would often think to myself “how could ANYONE find this enjoyable”…surely this wasn’t something they would do for fun.
Somewhere between college and my journey into the real world I had decided running seemed like the “in” thing to do. I had this crazy idea overnight to just give it a try. It seemed amusing to some people… maybe I was missing something? I thought of this new adventure like trying vegetables for the first time…maybe it would take just a little extra time getting used to?
In time (and I mean lots of time) running became my outlet. It was the exhilarating, burning, heart beating accomplishment that gave me a rise… an experience like no other. Today, I can run a 5k and barely blink an eye… but there was a point where I felt that running to the end of the block was nearly impossible.
Here I share my key elements for going the distance:
Get a Trainer
…and I don’t mean a 150 pound lean mean muscle machine to scream at you as you jog your way to victory. In today’s society…they’re digital. My first experience training to run was with my Iphone on an app called Couch to 5K. The app trained and coached me through a series of short runs and progressively increased my time and length of run. There are plenty of apps out there that will help train you to your goal without needing to schedule time with a fitness instructor or coach. I hated the idea of someone judging me as I ran; doing this at my own pace on my own time was ideal. It taught me that training to run wasn’t something that happened overnight and I set goals each week with the help of the app.
Don’t Commit Shoe-icide
It’s okay to go out and spend money on a nice pair of sneakers. What you wear while running is literally everything. Your feet will thank you for the support during and after the run… a pair of shoes can change your life!
You Are What You Eat (and Drink!)
I learned the hard way that eating a cheeseburger and diet coke before running wasn’t my ideal meal before a run. Drink lots of water leading up to the run, and choose light, healthy meals that will set you up for success. TRUST ME when I say your body WILL thank you for it.
Ask For Help
I found it always more enjoyable when I had a buddy beside me… or someone on the sidelines cheering me on. Even if my fiancé didn’t want to run that day, he’d get on the treadmill during my last mile to run or walk alongside me. Even if you can’t find a buddy to run with… find a cheerleader. Preferably a friend, significant other, or companion that’s seen you at your worst and one that knows how to amp you back up!
When You Look Good, You FEEL Good
Maybe it’s because I’m a self-proclaimed shop-a-holic… but when I LOOK my best I FEEL my best. Go buy the running gear to make you feel like a runner instead of running in that old pair of sweatpants and beat up t-shirt. I always feel increased motivation to run when I’ve got that new pair of yoga pants or shiny new kicks.
Start Slow, And Just BREATHE
Anna Nalick’s Just Breathe lyrics stick when I think of a motto used for my running. It didn’t take long to catch on that when I took it slow, steadied my breathing, and relaxed…running wasn’t so awful. They say slow and steady wins the race… which may not be true if you want to be first at the finish line… but at least I’ll feel like a million bucks!
Recover Like A Champ
I’ve always been one to use any and all accomplishments as a reason to celebrate…big or small. Run that first mile? Celebrate. Run to the end of the block? Celebrate. I don’t mean wasting yourself silly on that 6-pack you picked up on the way home last night (trust me when I say that celebratory beer they give you at the end of your 5k won’t be as awesome as it seems)… but take a bubble bath, buy yourself a new fitness tracker, or maybe shop for some Pevonia?
My ‘Runner Must Have’ Pevonia Products:
Eye Makeup Remover (Pre-Run Makeup Remover)
Tension Relief Gel (Post-Run Muscle Relief)
Multi-Active Foot Cream (Pre & Post Run Relief)
RS2 Gentle Lotion (Post Run Clean-Up)