I've really only been running since 2010 when I starting to do a 5K route that goes around my neighbourhood. It is not easy to run and definitely was something I had to work up to. What I found worked for me was starting with a 5 minute warm up of speed walking, then intervals of 3 minutes of jogging and 3 minutes of speed walking (when I say "speed walking" I simply mean walking so as to keep the heart rate up, otherwise what's the point?). Once comfortable I would add a minute of jogging leaving the 3 mins of walking the same. Finally the jogging part was so long I removed the breaks and worked on my pace - keeping it reasonable so as not to get exhausted too soon.
Last year I am pleased to say that I crossed "run a race" off my bucket list! In fact, I did not one, but two 5K races. Both of my races were Color Runs: the first in Boston, and then one in Montreal. It felt so good to get those under my belt, and staring with The Color Run was the best decision as it was more like running disguised as a really really good time. I'm planning to do another one this year too!
The thing I love about running is that it's all about working at your own pace. One day you can go slower or faster, one day you can go a little bit further or take an entirely different route - basically your run never has to be the same!
In my last Fitness Friday post I touched on motivation. Although running is my favourite cardio (enjoyment-wise and results-wise), I still find it very difficult to motivate myself to do it. My mind says "nah, let's go tomorrow instead", or my mind will tell me to do yoga or something different altogether. I'll fight back and push myself, and once I'm out the door, I am so happy and proud I did it (knowing that "out the door" pride is coming is sometimes what gets me out the door). The other inner battle comes once I'm actually running. There comes a point on my run that my mind says I should walk or take a short cut. WHY does this happen?!?! I've tried to Google the psychology but nothing seems to come up. The first thing I do is a body analysis. I will continue running and think to myself "Why do I want to stop? Do I need to stop?". I then work from the bottom up to figure out: if my ankles hurt (I have bad ankles), do my knees hurt (running can be hard on your knees), do I have a cramp, am I able to breathe... usually this analysis tells me I'm fine and my mind is just wimping out. What I will do then is a few things: I concentrate solely on the music and the beat and just get right into it - I think about my goal and literally picture myself running towards it - I think about wearing a bikini all summer long - I think about my fitness inspiration board on Pinterest - literally ANYTHING other than stopping. Some of it is mood of the day, but I find the more I run, the less my mind gives up which is rewarding in itself! I also love using the Nike App when I run - it's cheesy but they have celebrities voices that cheer you on when you accomplish something (longest run, fastest run, etc.) and it actually excites me to hit those targets!
As I mentioned, one motivator for me is simply music! I love nothing more than running to a soundtrack and having the music pump me up and push me farther. I change up my music all the time but my current "Running" playlist includes:
- Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding
- #thatPOWER - will.i.am feat Justin Bieber
- Chasing Summers - (R3hab & Quintino Remix)
- I Love It - Icona Pop
- Cinema - (Skrillex Remix)
- Greyhound - Swedish House Mafia
- Sofi Needs a Ladder - deadmau5
- Right Now (feat. David Guetta) - Rihanna feat David Guetta
- Scream & Shout - will.i.am feat Britney Spears
What's your ideal cardio? What works for you to motivate or pump you up?