As requested, I’ve compiled a post of my most favorite running related things.
Garmin 610 - I’m an avid Garmin user, and I absolutely love this watch. It’s expensive ($399.99), but completely worth the investment if you’re a dedicated runner. You can read my full review on the 610 by clicking here.
Garmin 10 - I briefly owned the Garmin 10, and then I decided that it wasn’t for me. I quickly realized that I needed more training data and technicality in my running watch. However, this is the watch that I always recommend for beginners and casual runners. It’s much less expensive at $129.99, reliable, and it’s very user friendly.
Left: unlocked position // Right: locked position
Yurbuds for Women - I used to avoid all ear bud headphone models because no matter what, the buds would either fall out or cause me a lot of ear pain. But then I decided to give Yurbuds a whirl after hearing nothing but good things. I ended up loving them, and I now refuse to wear anything else. You can read my full review on Yurbuds for Women by clicking here.
Brooks Ravenna 4 - Since being struck with a severe case of iliotibial band syndrome back in November, I’ve been on the prowl in figuring out what will best aid in my recovery. I decided that switching to a more supportive shoe would help with muscle stability and guidance, so I chose the Ravenna 4. These shoes don’t feel nearly as heavy as I had anticipated them to be, and there is obvious improvement in both my form and stride. And hey, they’re cool looking too!
Brooks PureFlow 2 - When it comes to racing, I’m immediately drawn to bright, speedy looking shoes because they give me a confidence boost. However, common sense says that I also need to make sure that they will suit my needs as a runner. I’m a huge fan of the entire Brooks PureProject collection. But my favorite model is the PureFlow because it’s the perfect balance between support and minimalism. The best of both worlds.
Zensah Compression Socks/Sleeves - People always ask me if compression socks/sleeves are worth the investment because they can be pricey. Ever since I’ve owned a pair, it’s very rare that you’ll see me without them on race day. I’m also known to sport them ever-so-discretely under my pants on a normal occasion to help speed up recovery.
SPIbelt with Water-Resistant Pocket - The runner’s fanny pack. I’ve tried hydration belts and other various running belts, but the SPIbelt is the only one that doesn’t drive me banana sandwich. It stays put and doesn’t bounce at all. I really love that the belt is discrete, but can still hold essentials like your phone, keys, and any form of identification. They also sell belts with loops along the band to stash your gels for longer runs. There’s a ton of options!
Road ID: The Wrist ID Slim - If I’m running alone, I never leave the house without my RoadID bracelet. It has my full name, emergency contact numbers, and medical alerts (for me, it’s asthma). RoadID does exactly what it says it does; “It speaks for you when you can’t speak for yourself.”
Chica Bands - Out of every single non-slip headband that I’ve tried in the past, Chica Bands are the only ones (for me at least) that completely stay in place. That includes freshly washed hair, dry hair, and the ever-so-attractive sweaty hair. Heck, I’m sure it’ll even stay put on hair covered in baby drool and Cheerios for you mamas out there! ;)
Below, I go from top to bottom.
Basic Foam Roller - This is a perfect recovery tool, especially if you’re on a tight budget. I strongly recommend that all runners use a foam roller on a weekly basis to prevent common muscle-related injuries and to aid in the recovery process following a tough workout. I found mine at Walmart for $14.77.
RumbleRoller - I use this crazy-looking device shown above for really stubborn muscle knots. It doesn’t exactly feel ‘good’ per say, but it’s highly effective. The massage from the RumbleRoller is deep enough to cause some bruising - just a little warning.
Tiger Tail - I love this tool because it allows you to have more control over the pressure along your muscles, especially in some hard to roll areas such as your calves. It’s also very portable, so it’s perfect for race day or for stashing inside of your gym bag!
R8 Roll Recovery - Out of all of my muscle massager tools, this one is my absolute favorite. It’s a huge time saver because it allows you to roll two sides simultaneously as it self-adjusts the pressure to your legs. You can read my full review on the R8 by clicking here.
