I know I talk about Australia a freaking lot, and how much I miss it, and how hard being an expat is.. and it is hard. It sucks sometimes. I miss my home and my family, and the food - bloody hell, I miss the food. But most of the time it doesn't suck, I have family here, and the food is okay as well. Because even with all the homesickness.. it was the best decision I ever made and I wouldn't change a damn thing. I would take my life with KC with a side of homesickness all day every day. Happy life.
Happy expativersary, Kristen.
I don't really feel like talking about my progress today, so I thought I would take a different approach to Training for Tuesday. So, I give you... my running tips for beginners. Now, I know what you're thinking - Kristen, there are approximately 1 billion other posts and articles about how to start running. Do you really need to add your 2 cents? Why yes, yes I do. Thanks for asking.
Here is my advice on how to start running:
One foot. Move it in front of the other. Then move the foot you left behind in front of the one that just advanced. Repeat a few times, going a little faster than walking.
Ok, in all seriousness. Running does not have to be complicated. It really doesn't. Some seasoned, serious, hardcore runners might smack me for the stuff I am about to say - but I know how daunting it can be to think about shoes, heart rate monitors, fartleks, foam rollers, cross training, races and paces... No wonder so many people are just like nope, not for me.
Here's the thing though - I am almost 100% positive that 90% of the world would love running if they gave it a real, honest, I'm-actually-doing-this go of it. Yes, it's hard, yes you feel like you're dying. You need to be patient, and believe in yourself, and go easy on yourself.. But you can do this. I firmly believe most everyone can - barring injuries or whatever.
First tip: Ignoring my rant about everyone should run - if you don't want to do it - don't. Simple. Stop reading. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Do not do something you do not want to do.
But first, let me show you this:
Ok, so you want to do this? Then let's do it.
First up, what do you even need?
Some shoes - I've had 3 pairs in my 'running career'. 2 pairs of asics and 1 (currently using) pair of Brooks which I love. Here's the thing, I did not get fitted or anything until 2012 and I started running in 2009. I never got fitted, I just grabbed the cute purple shoes made for netball and went at it. And I was fine. When I moved here, I went to a local running store and tried a bunch with some help from the friendly staff. These are without a doubt the best running shoes I have ever owned
Something to wear - I don't know about you, but I love a cute exercise outfit. New workout clothes always make me want to actually workout. However, more often than not, I grab the same nike shorts and a grungy old tank in summer, and tights and a nike jumper in the winter. I have a very small chest so I wear cheap, simple under armour sports bras, but if you need more support I've heard that this is an area you shouldn't skimp on. My Lorna Jane tights were $90 each and they are still going strong after 5 years - you do not need to spend this much. Sure, they last longer but to start off, go to Old Navy or Target. As for the other stuff.. I rarely wear sunglasses, or beanies, or headbands (they never fit!), or gloves or face mask thingys. If you want to, go right ahead.
|tank / shorts / tee / half zip pullover / capris / tights|
Something to listen to, or not - I am a weirdo, and sometimes I like to listen to my feet hitting the pavement, or an audiobook, or sometimes music. You don't have to listen to what everyone says are 'the best running songs you MUST have on your playlist' - listen to whatever you want. It does help the time go faster. But who knows, you might be like me and dig the silence. I use $10 earbuds from Target. When I started, I used those horrible ones that came with the iPhone and fell out every damn 5 minutes, but I survived.
Something to tell you how far & fast you are going - sure, you can buy a hella fancy Garmin and I am super excited to get one for my birthday (OMG it arrived yesterday and I am super excited, can I have it now please?) - but like I said, I've been doing this for 5 and a half years and I did just fine without it. I recommend the nike running app, it's free and tracks your pace and GPS, it just doesn't tell you while you're running like the Garmin does. But it is also zero dollars. I've also used the Map my run one - I just prefer the nike one.
|via / lots of info about running apps here|
Someone to say 'good job!' when you're done - a significant other, a running buddy, a bloggy buddy in another state who you can text, your dailymile friends. It's nice.
