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.

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.

Being Brave

What would you do if you were being sensible? What would you do if you were being brave? You can’t change your life by doing all the same things you have always done. Being brave is a massive step to being someone new and achieving things you never thought possible. Whether you take little steps at a time or a massive leap it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that your taking the steps towards what you want to do with your one and only life.

Believe me when I say that I don’t like change. I never liked the idea of going to far off places, somewhere with new languages or weird animals that look cute but are deadly. That never appealed to me until this year. I got a graduate job that I never thought I would be lucky enough to get and I’m actually kind of good at it. I think that getting it just made me realise that I can do the things I never thought I could. I answer telephones and deal with picky people who want designs to be just right even if they are wrong. I tell them they are wrong in a round about way to make them think it was their idea to change it. Instead of  rolling over and accepting everything thats thrown my way I’m actually questioning and explaining which is totally not me and I’m enjoying it. I keep surprising myself with little things.

Telling myself to get myself together is big part of that. I set myself up to get what I want now instead of setting myself up to fail. It’s a new outlook that does actually mean a lot.

I get in my car and drive to new places without my sat nav guiding the way. I read sign posts and take the wrong roads but I enjoy it now which is strange because turning the sat nav on before used to scare me. Theres more to see than a screen. Looking out the window and stopping in little towns you would usually pass through. Taking my time isn’t wasting time, it’s making memories and living in the moment. Something I never did before. Everything was planned to within an inch of its life.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have freak outs about not having everything planned if I stop and think about it long enough. But as long as I remember which roads I took to get there, it’s easy enough to find your way home.

I completed my first five kilometre run and raised £285 and counting for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust through our Just Giving page. That I never would have done before. Would have been too worried about what other people thought and I would have thought through a million different situations through in my head before hand. But instead I got up and ran it with Kelly and we did something different, new and worthwhile. We obviously feel like we didn’t push ourselves enough either because we are running the Falkirk Supernova five kilometre run in November too. It’s these little things that show you just how far you have come and it just shows that your capable of pushing though even when you want to stop.

I guarantee that if you have a look at your own life you will realise that you’ve accomplishing things you never would have before. Even if they are just little accomplishments at least your still taking steps in the right direction.

Take the road less travelled even if it says it’s not suitable for motor vehicles. Worry about it in the moment and laugh about it later.

 

 

5 Steps To Bossing That Morning Workout

They do say that the early bird catches the worm. While everyone else is asleep just think about how far ahead you could get! That’s been my number one push to get up early. I want to change my life and I am not going to do that by sleeping in till eight every day.

Setting That Bloody Alarm

Setting that alarm is the easy part, it’s actually getting up when your alarm goes off thats tough. I have found that wearing my activity tracker to bed and setting my alarm on the app for a smooth wake up is a lot better than a loud obnoxious alarm. Waking up to a soft vibration of your wrist is a much better wake up and one that doesn’t put me in a bad mood before I’ve even set foot out of bed.

Put Your Workout Gear Where You Can See It

Laying your workout gear out at night before bed is also a huge motivation. The fact that it’s all there ready to go as soon as you wake up means your more likely to wake up in that mindset. It also helps if you have nice workout gear that you enjoy wearing because then you’ll want to put it on. Put it somewhere you can see it in the morning to push you to get up.

Fresh Tunes

Have your playlist ready to go. Whatever music your into have your playlist set, mix it up just like you would your workouts to keep it fresh and exciting. Have music that matches the pace of your workout. I have found that having music with a strong beat makes running so much easier. Hitting the pavement on the beat helps to keep a steady rhythm, therefore you keep the same steady pace and in theory the same breathing pace.

Plan Out Your Workouts

Know what workouts your doing before bed. If your going to the gym, swimming, running or doing a class, know what your going to set your goal as before bed. Having that motivation when you wake up of putting your gym clothes on and going straight where you planned means you have no chance to back out. Treat it as a meeting that you can’t miss or be late for.

Believe You Can Boss It

Have your mind set on the fact that you can do anything the day throws at you and that includes the hard sweaty workout you have planned first thing in the morning. I have found that going to bed motivated and having a good night sleep makes it so much easier to believe in yourself in the morning. So get the shut eye that you need and you will get the workout in that you deserve.

I Can’t Hear The Bells

Pinterest has been blowing up with wedding boards and engagement ideas now that wedding season has rolled around. Scrolling through dresses, rings and cakes is fun to begin with but that enjoyment turns to stress and terror as you realise that maybe the big fairytale thing isn’t for you.

