An Extra Hour

Seems pretty simple right? Start running and don’t stop.

With this morning’s extra hour due to daylight savings, I decided to get up at 6:30 to go on a short run to boost my cardio and give myself some productivity for the day.

For a bit of background, I hate running. As someone who has done karate, netball and rock-climbing mostly, I don’t enjoy LISS. Chris, however, has a background running around a soccer field for most part of his life. And seeing as a soccer field is 15 times larger than a netball court and almost 800 times the size of a sparring mat, I think you’d be able to tell who was the better runner between the two of us. But being the slightly more competitive person in the relationship, I knew that I had to up my game.

I think we’ve all made excuses not to exercise – and I think the most popular one is that “I’m too busy”. But I’ve learned that being “too busy” was just another way of saying “not prioritising” and so I decided to just suck it up and give it a go. With my fairly intense university timetable, juggling work and social events, I don’t get as much time as I would like to commit to joining a netball team or training for my karate grading. It’s difficult for me to join a class so I decided to find something to do in my own time and that resulted in my running routine. No excuses could be made, I mean, you can run pretty much anytime, anyday.

Why I started running in January was for a few reasons – many of which I will explore in this post. But here are a few tips I’ve learned in the past few months that has helped me run further and faster.

#1 Find your motivation

Motivation is what keeps gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.

To get my motivation into a nice succinct paragraph is about as challenging as the actual run itself. There are many reasons why you should run, but mine come from my persistence to overcome my childhood asthma and with the wakeup call from my dad who late last year had to have surgery to put heart stints into two arteries. I knew that I didn’t want to be a victim of either of these health conditions so I made an active decision to start exercising more.

While there are obvious benefits to running such as strengthening your muscles, improving your cardiovascular fitness and maintaining a good weight – I think the main advantages that I’m looking for are the mental ones.

And I think the feeling of accomplishment and extra energy boost after a run is usually enough to get me excited for my next run.

#2 Make yourself feel comfortable

Honestly, maybe my running phase started with all the activewear shopping I did over Christmas. I bought a new pair of joggers from Sketchers, bike shorts and running tights. Being comfortable and feeling confident about how I look was so important for my motivation and while Chris calls me a “consumer sucker” for buying these things he can’t complain because hey, I’m running.

#3 Find a nice place to run 

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I am so lucky to live so close to the water. Running around the waters of Blackwattle Bay is quite a refreshing way to start my morning because I wake up to the cutest dogs and the morning sun. Being in inner city Sydney usually means that my running routes are surrounded by traffic and car pollution so finding this gem has made my run much more enjoyable.

#4 Get some beats going 

I like to run with the music streaming app Pandora and my favourite radio to listen to is “Dance Cardio”. I love using Pandora because it introduces me to new music and hearing new stuff with every run is definitely more refreshing and keeps me less bored.But if music’s not your choice, S#2 downloads a Hamish and Andy podcast to listen to while running and he says he’s quite the happy chappy. Being distracted keeps you less focused on how tired you are and actually keeps you running at a quicker pace than you would without a solid beat.

#5 Stretch and rehabilitate 

While running has amazing mental benefits, it can also be physically demanding (obvs). I am by no means a personal trainer or fitness expert but I find that a few quad and calf stretches can ease soreness the next day and that a quick warm up reduces my risk of getting a cramp or stitch during my run.

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Anyways, nothing too new in this post but I hope to update you on my running adventures soon. Maybe in the mean time, you can give it a go too. What did you do with your extra hour today?

Love, Annette

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