Friday, 15 July 2016

Get Running!


At school I never really enjoyed sports – I suspect it may have been something to do with a particularly unpleasant teacher who rejoiced in pupil humiliation! – so when an equally sports-shy friend suggested to me that we take up running as a way to keep fit I initially laughed hysterically before I recoiled in horror when I realised she was serious (but then, she was on the other side of a couple of glasses of wine!). I could think of nothing I would rather do less. However, after agreeing to test our running ability (or lack of it) on the quietest (and flattest) route we could think of, and very nearly talking ourselves out of it on several occasions, we bit the bullet and decided to give it a try…
And, to my absolute amazement, I found that I didn’t (a) trip over my own unco-ordinated feet, (b) fall over in an ungainly heap, (c) have a heart attack or (d) all three! Quite the opposite, I actually found myself enjoying it. Wonders would never cease!

That was a while ago now and, after having a bit of a lapse owing to family commitments etc, I’m back in the swing of it and loving every minute.  I’d even go as far as saying I think I’m ever so slightly addicted to the buzz I get when, after about ten minutes, the endorphins kick in, allowing me to crank things up and push myself that bit harder. And nothing beats the feeling of exhilaration and sense of achievement you’re rewarded with at the end. Even writing about it is making me itch to get my running shoes on!

And I don’t think I’m alone in finding going for a run is mood-enhancing and a good way to de-stress. Which, I think, is down to a combination of being out in the fresh air and the endorphins pulsing their way around my body. If I’ve got something niggling me or I’m having a bad day a good run usually helps put things in perspective and makes me feel a whole lot happier with the world. And, as an added bonus, I was delighted to find that running doesn’t just make you fitter and feel better, it makes you more streamlined, too.  In no time at all I began to notice improved muscle tone, not just in my legs, but in my bottom and my abs. Even my obliques seem to have benefited which has made me even more motivated.


Turning to the matter of when and how much to eat before exercise, everyone has different preferences.  I never run on an empty stomach and compare it to a car running on vapours.  And I find exercising on a full stomach makes my performance as sluggish as if my stomach were empty, so I always ensure I have a banana toastie in seedy brown bread and a glass of coconut water about half an hour/forty-five minutes before I go on a run, which I've found is perfect for me.  But my running friend, on the other hand, prefers to have had a proper meal roughly an hour before she runs. So, it just goes to show how we need to find out what works best for us individually.  And I always take a bottle of thirst-quenching coconut water on a run with me as it's brimming with electrolytes, such as potassium, which we tend to lose when we sweat.

Here’s a combination of my running gear wish list and my running gear must-haves which I hope you enjoy:
                                                                         
                                                                            
red/pink/purple - Interval Run Vest - Q315 - Sweaty Betty    NB The Print Tenderly Obsessive Bra, Asteroid with Imperial Purple     




Karrimor 2 pack Running Socks LadiesNike Shieldrunner Women's Running Jacket    NB New Balance 770v5, Purple

Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil SprayFITBIT Alta - Plum, Small
  
Nathan Triangle 22ozPalmer's Cocoa Butter Lip Balm Buy Apple iPod nano, 16GB Online at johnlewis.com


As you can see, there’s some pretty snazzy running gear out there, which is both practical and stylish. And, incidentally, the Avon Skin So Soft dry oil spray is to help ward of midges and flies which can be a nuisance if you run in the countryside. This product is the most effective at keeping bugs away I’ve tried and it smells rather lovely, too! And if you fancy getting your mitts on any of the above I've listed below where you need to head for them.

Stability ¾ quarter leggings £42.00 & Interval vest both Sweaty Betty – www.sweatybetty.com
Shieldrunner jacket £111.99 Nike – www.nike.com
Tenderley Obsessive sports bra £21.00 - New Balance www.newbalance.co.uk
New Balance 770v5 running trainers for over pronation £45.00 - as above.
Running socks  - £4.50 – Karrimor – available from www.sportsdirect.com
Nathan Triangle 22oz drinks carrier £19.00 - www.runnersneed.com 
Ipod Nano - £119.00 – John Lewis – www.johnlewis.com
Fitbit Alta (plumb) - £99.00 – Currys/PC World – www.currys.co.uk or www.pcworld.co.uk
Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Spray - £1.00 (usually £5.00) – Avon – www.avon.uk.com
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lip Balm £    - Superdrug – www.superdrug.com
Vitacoco Coconut Water 100ml - £3.50 - Sainsburys – www.sainsburys.com

Since I compiled my Wish List I've treated myself to the New Balance 770v5 Ladies Running Trainers designed for those of us who over-pronate when we run.  And I can happily report that they are the most comfortable piece of footwear I've worn! As well as being as light as a feather, they offer amazing support and I feel like I'm walking on air when I'm wearing them! Happy days!

If you haven’t tried running for fitness before why not give it a try? You don’t have to go far and you can run at a steady pace with regular breaks. And if you’re tempted to go again, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly your stamina grows and you're able to run that little bit further. And, put it this way, if I can do it anyone can!!

HAPPY RUNNING!













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