I have always had a love hate relationship when it comes to running. But over the past couple of months, my love for running has been rediscovered, even though I haven't been out for a while, no thanks to the lovely weather we’ve had here in the UK the past couple of days.
I don’t have anything to train for, there’s no marathon in the near future (although i’m thinking of possibly doing a 10k at some point), I just run because it makes me feel good in both my mind & body. I feel it clears my head, & I see a positive effect on my body. I’m not looking to loose any weight as i’m happy with my body, but who doesn’t want to look just that little bit tighter & that little bit leaner? Especially when you’re standing at just 5’1, we need all the length we can get!
So because i’ve got my love back for running, I thought i’d share some easy tips & tricks for any one out there, whether it be beginners or those of you who are already into fitness & want to try something new, to make your run that little bit more successful.
Don’t feel you have to jump out of bed at 6am & go for that super long run, no matter how you feel. I prefer to go running in the morning as I feel that sets my day off to a good start by clearing my mind & getting the endorphins dancing around my body ready to tackle the day ahead. But if you’re not a morning person, run in the evening. If you’re not an evening runner, take yourself on a little jog in the middle of the day. Do what feels best for you.
Layer up, especially at the moment in the UK! I like to wear a sports bra, a long sleeved running top, a running jacket over the top & sometimes another jacket on top of that, & then of course my leggings & running trainers. Even though when you’re running your body is warm & you’re sweating, it’s still not summer weather & you want to keep your body nice & toasty, especially around the chest area. And then when the weather starts picking up, take away one layer at a time.
Warm your body up pre run, but don’t stretch it. I see so many people stretching out their quads & calves before they've done anything & that may do you more harm than good. Your running warm up should be things like calf raises to warm up the ankles & feet, jumping jacks, lunges, skipping on the spot, to get the heart rate up, the blood pumping round the body & simply getting yourself warm & ready for your run.
Post run, stretch it out. When i’m about 5 minutes away from home, I start slowing my run down to eventually walking the last leg & when I arrive home, this is when I stretch. Focus on the quads, hip flexors, hamstrings & calves as these take the most impact when you’re running & focus on bringing your breathing down & your heart rate back to its normal state by pacing forwards & backwards before you begin your stretches.
Usually when i’m out running, i’ll run with Kristian & we’ll have a chat as we go round but I do love plugging in my headphones & listening to a podcast. Simply because I feel it gives me something else to think about rather than the burning sensation throughout my body or “heel toe, heel toe”. I’ve also learnt a hell of a lot when i’m out running with all different kinds of podcasts. So you’re working your body & your mind at the same time. Win, win!
Before I leave for my run I make myself a pint of water so when I come back, it’s ready for me & at room temperature. I find that ice cold water just after you’ve done any workout or exercise, doesn’t make your stomach feel too great. Whereas if the waters that little bit warmer, it’s easier to drink & you’ll probably consume that little bit more.
Don’t make it a chore. If you’re really wanting to get into running simply for the enjoyment, change your mind set from “I've got to do a run tomorrow morning” to “I’m going on a run tomorrow morning because it makes me feel great.” Put a positive spin on it, make it part of your routine but count it as YOU time. Not something you HAVE to do.
So there you have it, my seven tips for an enjoyable but successful run.
Let me know in the comment below your tips & let’s help each other!
Have a wonderful Sunday.