How to improve your running; spoken by a non-runner.
October 31, 2010 § 4 Comments
Happy Halloween to you! I’ve never been a fan of this all-American affair, however the last couple of years I’ve gotten down off my mangy Aussie camel and conceded that it is actually quite the groovy celebration. All things spooky, kooky and slightly wrong? Yes please!
Last night the bf and I attended a fairly rockin’ Halloween shindig after a full day of wedding festivities (p.s NOT OURS you fiends, Jarad’s band mate). We were those awkward and somewhat disappointing guests that come late and fail to adhere to the gruesome & grizzly dress code. Luckily we are scary enough as is, being a pair of genetically-compromised ranga’s and all (FYI: Ranga definition).
Highlights included a girl dressed as Medusa with snakes made of her own hair, a terminator-robot from the future whose best friend was a talking piece of pie (Simpsons reference – I dearly hope I got that right, after the pains taken to explain it to me! ha) and people trying to summon the ghosts of dead rock stars who turned out to be still alive and kicking. Seance fail. Wish I’d had my camera, but unfortunately you’ll just have to imagine the Halloween obscenities!
What did you all get up to?
I also promised running tips!
While it’s true i’m by no means a born runner, and have taken an age to get to where I am now, there are a few things that have helped me along the way:
Running with a friend – This used to intimidate the bollocks off me, but it is really the best thing you can do for your distance & time. You need to pick someone who is preferably faster than you, and who scares you enough that you won’t drop the pace! I never would have thought to attempt certain hills, routes or distances without the incentive from my awesome running buddy Chels, and whaddya know? You are always stronger than you think.
Give yourself ‘pep talks’ – It may sound cheezy, it may feel corny, however come crunch time when you are halfway up a murderous incline, your heart is in your throat and you are contemplating sliding back down on your steely backside, it’s great to give yourself some motivational love. I like pain is temporary, quitting is forever! Sounds very Arnold Schwarzenegger, no? Added bonus if you say it in a creepy Austrian accent. The other day I was pushing it to the extreme up a monster hill and found myself running a dialogue in my head of “Great work! You’re almost there! I am so proud of you! You are gonna feel AWESOME when you reach the top! Push through the pain!” Again, I was as surprised as you about my inner cheese-ball, but it really did work!
- Use visualisation – Similarly to the peppy pep-talk tactics, visualising yourself reaching your goal destination is a handy trick to keep the fire alive. Back to this dreaded hill, I always picture myself as I reach the peak, giving myself a goofy self-five and experiencing the exhilaration of sweet sweet cardio carnage.
- Fuel properly - This aspect includes both pre-run fuel, and general diet in my opinion. I noticed a significant increase in stamina when I started eating foods like Spirulina, bucketloads of Kale and pseudo-grains (quinoa, buckwheat etc) whilst cutting back on dairy & wheat. They really make me feel lighter and more energised! Also, before runs I find I need adequate sustenance otherwise I end up weak and sluggish. I either eat breakfast a couple of hours beforehand, then go, or later in the day if I haven’t eaten for a while, I snag a couple of dates or more spirulina. Obviously, you need specific fuel when doing longer runs, but I only ever do a maximum of 10kms, so don’t feel I need extra food for the road.
- Most of all enjoy your workout - There is simply no point spending hours on the treadmill or running the same monotonous route time and time again if it doesn’t provide some level of enjoyment. I’m super lucky in that I live close to the coast, and have spectacular views on my running excursions that leave me breathless and in awe of the supreme natural beauty of Sydney. But if you’re stuck running around a bleak old industrial estate or the flat streets of suburbia, it may not feel quite so enticing. Change up your route every time, and make the effort to scope out areas that appeal to you, making your jog less of a chore, and more of a meditative, mentally clarifying experience.
What has helped you go further in your chosen sport? Do you find it hard to get motivated to run/swim/walk/skip?
Have a great remainder of the weekend y’all! x