I picked up running when I was going through a bit of a rough patch with my mental health, and boy am I glad I did, I’ve never looked back since. A year and a half ago I never imagined that I would be running 10k races in sub 50 minutes, yet here I am with times that keep getting better and better. Not only is running amazing for you physical health (my figure has never looked so good), but it has benefited me mentally also, had I not took up running, my mental health wouldn’t have improved nearly as much as it has done.
I think that I have been running long enough now, to share with you some of my tips if you were thinking of picking up a new sport.
Get Kitted Up
Running is one of the cheapest sports you will ever come across, no 12-month membership, or weekly class payments. So treat yourself to some funky running gear. Although, I would advise not to spend too much right away, as running isn’t for everyone, you may hate it, and then be left with fitness attire that you wont wear. Important advice for your health though, is to make sure that you have a good pair of running shoes. Running puts a lot of strain on your knees, so you want a good quality pair of shoes that are going to support this.
Set a Goal
When I first began running I set myself a realistic goal that I wanted to be able to run 10k in 8 weeks. I found that by setting myself a fitness goal, I was able to stay motivated, and continue to train on the days that I may not have felt so up for doing so. It is so important that you set yourself a realistic goal, which is different for everyone. I would advise to start with 5k, if you haven’t ever done much exercise, but if your fitness is slightly better, why not make that goal slightly higher.
Find Yourself a Good Playlist
On the mornings that you really think you can’t drag yourself out of bed to go for a run (because we all get days like that), this is when a good playlist comes in handy. I’m so much more motivated to go running when I have some upbeat music to listen to. I tend to just stick to the pre-made cardio playlists on Apple music, but by all means make a custom one, if you know that’s what’s going to get you going!
I won’t lie, I really struggle to eat properly (99% sure this stems from my anxiety), but it is so important that you fuel your body properly with the right nutrients to run better. On the days that I don’t eat a lot at all, I find running so much harder, and I tire a lot quicker. It’s also key to make sure that you are eating the right sorts of foods, getting all of the food groups incorporated into your diet, especially carbs and protein, runners swear by carbs. I don’t believe in cutting out particular food groups to lose weight/get fitter, it won’t work, I can guarantee.
Push Through the Uncomfortable Bits
The only way you’re going to improve, is if you continue to push through the stage where your breathing is all over the place and your legs feel like jelly. Once you get over the fact you’re going to be uncomfortable, you will run a lot harder, and be more inclined to push yourself more, as you’ll see results quicker.
Running is my little way of escaping from what’s going on for a while; I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it. I would recommend anyone and everyone to give it a go; it doesn’t have to be competitively, just for the health benefits.
All my love,