I was never a sporty kid, dancing and horse riding was about the extent of my childhood athletic efforts and when it came to PE I was the expert in excuses and really just not that into it. That said as I got into my late teens and loved food as much as I loved my skinny jeans, I would always make some attempt at intermittent fitness purely to burn calories. Fast forward so many years and its a different story. I've two marathons under my belt, a few halfies and a whole different outlook on fitness. I eat pretty balanced, don't own a weighing scales and train as often as I can- more so for the mental benefits than anything else; a lovely side effect being that working out affords me my cake habit (follow us on Instagram for further cake updates!) I'm not a natural runner but I do believe in habit forming behaviour and can't stress how good running is for an endorphin kick to get you out of even the worst of Monday pity parties! Here's a couple of tips I've learned to help along the way...
Spend some quality time on Spotify pulling together your 'I'm too tired/It's raining/I'm getting a cold' playlist, that's guaranteed to get you out the door. I find the hardest part is getting out the door. Once you've managed that, its never as dark and cold outside as it looks from your cosy living room and you'll be so glad once you get moving.
2. Start Small & Stay Consistent
When I'm trying to up my mileage I work out a schedule where I'll run a comfortable distance on say a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, adding on a little to my weekend run. The 'add-on' becomes my new increased distance the following Mon/Wed/Fri, and I'll increase this a little further come the following weekend. Before you know it you're burning a Big Mac Meals worth of calories, getting lots of fresh air and spending your weekends riding high on hard-earned endorphins. Little and often is so much better than occasionally redlining it and turning yourself off anything but the couch for the following fortnight..!
No really, do. A little yoga goes a long way but also make sure to spend a few minutes stretching before your run to warm up cold muscles and preventing injuries, and again afterwards to cool down. Hold each stretch for at least thirty seconds for them to take effect and minimise soreness the day after.
4. Get Involved
Signing up for one of the growing list of fun runs on the race calendar is a great way to put a timeline on your training and guilt you into getting your miles in! Parkruns are also held all over the country every Saturday morning and are free to participate in, complete with your time logged.
5. Goody Two Shoes
I've some lovely running gear but more often than not take on a 'hobo chic' approach where I fall out of my bed on a Saturday morning and grab whatever's clean...matching or not; the idea is to sweat after all! That said the one area you really need to invest in is running shoes. Prepare to spend upwards of €100 on decent runners and find a store that know what they're talking about- Elverys do a free in-store gait analysis to see how your foot naturally falls and Amphibian King are absolute experts when it comes to athletics and endurance sports.
And in case you needed a little kick to get you started, here it is...!