Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Sweatin’ For The Weddin’ – Running

Like many brides to be I am keen to get in shape for the big day.  So I decided to start this little blog series known as ‘Sweatin’ For The Weddin’ (Great title, eh?  So chuffed with myself :D) to share my progress and new tips and tricks.  One of the ways I am currently Sweatin’ is running.  Now, I am definitely a runner of the novice variety.  Until September last year I had never really been out for a run before.  Even now I still don’t feel I can call myself an experienced runner.  None the less, I have picked up some tips along the way and thought I would share them with you.

Firs things first, choosing what to wear on a run.  The photo above shows my ‘winter’ running kit which, as a Scottish resident, I find myself wearing for a significant chunk of the year.

A comfortable pair of trainers with a decent amount of support is a must.  I bought these Nike trainers about 18 months ago from a Nike outlet store in Manchester and they are still going strong.  I wear them for running and at the gym and they serve me well.  Something I am keen to do in the future is go to a proper running shop and invest in a pair of trainers ‘designed’ for my feet.  But until I have the spare pennies for this my trusty Nikes will do for now.

To protect yourself from the elements I would recommend full-length leggings.  Personally I don’t like it when I can feel the rain spatter off my bare calves.  (Plus, it means you can’t use unshaven legs as an excuse not to run!)  I bought these grey ones in Forever21.  I would highly recommend their active wear.

A budget but worthwhile piece of kit is my fleece headband.  Although I have pushed myself to run outside in the wind and rain I am a big wimp and hate having cold ears.  This little beauty keeps my ears nice and snug and means I no longer have an excuse not to run in poor weather.

I’ve touched on this above but I would recommend shopping for running/fitness gear in outlet stores.  This has allowed me to get my hands on some bigger brand gear without having to fork out too much cash. 

Getting Out There
I’ve found the easiest way to get better at running is just to choose a route and walk/run your way round it.  Each time you’ll be able to run for a little bit longer and get round that little bit quicker.  Sometimes it may not feel like you’ve made it round that much quicker so I recommend timing your runs.  Even a 10 second improvement can be great for morale and sense of achievement.  I use the RunKeeper app on my iPhone.  This allows you to log each run and provides lots of other stats.  It also gives you a wee award every time you reach a new personal record for things like farthest distance, fastest pace, longest duration etc.  Again, I think these are a great boost.  You’d be surprised how often you reach a new record!

Ultimate Motivation
I’m the kind of person who needs a deadline to actually get any work done.  So for me the ultimate motivation to go out and run is to sign up for a race.  Now this might seem daunting to new runners but trust me it works.  On those days when you’re 50/50 as to whether you’d actually go out, picturing your performance on race day can definitely be the shove you need to get those running shoes on and get out the door. 

Now I’m not saying you have to be super competitive.  That’s not the point.  But having a deadline for a race on a particular day can definitely help with motivation.

I completed my first 5k in December and as cheesy as this sounds crossing the finish line as everyone cheers you on is a fantastic feeling.  Even though I was panting and bright red in the face I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear.  Again, a great sense of achievement and accomplishment flooded through me.  Even though the medal I received at the end was a little cheap plastic thing I will treasure it always as a symbol of what I achieved that day.

I’m now upping the challenge and pushing myself further as I have signed up for the Glasgow Women’s 10k.  This both terrifies and excites me. My aim is to be able to run the entire race without stopping to walk.  Wish me luck! (I’ll need it!!)

I hope you enjoyed this post and that I’ve inspired some of you to give running a try.  Any experienced runner got any tips for us? 

How are you brides to be out there Sweatin’ For The Weddin’?  I’d love to hear what everyone else is up to.

Maxine xxx

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