I am not the image of a stereotypical runner . I'm running, but I'm not one of those girls who can effortlessly adjust her ponytail as she crosses mile 4 of her morning run. I'm the girl with the tomato-red face, who does not seem to know exactly what to do with his limbs, and it's trotting at a pace that feels weird to someone with such long strides.
As a kid, I found running (and most sports) agonizing.
I did everything to get rid of gymnastics lessons. My diagnosis of Marfan's syndrome, a connective tissue disease, meant for me that intense sport sport was off the table ̵
About a year ago, I decided to really try running.
I tried a few times before to find out if the Runner High that I had heard of for so many years was real. I wanted to go to the local park to do laps on the track, only to lose strength a week later – if at all I could do it. There was also a time when I lived near the beach and thought that running on the water would be a good way to move a bit and then continue exactly twice before giving up.
But this time it was different. A conversation with a close friend became a conversation about exercise and the benefits of training Healthy Living Habits and the possible consequences of my largely sedentary life began to become more real. This conversation prompted me to wipe my running shoes and try again.
For people like me, the advice of running experts can be quite annoying.
I have no interest in running a shoe six-minute mile or contest in a triathlon . I am sure, however, that their advice is sound, but none of that seems to me to be accurate. I would much rather hear from someone who has the same feeling for sports as I do: resigned to the fact that he may never be the best, but still sticks to the health benefits of physical activity.
Instead of trying to make running great, I'm just concentrating on doing it less badly. So far this new approach has worked.
Although I certainly can not break any speed records and I often strive to pull myself off the couch and into my workout clothes, my relationship with running has changed lately. It is no longer bitter torture; I see it as a kind of responsibility – a commitment to my future self, you might say. I realized I was doomed to failure by thinking as an amazing endorphin-driven panacea.
Striving for optimization, not perfection, makes me less strict on the whole process. Seeing that running could be for me. And with a few optimizations, I was able to significantly less impact on running .
If you're something like me, they can help you too.
. 1 I decided why.
On too many occasions, I ran through a crowded transit hub to find a form of transportation and think for myself. I should be in better shape . (Also I should have gotten here sooner .) I'm afraid of the occasions when I have to climb the five steps to dinner with my friend, and the idea to participate in indoor cycling (19459004) class makes my palms sweat. Cardio for the sake of Kardio does not really do it for me.
Are you thinking about getting healthier, stronger, and more likely to get that flight next time? That is much more motivating. As obvious as it may sound to articulate the way in which running has a positive effect on my life, it has made it much easier to actually do it.
Besides, I have to admit that I always look to the people who secretly made this jealous wearing these 5K-Participant T-shirts. I often remember that if I stuck to this habit, I might at some point become one of them.
. 2 I found myself responsible for accountability.
Having spoken to a few close friends about my new running habit, I now feel compelled to actually go through with it. A friend and I even swap sweaty selfies after our workouts, and some days, when I want to put together a photo with a red-faced image, this may be the trigger I need to start my jog.
It's also great because my friends know me and how much of a challenge this whole thing can be for me. In this way, I feel like other people notice my efforts. As nice as it is to be proud of me, it helps to know that a few other people are also proud of me.
. 3 I learned not to take running too seriously.
Lately, I've tried to find at least one thing on every run to make me laugh or smile. I've found that it's really helpful to lift my mood and reduce the tension that builds up. I'm also convinced that finding points during my run to crack a smile has a reinforcing effect over time – the more I feel happy on a run, the more walking gets a positive connection in my head on. When I smile, it can not be that bad, right?
The other day I was about half a mile away from completing my run, and just remembered something except how ready I was to go and then saw the spunkiest sausage dog galloping through the park with its owner. It was so funny and sweet that I was immediately taken out of my head just long enough to play in my head the loop of the "When's this over" game.
If I miss my day's route, it's funny charms that just remind you of a funny story or meme I've heard or seen lately. While I sometimes realize how to look, run and smile like a nut, this can even be an occasion to laugh (even if it's just me). I used to think running had to be a serious, intense sport, but trying to be more carefree made it easier to stay engaged.
. 4 I make a playlist that I love and then let it guide me through my route.
I'm definitely not the first one to suggest that a good running playlist will make the whole ordeal a little easier, but I've found that the same playlist gives me good benchmarks each time I can track my progress , If I know that I usually pass the supermarket when the second song starts, and when I finish the first song, I feel really good – I know that I'm outperforming my PR. As I near the end of the playlist, I know that my run will soon end.
There is nothing worse than skipping one song at a time looking for a song that I really want to listen to. and creating a killer playlist makes it unnecessary for me to engage with my phone so I can focus on the task at hand.
I also like to save a really stimulating song for my Cool Down . As I took a deep breath and was pleased to finally be able to slow down, the last song is like watching the movie credits roll to a good note. Hide to Black, another run in the books.
. 5 I plan my route in advance.
One of the biggest mistakes I made in my previous attempts was not to predetermine a route and to stick to it consistently. I slowed down by introducing obstacles such as traffic lights and increasing my risk of getting lost, and realized that I was worried too much to worry about.
Now I have two ways to hold on, depending on how many miles I want to run. I do not have to worry about where I'm going, I know exactly how long my run will be (and where the end point is), and I'm close to home when I want to cool down instead of being exhausted and ready for a shower in a neighborhood I do not know.
The routes I chose lead me through parts of the city that I love. Crossing the river and looking at one of my favorite locations, I'm reminded that there are far worse places than being out in the open air and seeing the sights of a beautiful city.
. 6 I use equipment that minimizes distractions and maximizes motivation.
Some people can walk in everything, put their phone in their sports bra and put the house key in the shoe. I, on the other hand, have to dress up the part and switch to my "sporty" alter ego before I can go out there and tackle it.
The Apple Watch I received last Christmas that I did not initially know what to do with my best friend – I can easily check how far I've gone, note my pace and mine Compare statistics over time. It's so amazing when all my workouts are lined up in the app, and it motivates me to continue my work.
Earphones that fit snugly against my ears, comfortable sneakers and a running belt for my iPhone and house keys I'm sure to keep my list of key things up and running to keep the symptoms as low as possible.
. 7 I celebrate my progress.
Some days are definitely more difficult than others. And some days I skip my planned run because I just do not feel like it. But at other times, I find myself doing a better time than usual. Or maybe the last half-mile feels a bit lighter than last week. Maybe my face looks a little less red in the sweaty image I share with my beast. Whatever the benchmark, I let it be noticed and I am proud.
I do not love running now, and I definitely have a long way to go until I can say I do. But every time I think about how I really do the work and do my best to become my fittest and healthiest self, I can not help but be surprised. Who would have thought that I would share running tips with someone? I'm really surprised and impress myself with what I can, and that keeps me going back.
Maybe the runner everyone is talking about is really true. I can not say for sure, but I keep running until I find out.