Beginners Running Tips

I recently started running again and have set myself the challenge of running a half marathon by October 2018. It’s something I have always thought about doing and something I admire other people for doing and being able to do so I thought, why don’t I give it a go?

I used to run five miles-ish a day so I wouldn’t say I am brand new to running but it has been a couple of years since my running days. I have had a little think about what tips I would give to new runners and have thought up quite a few so I thought it would maybe be beneficial to all of you who want to start running but don’t really know where to begin.

First of all, set your goals in minutes not miles. When you first start running set your challenges in running minutes not the miles, they come later. I found that interval training was really useful in building my stamina back up to where it used to me. I just set it up on my Fitbit but if you don’t have a Fitbit why not use music? Run during the verses and walk for the chorus or better yet download an interval training app? I recommend Interval Timer on the App store which is completely free and brilliant!

With interval training in mind, remember that you don’t have to run straight away. Start by walking and then jogging and then running. Work your way up to the running pace instead of jumping straight in the deep end.

Drink plenty of water to make the running feel a lot easier. Water helps to keep your energy levels high so drinking when out running or before and after is a must. I know that I hate taking a water bottle with me out a run because I like to run without music so listening to the water sploshing around in my bottle makes me need a wee. I drink before and after.

Keep your posture and your hands relaxed throughout your run and really pay attention to it because it’s easy to forget and let it slip. By unclenching your hands, it makes it a lot easier for you to move your arms and almost propel yourself forward.

Don’t run when you’re hungry. Your body needs fuel to keep going so you will find it a lot more tough to rack up the miles if you are hungry. Eat a banana half an hour to an hour before your run and you will get that little burst of energy you need to keep going.

Mix up your workouts. Don’t chose running and just stick to running, you need a mix of other exercises. Being a good running is all about overall fitness. Work on your core of your rest days to help with posture for example.

Remember to stretch before and after your workouts to avoid injury. Being more flexible will also help with your next workout so never, ever skip it!

Find your running rhythm and then relax into it. Once you find this rhythm you will find your run so much easier. This is why I run without music because I like to hear my feet hitting the ground to help me find this rhythm. I find it really difficult when listening to different songs of different beats because my rhythm constantly changes.

Find the right shoes. This is literally the only investment you need to make when running. There are no additional charges and you don’t even have to invest that much to get good ones. I get all my trainers from my local Nike Outlet which has expensive and brilliant trainers for next to nothing.

When running remember that your legs aren’t about to give out, it’s all in your head. You head will give up one hundred times over before your body does. Push your limits and you will rack up the miles you have always dreamed of.

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How To Stay Motivated When You Want To Skip That Workout

We all have lapses in motivation at times. This is when you really have to want what you’re working towards because it’s what you chose to do when you’re not motivated that effects the end result.

I have pulled together a bunch of things you can do when you aren’t feeling motivated or focused that will help make you go to the gym and work your butt off.

Remember why you started. This is an incredibly useful tool. I find visualising what I want my body to look like keeps me going when I can’t be bothered workout out. I don’t want to continue looking in the mirror and seeing average and the only way you don’t look average is by pushing your limits and coming outside your comfort zone. Remember if you do the same thing you always do then nothing will change.

Keep in mind that you are doing new things that you have never done before and stepping outside of your comfort zone so give yourself some credit. It’s not easy to get up and workout every day. It’s exhausting but you have never done it before and you’re doing just fine!

Reward yourself for trying these new things and pushing your boundaries. I reward myself by putting pennies aside when I hit a new goal weight so that when I am the size I want to be I will have money in the bank to buy the clothes I have always wanted to wear. You don’t want to work your ass off to get to the dress size you have always dreamed off and then find you have no money to pay for clothes that actually fit you.

Only focus on today and what you can do today to reach your goal. I have found that taking one day at a time is super useful especially when it comes to food. If I maybe ate way too much the day before that doesn’t matter because only today matters in my eyes. Don’t beat yourself up over yesterday.

Take note of your progress. I have a little bullet journal where I have goal weights written and every time I reach one I score it off. It may be slow progress but slow progress is better than no progress.  I have also found that having a Fitbit really helps with tracking progress and since I bought myself one I have lost a lot more weight. It’s almost a challenge when you have a Fitbit on and it’s motivational in itself.

When you’re at the gym sweating, and looking disgusting don’t look at anyone else. Don’t compare yourselves to the girls that look better than you. You should be challenging yourself and nobody else. The challenge should be to be better than you were yesterday.