I like the idea of other people getting married and having beautiful big days and I look forward to celebrating other peoples marriages but the thought of celebrating my own has never been a big thing. I love watching Don’t Tell The Bride and Say Yes To The Dress just as much as any other girl but don’t ask me to even think about doing any of that for myself. I am much too terrified of the commitment to just swallow my fear, put a big white dress on and skip down an isle.

Im sure that I am not the only girl that is utterly terrified by the idea of promising forever to someone. Its not because I don’t have someone that I love, I do but the thought of all that serious relationship stuff creeping into our relationship is a big scary thing that I don’t really think I want. At the end of the day a marriage is just a bit of paper with a promise written on it right? Weddings are supposed to celebrate that but whats wrong with just bobbing along and not worrying about written promises and bits of paper? Why can’t I just say I love someone, mean it and have everyone around me believe it?

I went to a friends house last night and it was the first time I got to see her wedding photos. We sat for hours going through all the beautiful images and she really did have a beautiful day but as she was flicking through I found what she had to say about the people in the photos was more important. She had a story for every one of her guests. She gushed about her friends children and the hymns they sang. I feel that she had the sort of wedding that was more about feelings and the people around her rather than the big dress and the hotel. Don’t get me wrong she was absolutely beautiful and the venue was gorgeous. In this lovely castle and her photos with her husband were in lovely grounds but compare her to the Don’t Tell The Bride ladies and Bridezilla’s and it’s chalk and cheese.

Don’t Tell The Bride for the most part was about women who just wanted to marry their other halves and didn’t really care about the day. I think thats exactly what every bride should be like. Have a beautiful day but still keep at the very front of their mind that a marriage is for life and not just for Christmas.

I have friends who have just gotten engaged and they are honestly as close to the perfect couple as I think is humanely possible. I feel that their hearts are always in the right place and they don’t take each other or themselves too seriously which is exactly what you want. You just know that they are gonna love each other for a long time. It’s exciting to see other people take the next step with their other half and it’s exciting to see what the next step will be in their relationship.

I don’t know why I don’t get as excited about my own future with my other half as everyone else does. I know that I want to move in with him and spend a lot of time with him and getting to this point has taken a lot of humming and haaing. I think that once my life is at an adult stage where I have everything sorted out that I’ll be ready to settle down and maybe think about it then. But really when is everything sorted out? At what point will I decide that I want to make that move and what if when I make that move he doesn’t want the same thing?

I could question an engagement all day. However, it’s really not down to us girls to ask someone to marry us. Thats going against the grain. For some reason we can only propose on a leap year and I didn’t even know that was a thing before Leap Year. There’s nothing to say that I couldn’t propose but does that make me desperate if I do? Does that mean he doesn’t want to marry me if he doesn’t ask first? The idea is just super daunting and I don’t think I’m up to that. So then there is the stress of is there something wrong with me because marriage hasn’t been and isn’t a big deal for me?

I had a good think about this and I have come to the conclusion that no there isn’t anything wrong with me. Women nowadays don’t really rely on men like they used to. It isn’t frowned upon to not get married and it’s fine to be a strong independent women who is in a relationship but isn’t really that fussed about getting married. There are a lot of people who just completely side step the whole idea of a wedding and just accept that they want to spend the rest of their lives with each other without a bit of paper in between. I think I might be one of those people. Maybe in the future I won’t be. Maybe I’ll wake up one day and i’ll be itching to get on Pinterest and make a wedding board again like I did when I was thirteen. I’ll maybe push for a ring for my ring finger one day and want one of those fluffy looking tulle princess dresses with the heart shaped neckline.

But for now I am perfectly content with loving someone without labels and without written promises. I’m happy stumbling through my life with the marital status of single. And I am perfectly happy sitting back and watching the people around me fall in love, take chances and make promises that I know I may never be able to keep.

Monthly Goals

May is here and it’s just starting to feel like Spring. This change in the weather is doing only good things to my motivational levels. I honestly can’t remember the last time it rained and for Scotland thats almost unbelievable.

Last months goal of getting up early, for the most part, went well and I am going to try and keep it up. Obviously when your trying to get up early, staying out drinking all night isn’t always the greatest idea so I ended up saving money since I didn’t go out as much. Which at the time I resented but now that I am looking at my savings I would totally keep it up.

This months goal is to continue writing this blog. To just work on the motivation to keep writing and writing about the things that interest me rather than what I think other people will find interesting, After the training day I was at last week, I realised that if I am not posting content then I’m invisible and I don’t want to be invisible anymore. As much as I don’t want to be invisible I also don’t want to be seen as someone that I am not. So say goodbye to the content that I don’t have an interest in and hello to everything that I love writing about, listening to, watching, capturing and reading about.