“I hate running, it’s not for me. I can work out at a gym, but I can’t run. I’m too busty. I’m too busy. I have a family history of bad knees. I get shin splints real bad. I get bored really easily. I don’t want to get up that early. I can’t leave my house because my kids are too little.”
I had a little voice of “reason” in my head once upon a time who fed me this list of garbage every time I thought about going for a run. Something in my gut told me it would be a good idea, and then something in my head convinced me it wasn’t.
And then despite my little demon, I decided to try it anyway. And I found to my surprise that I really enjoyed it. I can’t say, even now, that I absolutely love it while I’m doing it, but I love how I feel afterwards. That shower after a good run is a little piece of heaven. I also love that I’m out of the house for a little while, and for a stay at home mom that can be worth almost everything. Even if it means getting sweaty.
Since I was not a run-lover beforehand, I thought I would share a few tips that got me moving in the right direction.
- Try doing Couch to 5K if you’ve never run before. You can download the app on your phone and it tells you when to run and when to stop while you’re running. Pretty cool. I also enjoy the Trackometer app, which shows me on a map where I’ve run, how far I ran, and how long it took me to run it.
- On that note, start small. Work up to a mile. Then two. Don’t try to do too much too fast or you will not enjoy it and it will be easier to give up sooner.
- Bring some tunes with you. My biggest hurdle was distracting myself through the parts where I thought I couldn’t go any further. Music helps with that (make sure to select the songs you want ahead of time so you don’t find yourself trying to reach your hand over to your other arm where your phone is secured and figure out how to smartphone your way into skipping a song you don’t like and finally getting so frustrated that you have to stop running, take out your phone, and start the whole playlist over again because you can’t figure out how to run and skip songs at the same time…hypothetically…). Or download your favorite audio book- anything to help you forget that you are actually running.
- If you can’t go any further, then don’t go any further right now. Stop, walk, keep your body moving, and when you’re ready, start again. This actually causes your heart to work harder and burns more calories. But make sure you keep going and don’t just stop all together!
- Go shopping! This sounds vain, but I was far more motivated to run when I knew I had some cute new peppy running clothes to go out in. Plus I found it much nicer to run in clothes that breathe a little instead of an old cotton tee-shirt and heavy sweatpants.
- This one was a struggle for me, but PLEASE, save your money and get a NEW pair of running shoes. Have someone fit you and make sure you are getting a shoe that will support you from your toes up. Paying for shoes is less costly than paying for injuries that could follow you for years. Trust me, it makes a difference. You want to feel like you are running on air and not like you have cement blocks tied to your feet.
- Run somewhere different everyday. Not only is this a safer thing to do (for women running early in the morning alone, it’s always good to be cautious), but it helps spice things up a little. Even if you have to drive somewhere first, run somewhere you will enjoy running to break out of the monotony.
Above all, b r e a t h e . And remind yourself of that shower when you get home. It will be worth it, just get out there and assure yourself of the wonderful things your body is capable of doing.
I know you enjoyed this guest post from Chelsea Ellingson. She describes herself as, “A regular old Mom doing regular old things to keep my family healthy and happy.” She has three kids ages 6, 4, and 2. After teaching music for three years, she is now a happy stay at home mommy and a part time photographer. Check out her photography at Chelsea’s Attic.