Listen to your body. If you went full out at the gym yesterday and your sore today maybe take it easy or focus on a part of your body that doesn’t hurt. Don’t become completely focused on what the scales say instead of what your body says.

Remember that you’re doing this because you love your body, not because you hate it and believe that you can reach your goals. YOU CAN DO THIS! I know you can because I know that I can.

What To Give Up To Move On

Moving on from the comfort zone in your life can be incredibly difficult but if you have already realised that you need to move on then you are past the first hurdle. Noticing that you need to move on to something new is difficult in itself but sadly that is the easy part.  There are certain things in life that you need to cut out and stop letting them effect you and this post is about those things and how to combat them.

Stop letting the opinions of others around you effect how you feel about yourself. The only opinion that should matter is your own so start doing whats best for you instead of putting other people first. You will quickly find that the people who matter don’t care and the people that do don’t matter.

Don’t be ashamed of failures in your past because your past is not your future and if you didn’t fail at anything then you wouldn’t learn. I think that as long as you learn from your failures and mistakes then they were worth it. Focus on your life now rather than your past and you will feel a lot happier with yourself.

Decide what you want from your life and don’t be indecisive. Once you have made a decision about what you want from your life really work for it. You are never going to leave where you are right now if you can’t decide where you want to be in the future.

Once you have decided which goals you want to reach don’t procrastinate. You can either accept how your life currently is or you can take responsibility for your life and change it for the better. Write your goals down and put them somewhere that you will see them everyday and don’t stop working for them lil you have reached them.

Live everyday to the fullest possible because you never know when it’s going to be over. Morbid I know, but never chose to do nothing over doing something new. There are at least 365 opportunities in a year so make the most of them.

Learn to accept when you are wrong. You will learn so much more if you lose the need to always be correct and you will find that more people will like you if you aren’t as argumentative.

If you have a problem in your life that could be fixed either through communicating or working a little bit harder just do it. Stop running away from problems that could quite easily be solved. If you aren’t willing to fix anything then don’t complain about them when they don’t sort themselves out.

This next tip is quite a bit like the tip above! When it comes to making decisions stop putting them off and start facing them head on. Later on in life you will realise that your biggest failures were the fact that you couldn’t act on a decision.

You will find it incredibly difficult to be happy with yourself if you can’t see past the negative aspects in your life. You will be much happier if you can look past these negative aspects and focus on the positive ones.  If you stop looking for these negative aspects then you probably won’t see them. It’s relatively simple because the negative points probably aren’t even there or as big a problem as you thought so stop looking for them in everything you do.

Last but not least, just live in the moment. I am the worst for this. I want to accomplish everything right now and when I can’t I get incredibly uncomfortable. Whats worse is sometimes you feel like you want to do all these things right now but when it actually comes down to it happening you can find that you actually weren’t ready at all. Slow down, take your time and learn to love your life now. Happiness is a way of life and not a destination.

Recognising A Self-Destructive Personality And How To Deal With It

Recently I have become more and more aware of how I react to certain situations and how these reactions could be viewed as self-destructive. I started Googling self-destructive patterns and what self-destructive people would usually do and found that I have basically all the traits listed. It’s like everything in the list point to self-hate and ruining everything in your life to feed into this instead of working towards fixing it.

Self-destructive people tend to be easy to pick out of a crowd. They are insecure and are genuinely unhappy with themselves and their lives. Once you realise you are one these people then it does take an awful lot of work to get out of the rut but you can do it. Remember I am doing it too because this is a hole I don’t want to be buried in anymore.

I’ve listed just a few of the characteristics below and how you could tackle them yourself and with a little help from your friends.

Do you pass up chances because your scared that it isn’t going to work out as you had hoped? Do you use a past example of failure as an excuse to not try again? Well you need to stop saying no and start saying yes and keep saying yes. Failure is nothing to be ashamed of. How you handle failure is a lot more important than the failure itself and that’s something I wish I had learned earlier in my life. Maybe then I would have seen more countries, met more people, met the people I know now earlier and made more memories. Step outside your comfort zone sometimes just to see what will happen and I can almost guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

If you asked anyone who knows me if I am an open person they would probably laugh at you. Apparently, I have lost a lot of friends because I won’t let people help me and don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with asking for help and opening up to people just make sure they are the correct people. Over the last year, I have started to realize that swallowing your pride and being open to people you trust is very important to be happy. Self-destructive people don’t realize this and see a type of importance in suffering alone.

