During this downtime that we are experiencing due to COVID19, I decided to take up running again. I have just started the Couch to 5k running app (for the 8th time) with every intention of completing it (like every other time).
I am not someone who enjoys running. BUT, I’ve been told by the many runners at the RunIreland.com office that it’s rare for someone to enjoy it when they first start. I am hoping that they’re right, and that when I get through the first few weeks of building up my cardio fitness, I won’t hate it as much.
Until then, here are the tips that are helping me get through it:
Tip 1: Set a goal
Okay, so, the obvious question you might be asking is “why is this girl running if she hates it so much?”. It’s a good question and here is my answer: I have a goal.
My goal is to complete my 2nd Tough Mudder by the end of 2020 without having to walk the course.
When I completed my first Tough Mudder I was somewhat fearless which was great. I knew the obstacles and the course. I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew I would complete it without having to train. But completing it and enjoying it are two different things. I completed it no problem but I didn’t enjoy how long it took me to get around the course because I was too unfit to run between obstacles. I needed to work on my cardio strength.
I would usually work on my cardio by going on long walks or hikes. Currently, with the restrictions put in place due to Covid-19 I can’t do either. All I can manage is a 30-minute run every day and so that is why I am running.
Hopefully, by the time the world is back to normal, I will be able to run around the Tough Mudder course no problem.
Tip 2: Invest in running gear
For me, having the right running gear makes a huge difference. For years, I used to suffer from getting blisters on my feet. It didn’t matter if I was walking, jogging, hiking, sprinting or what make I was wearing, Nike, Adidas, Asics. I ALWAYS got blisters. Eventually, I decided it worth investing in a solution.
I went to Intersport Elverys, got them to do the analysis scan on my feet. I listened to their recommendations on the runners that would suit me best and purchased the insoles that they carve for each individual person. I have never looked back. Goodbye blisters.
I also swear by AvaRose leggings. I always run with my phone and rarely wear a hoodie which means I end up having to carry my phone. When it’s in my hand and it goes off I’m more likely to look at it and get distracted and look at the time and so on. AvaRose leggings have the pocket on the side so I pop my phone in and don’t look at it until my run is over. The leggings are also super high waisted and have good compression so I look and feel better – and when I look and feel better, I run better.
Tip 3: Make a good playlist
Music is a powerful thing. Listening to the right tunes will help with your timing, mood and ability to keep going. I love listening to high tempo songs that I can get lost in. I end up not even noticing the time go by.
Tip 4: Don’t think too much about it
As soon as the thought ‘I must go for a run’ enters your head then go (or go asap). I find the more I think about it the less likely I am to actually do it.
If I spent half as much time running as I did thinking about it I would have a few marathon medals by now. The hardest part is just putting on the gear and getting out the door. Once I’m out and about I forget that I didn’t really want to go for a run in the first place.
Tip 5: Make it a part of your routine
When something becomes part of your routine you tend to do it without even giving it a second thought. Before Covid-19, I got up, brushed my teeth, got dressed, went to work, had lunch, made coffee, came home, ate dinner, brushed my teeth again all without consciously thinking about it because that was my routine and that’s that. They were things I had to do so there is no point wasting energy considering not doing them.
When I can get running to be part of my routine it comes easier. I usually went straight from work. Work finished, I changed, ran for 30 mins, got in my car and the rest of the evening carried on as normal. When I can get into the habit of doing this it almost feels like it’s part of my workday. Like I wouldn’t have completed by day and can’t go home until I get this last task done. So let’s not waste time humming and hawing. Go. Do it. Go home. Relax.
For the majority of us, our routines have now changed. Now, I make sure to get my run in in the morning and I stay well within 2km of my house and make sure it is not longer than 30 mins (as if I would do longer anyway.)
Tip 6: Do it early
I find getting my run in as early as possible works best for me. The longer I leave it the more excuses I conjure up throughout the day to justify not doing it. I have gotten quite crafty at making excuses and letting myself believe them so I try to get the run done before I think of a ‘good’ excuse not too.
And for my 7th and final tip which I promise is not sponsored by Nike: