Summer may be my favourite season, but there is something about fall that makes you feel inspired to start fresh. This year has been a roller coaster trying to manage my health and wellness while balancing work, blogging and the not-so-glamorous parts of life (laundry, grocery shopping, watching Netflix, etc.). I traveled a lot this year and every time I returned from a trip, I lost the will and time management skill to move.
I’ve never been one for the gym as I find it monotonous and boring. That’s why running has been a steady constant in my routine since I put on my runners and decided to get started a couple of years ago. But this summer, I shared with you how I’d hit a wall and couldn't get myself going. I was in a rut (sound familiar??). Every so often I would feel the inspiration and hit the pavement but that bandwagon just kept getting away every time I thought I was about to get back on. My energy was zapped and I was quickly approaching that dreadful self-confidence-draining place where everything in my closet was starting to feel a little too tight (even if it did inspire some outfits). It was time to find a way to keep myself accountable to getting back into shape both mentally and physically as running can be both therapy and a sweat session. But I needed something available, accessible and flexible - enter Nike+ Run Club.
It’s now been four months and my last run with NRC this weekend was by far my best. When I started running it was a struggle. I wasn’t one of those people who’d trained in university or had a knack for it (read: my 5-foot-nothing frame does not give me an advantage in long distance running activities). But fresh air and sunshine can do wonders to your mental health and it is the fuel that keeps me going. As we head into the cooler months, it’s important to find something that motivates you to get outdoors. (Do I dare say, for the first time in my life I’m anxiously awaiting winter so I can get snowboarding?!). There’s no better time then now to get started, so lace up, read my tips below and start hitting the pavement!
START SOMEWHERE: Whether you start by alternating walking/running every minute, or go out for a few kms a couple of times a week you need to start somewhere. I started with a goal of 4 km: for an entire month I would run non-stop until I completed the distance no matter how slow or fast I ran.
FIND A FRIEND (OR TWO OR THREE...): It's almost like mourning the loss of someone when your running buddy becomes injured (I still wish every run was with her but I will settle for once in awhile!). So I went out and found a whole bunch of friends with NRC to keep me going. There are running groups everywhere so ask around, do a Google search and go get ‘em!
MAKE TECHNOLOGY WORKOUT TOO: I'm not a fan of running with my phone; in fact it's something I rarely do. But if you don’t want to make an investment in any running gadgets just yet, the Nike+ running app is for you. It keeps me focused on my distance, pace and allows me to make notes to remember what worked and what didn't for next time. It also integrates with your music app of choice, so build a killer playlist and don’t be afraid to keep things interesting and sing-a-long while you run!
IT WILL GET BETTER: There is light at the end of the tunnel, trust me. Yes, it will be a struggle but when you run that first 5km without cramping, fatigue or feeling completely winded, you’ll realize there’s no feeling like it. The best part being that with Running just keeps getting better if you stay focused, disciplined and challenge yourself once in awhile.
CROSS TRAIN: One thing I’ve learned from running is that it’s important to mix other workouts in between to keep your body balanced. Whether it’s yoga or a short workout at home or in the gym, try and supplement your runs with other workouts or activities.
EAT RIGHT: If you run enough you will start so share the notorious fear of all runners: having an emergency in the middle of your running route. I suggest having a fresh juice or piece of fruit at least an hour before you go out. I like to run in the morning because I know my stomach is empty and I have less to worry about.
DON’T GIVE UP!!: It’s easy to do but stay accountable to yourself and you’ll be better for it. Make sure you set reasonable expectations with yourself and stay committed. The feeling of starting all over again is what keeps me going especially in the colder months. If I can’t make it out the usual 2-3 times per week, I’ll promise myself I’ll get out at least once or (gasp!) get on the treadmill. Remember your aforementioned friends are also there to keep you going!
How do you get motivated to get back on the bandwagon? Share your tips in the comments below!