I personally have found that writing about how I feel is a lot easier than saying it out loud. That might sound incredibly strange but I struggle to show emotion and talk about it at the same time. It’s almost like I shut down every time someone asks me a personal question that I wasn’t expecting. So I write about it or I will send a text and hope that it comes across the way I hoped.

If like me you have a string of bad relationships following you like a bad smell that you just can’t seem to wash off then welcome to our rubbish team. I let past relationships cloud how I feel about my present relationship so even though I love him more than life itself I can’t let myself show that because I am terrified that he is going to wake up one day and see me exactly like I see me.

Letting these past relationships go is as tough as it seems but I think that taking every day one at a time really does help. Don’t overload yourself with things your uncomfortable with because you will completely freak out and you will run for the hills. Take a deep breath and trust in your other half.  Talk to them about it. If it doesn’t turn out as you had hoped then move on and learn from it.

Self-destructive people love to keep bad memories stored up for when they are having a really good day and want to ruin it. They live in their memories rather than in the moment and they use these past bad memories as an excuse to not enjoy themselves. They don’t know how to let all these bad memories go and really the only way I have found a way around this is meditation or writing letters to the people who have hurt me and then never sending them. Really, it’s all about letting all your bad memories go because they don’t belong in your present.

Do you second-guess yourself all the time over insignificant things that you can’t change? As soon as you have these worrying thoughts about things you can’t alter stop them in their tracks. Stop thinking and worrying about things that aren’t worth your time. If you can’t change anything then there is no point worrying about it.

Remember that you have a lot of good qualities that you constantly skim over to focus on your bad aspects. Do you focus on the one bad comment over the hundred good ones? If someone makes a negative comment don’t dwell on it because that’s a reflection of themselves and not you.

It’s drilled into us at a young age that it’s not acceptable to love yourself so it’s incredibly easy to hate yourself. However, be strong and try and focus on your good and beautiful parts. If you need a little help with this ask a friend what they like about you and write down their answer. Look at it whenever you need a little pick me up and maybe add to it when you’re having a good day.

Last but not least, your friends are supposed to make you a better person. However, self-destructive people have a tendency to hang around people who are jealous, manipulative and those who feed off other peoples problems. Almost like your problems are a competition to see who can be the most messed up. If this is you then take it from me. It might hurt to walk away and let the friendship go but in a couple years you’ll be better for it. It’s about quality and not quantity. Having two good friends over a handful of rubbish ones will always be better for you. It’s hard but it’s worth it.

Top Tips To Becoming An Early Bird

Recently I have been trying my absolute hardest to become an early riser. You know what they say, the early bird catches the worm, and for once I want to be that early bird. It’s amazing what you can achieve while other people are still sleeping and these are my top tips to loving your early mornings more.

Get enough sleep every night by going to sleep earlier. The amount of sleep your body needs differs from person to person but I have found that I function best if I get between seven and eight hours sleep a night. Experiment with what works best for your body by setting your alarm at different times throughout the first week and see how you feel by the end.

Set an alarm and get up as soon as it goes off and continue doing this over the weekend. By doing this you will change your body clock and avoid sleep disturbances. I wake up at seven during the week and seven at the weekend. I have found that I actually enjoy being up before the rest of my town when I’m out on my morning run especially at the weekend.

Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up. After several hours, asleep your body will be thirsty so this step is very important in getting your body going and starting on the right foot. I just have plain old tap water because lemons are too expensive to waste on anything over than a lemon drizzle cake.

I have a love hate relationship with morning exercise. However, I cannot deny how great it makes me feel once I’m done. Whether it’s a morning spin class or a run around your local park, just do it! This burst of exercise will set you up for the day and really get your body alert and awake.

Have a shower in the morning but not a hot one. This may sound like absolute torture to some folk but as long as your shower isn’t hot then its fine. You don’t want to wake up, go a run, come home and become groggy in the shower because it’s too hot.

Open your curtains and let the light in as soon as your out your bed. This will make you feel more alert and awake. Get your burst of energy the natural way. This is a lot harder if you’re from somewhere in a rubbish climate like me because we literally never have nice natural light in Scotland but a girl can dream.

Have a coffee! One of my favourite things about getting up in the morning is my first and often only coffee of the day. This little burst of caffeine will set you off on your day just don’t have too much of the stuff throughout the day or it will mess with your sleep.