Somewhere to stretch - stretching is important. I have never used a foam roller but I know plenty of people who love them, so that's up to you. But busting out a 15 minute yoga video (which I now know by memory and can do at the gym) after a run has helped me a ridiculous amount. I never used to stretch after runs and I'd be sore for a couple of days - now, I could run every day if I wanted to (but I don't).
Ok, now that you have all that you 'need' where do you start??
Download the couch to 5k app. If you are a beginner beginner, this app is legit. I think I have used it like 4 or 5 times over my running career, because I haven't been running the whole time and I had to start again more than I'd like. It's like $2 and if you don't want to pay that (I get it) you can literally get the same plan here - you can just print it and look at it before you go for your run, or have it in front of you on the treadmill. When I very very very first started, I would run 15 seconds (yes, seriously) and walk a minute. Then I upped the running to 30 seconds, then a minute, then 2 minutes.. and so on and so forth.
Walking is okay - As noted above, I walked more than I ran when I first started. Heck, I still walk now sometimes. It is okay - not a big deal at all. Walk until you feel like you can run again. Even if your running is more like shuffling, it's okay. Running is hard, I will admit that - you think to yourself, I am dying - why am I doing this? It takes awhile for that feeling to pop up less and less, but it will. Until then, walk some.
Make it a habit - still to this day, thinking of running as a habit like brushing my teeth is better than thinking of it as exercise. At the very minimum, I tell myself to run 1 mile and I can be done. 1 is better than 0. I have never done just 1 but it helps to get me out there.
Reward yourself - whatever works for you. Maybe it's food, which doesn't work for me. Maybe it's shopping, or a 'me day'. Whatever - it's nice to have something to work towards and look forward to.
Set small goals - and I mean small! I cried happy tears the first time I ran a full minute, when I ran my first .5 km, when I ran my first full km and of course when I ran my first 5k. If I had set out trying to run 5k in one go (ahem, actually that was my very first run) I would have been disappointed and discouraged, most likely would have given up. Baby steps.
Be patient - it goes with the above. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen. I promise. You can't not get better.
Be nice to yourself - I used to try the mean thing, telling myself I was fat and if I wanted to not be fat, I'd have to run faster. That doesn't work. Whether you tell yourself in your mind, or out loud - repeat this - I am doing this. I have come so far. I am so proud of myself. Look how strong my body is! I am a runner.
Push yourself - ok, so maybe this should be know when to push yourself. Your second run? Probably not the best time to bust out that 8 minute mile, even if you 'can' do it. You can easily fall into a rut like comfort zone when you are running so knowing when to push it, push it real good, even for just a second, is important.
Don't worry or compare - don't compare yourself to anyone but yourself. But don't rely too much on that either - so your pace hasn't improved in a month, who cares? You're still doing it. Am I breathing through my nose or my mouth? Is my posture correct? Am I landing on my feet correctly? I worried so much about how my feet were landing that I gave myself an injury that thankfully didn't last very long. But after that, I just went out and ran, not focusing on anything. Your body is made to run, and you can worry about your posture and breathing later - chances are, it will come naturally to you in the end. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. In the words of ye olde Nike, Just do it.
Join daily mile, or have some other way to stay accountable - knowing I have to log my runs on daily mile makes me more likely to go running. I didn't say it was fool proof, but it helps. I could also say here to 'find a running buddy or group' like every running list thingy, but I've only ever enjoyed running with one person (and it really did help!) but other than that I'm all about the solo over here.
Sign up for a race - when you're sure you love it or at least enjoy the feeling when you're done, go for it. If you're like me, you don't like wasting money. Plus you get a free shirt.. and a banana.
The most important thing - running is not all or nothing. Find what works for you. If it's never doing more than a 5k, running once or twice a week or running marathons. You do you! And when you do, make sure you link up with Alyssa and Tracy for Training for Tuesday each month - great way to put your goals and progress out there.
So obviously I love running. It's awesome. Anyone can do it, it can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it,