Thursday, February 07, 2013

Lessons I've Learnt | Running


For most of my life I never identified as a runner. I played sports but would only run while I was on the court or field, never in my own time. But in December 2011 something changed in me. I had that realisation that in your mid-twenties your body starts to behave a little differently. And that you can't really just eat whatever you feel like and get away with it anymore. I was a couch potato and I realised something needed to change, so here are a few of the lessons I've learnt on this journey so far:

You've got to start somewhere: To begin with, I couldn't even run the 1.91km block around my house without walking parts of it. Which was embarrassing to admit to myself let alone anyone else but I soon realised I could change that. I kept on running that same block until I mastered it and once I had, I added a few extra roads in to make it 2.5kms. Each week I would build on the previous and these days I can run 15kms - a feat I never thought I could achieve!

Be consistent: It's amazing how difficult running is to get back into if you let your habits slip for too long. I hibernated for longer than necessary last Winter and paid the price when I tried to get back into it again in Spring. One run every two weeks isn't going to see as much improvement as three runs per week is.

Find what motivates you: If you're snuggled up on the couch with a good book or a movie, it's pretty hard to pull yourself away to go pound the pavement. You have to find the thing that motivates you. One thing that has helped me along the way is the saying "You're lapping everyone on the couch". It encouraged me that even if I went out for a short run, I'm still doing better than everyone who hasn't run at all.

Make it measurable: As a goal oriented person I find running so satisfying because it's so easily measured. I use the Nike + app so I can easily see when I've gotten a faster time on a run, run a longer distance or gained a new trophy.

Take a holistic approach: If you're running a lot but then stopping to get KFC or McDonalds on the way home what's the point? Food is fuel and you need to think about what you're putting into your body. Research healthy recipes, take supplements, get protein into your diet and enjoy treats in moderation. And make sure you're drinking lots of water!

Anyway, these are just a few of the things that have helped me along the way. I'm no expert by any means, just someone who is trying to stay active and healthy. As a side note - if running isn't for you, why not find some kind of exercise you do enjoy? Join the gym or a sports team or do a martial art :)

16 comments:

  1. nice post, i always find it motivating to read other people's ways of gettin motivated! :)

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  2. I've been (slowly) realising that as I approach my mid twenties, the extra portion I've helped myself to will stick around longer then I would like! I've been thinking of ways to get motivated with our current dreary weather but your post has definitely helped! :)

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  3. Inspirational post. :) I have been trying to get back into running and it's so true that it is hard to start again after a break! This is probably a silly question, but how do you carry your iPhone with you when you run?

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    1. Not a silly question at all! I bought an arm strap off eBay. They are super cheap, I think mine was like $7 :) It's a little pouch for your phone and it also has space for your car key (or house key) and your head phones. Hope that helps!

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  4. Great post! I've just recently started trying to get back into shape, and I completely agree that motivation is so important. I've started going to the gym first thing in the morning, so I have absolutely not excuse to skip out and even if I have a bad workout, I know it's better than what I would have gotten sleeping in.

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  5. Great advice, I've ran quite a lot too, and I find that choice of music really helps with motivationxx

    http://involuntarytheory.blogspot.co.uk/

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  6. I really would like to be a runner, and i have tried so many times to start and failed after some weeks. I do exercise quite often with other things (like spinning) and really like it but running doesn't seem to be my thing to be honest. However, my plan is to be able to runt 5 km this year because i really want to "learn" to run because it seems so fun!

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  7. I appreciate this post immensely! I have been working out continuously for two+ years but I now want to branch out into running. So this was very informative for me, thank you!!

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  8. Great tips, Amanda. When I was at university I used to run at the gym most mornings before class. I never ever considered myself to be a runner so looking back I'm amazed that I used to be able to run 6 - 7km no problems. Unfortunately it's been a few years since I've been able to do that. I recently tried doing the Couch to 5km program with my boyfriend but we missed a few weeks and ended up stopping. I felt really guilty about it, but you're right in saying that it's better to do something than nothing at all. I might look into the Nike app. I've been scouting out some good running spots in my neighbourhood so I hope to get started again soon!

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  9. Great tips, I really enjoyed reading this post! I have been meaning to start running or join a class for a while now, and this has given me the motivation to finally get started! Thank you!

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  10. Great post well done you! I've recently started running too, and it's amazing how quickly you improve if you keep at it. I'm taking on Wellington Round the Bays 7km run next week, so pumped! xo

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  11. Love this! I never ran until my mid-20s and I wish I had thought about it earlier... every few years I get into it again and at the moment I am about 5 months into a pretty consistent stint - I have been looking for a 15km fun run in Auckland but there doesn't seem to be anything between 10km and half marathon (and I'm not sure I am up for a half!)

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  12. good tips! Thanks. I stopped running a few months ago here in England as it got so dark and cold in the mornings and evenings, but I know it's going to be so hard to get back into it now! But you've made me feel better knowing that I have to gradually build it up. (I've also just broken my arm which doesn't help!)

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    1. Sorry to hear that! Hope your arms heals quickly. Make sure you give yourself plenty of recovery time so you're not harming yourself! :) x

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  13. Just started running, what great tips! thank you for the encouragement! x

    http://liberatedbylkc.blogspot.co.nz/

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