Downsize your dinner and never eat anything after 7:30pm. If your body is still digesting a huge meal while you’re trying to sleep you won’t find it as easy to fall asleep. So, keep your portions smaller and eat early.

Last but not least never skip breakfast. Your body needs fuel for the day and this is where you should be feeding it, not at lunch time when you’re already starving. Little and often is a lot more effective for me than skipping breakfast and having a massive lunch because I’m craving. Listen to your body.

How To Appear Confident Even When You Aren’t

Being confident is nor something that comes naturally to me. It’s something I feel holds me back in life quite often and I would love to be full to the brim with confidence, however that is just something I will never be. There are certain situations where appearing confident is key and there are certain things you can do to come across confident.

Stand up straight with you chin and head held high. Keep your eyes up and try not to look at your feet. If your standing straight with your eyes looking straight ahead you will come across more in control and more powerful. There is a bigger chance of you being taken seriously if you aren’t straight at your feet throughout an entire conversation.

Now that you know to stand up straight and keep your eyes up when looking forward try and maintain eye contact. This is very important if you want to appear more in control, more calm and confident.

While maintaining eye contact remember to smile. This will ensure you come across friendly and approachable. For a little challenge try and smile at a stranger while walking past them. This will push you out your comfort zone. If you have a dog take it with you. I have found that dog walkers are very approachable and are more likely to smile back and start conversation.

Don’t fidget. if you fidget people will automatically think that your anxious and nervous. You will realise that you fidget a lot subconsciously now that you know not to. To help stop fidgeting either clasp your hands in front of you or talk with them. Showing your palms while you talk makes you look more open and trustworthy.

Have a good strong handshake. There is nothing worse that shaking someones hand with a weak handshake. You don’t want to be perceived as weak and timid so working on having a strong handshake screams confidence and creates a great first impression.

Last but certainly not least, be kind to yourself. All these little tips add up and doing one or two to begin with is completely fine. Just remember that for what you lack in confidence you make up somewhere else.

 

Meditation and Mindfullness

For a long time I used mediation only when I felt I needed it. After a stressful day I would take ten and just sit and focus on my breathing. This of course worked for a little while but I have found that meditation is more about the frequency rather than the length of time it is practiced for.

Over the last month or so I have been meditating once a day for between ten to fifteen minutes. I’ve found by meditating once a day that I gain new perspectives on situations that are stressful or cause me to become anxious, I can focus on the present and how I am feeling in that moment not just in life situations but also within myself and my body. Not only does it help me to lower my stress levels and let go of all the bad, negative emotions that I might otherwise hold onto it has also helped me to deal with stress and manage it even when I’m at work or going about my daily activities.

I focus mainly on my breathing whilst meditating. How it feels when I breath in and how my chest rises and lowers as I breath in and out. By focusing on my breathing you nearly automatically relax your neck, shoulders and upper body muscles as you draw in more oxygen to allow for better breathing. Focus on how the breath feels in your nostrils and the back of you throat and if your mind starts to wander, which is completely fine, just draw your focus back to your breathing and how your body feels whilst your either sitting in a chair with you feet flat on the ground and your hands in your lap or you can sit crossed legged like I do. I like to sit on my yoga mat with my legs crossed and a folded towel or pillow under my bum so that my hips are higher than my ankles.

If you can’t find yourself a quite spot to really focus on your breathing and how if feels and what it sounds like I have found that playing slow, relaxing music works well. I use quite a few different playlists on Spotify. It did take me a while to find ones that really worked for me but I listened to them whilst doing yoga and then saved them for a later date. You will find that there are playlists for different types of mediation and if you can’t find anything that works for you I recommend a sleep playlist. There will be a blog post going up soon focusing mainly on these playlists and how different sounds can make you feel and focus on different aspects of the world around you.

I do set my timer for ten minutes but when it does go off I allow myself time to open my eyes slowly and in my own time. You want to allow yourself to stay relaxed and not be jolted out of your relaxed, mindful state so taking your time at this point is really important. The length of time you meditate for isn’t important because again, different people will feel differently. Sometimes you might not even set a timer, just go with how you are feeling and you will know when you want to stop and at that point you just slowly bring yourself back to present.

Keep in mind that this is only one of many forms of meditation which works jolly fine for me but you might have to find a different form that works better for you. I like to have my eyes closed which I have found stops my mind from wandering as much but you may find that having your eyes open actually works better for you. It’s all about trial and error and finding what works the best for you and what you need from it.