Yoga - In the past, I wasn’t much of a fan of yoga. I recently jumped on the wagon, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m really starting to love and appreciate my incorporation of yoga within my running regimen. I can’t believe that I didn’t make this discovery sooner! I have several DVDs, but my absolute favorite is P90X: Yoga X!
Dailymile - I use this website to keep track of my progress, whether I’m in training mode, recovery mode, etc. Think of it as the ‘Facebook’ for runners and athletes alike. It’s also a great tool to keep yourself motivated, and it can be a means of seeking advice or helping others. Click here to add me!
Hal Higdon’s Training Plans - When people come to me for advice on training programs, I typically direct them to Hal Higdon’s website. He’s created plans that range anywhere from Novice 5K all the way to Multiple Marathons. I used his Intermediate 1 Marathon training program when I trained for the Wineglass Marathon.
A Strong Support Team - As a runner, you’re going to have triumphant moments and defeating moments; it comes with the territory of the sport. Joining my local running club is, without a doubt, a decision that I will never regret. The hundreds of members of the SCRR have become my extended family. I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count the number of people whom have touched my life in one simple way or another. They have been with me through the best of times, the worst of times, and everything in between. If you’re fortunate enough to have a local running club in your hometown, please consider joining! Or find a few running buddies at the very least! :) Okay, okay…I can’t forget Sean.
He always listens to me when I go off on a tangent about running-related things. And just look how happy it makes him! ;) He has also been putting up with my excessive whining and grumpiness ever since I got injured. He’s my rock and best friend. I’d be completely lost without him.
A Mantra or Two - I’ve come up with two personal mantras that keep my mind strong.
1.) Fear less. Do more.
2.) Chase fear. Transcend limits.
While there’s no doubt that running offers huge benefits to health, aiding everything from weight loss and fitness to reducing your risk of a range of diseases associated with inactivity, if you do not take precautions it can bring with it its own problems. Here we look at some of the dangers of running if you don’t take a sensible approach and how you can ensure you stay problem free.
Injury to Soft Tissues
Sense dictates that if you’re going to run for more than just to catch a bus you need to warm up before you take off. However, not everyone does, which increases your risk of pulled muscles, sprains, strains and damage to tendons and ligaments. Sustaining these injuries is frustrating, as they can set your training and fitness back, which is especially disappointing if there is a race looming. If you just plan to do an everyday run, walk a block or two and do some stretches to loosen up and increase blood flow to your muscles and joints. However, if you’re looking at getting up to speed during the session, start by alternating walking and jogging for 10 minutes or so, then follow this with another 10 minutes of stretching and drills such as skipping and high knees. Incorporate some resistance exercise into your training, as this will strengthen your joints – examples include use of weight machines, resistance bands, squats and lunges. Additionally, avoid training on hard surfaces, as this increase the impact on your joints.
Dangers of Over-hydration
You’re probably more than aware that you risk dehydration when you run a distance, particularly if it’s a hot day. Consequently you ensure you drink plenty before you set out, take your water bottle with you, perhaps even refill on the way round and then drink more when your session or race is over. However, did you know that drinking too much can be even worse for your body than dehydration? This is especially an issue if it’s simply water that you’re drinking to top up your fluid levels.
When you drink more than your body is losing, which might be the case if you overestimate how much you are sweating, this dilutes your body’s salts, which you are already losing in sweat. Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and chloride are essential for processes in the body such as maintaining muscle function and heartbeat; an imbalance of these can be fatal. Signs to be aware of that you have taken too much fluid on board are extreme tiredness, dizziness, nausea and muscle weakness; if allowed to progress you may lose consciousness or experience seizures. While these electrolyte disturbances can be treated if recognized, prevention is always better than cure. To avoid this happening to you, only drink according to thirst; this way you can ensure that you only provide your body with as much fluid as it needs. Then if you will be running for more than an hour or will be pushing yourself hard on a shorter training session, swap your water for a sport drink, as this contains added electrolytes.
Increased Stress on Your Heart
Running will help you to achieve a lower blood pressure and pulse while at rest, so on a day to day basis your heart will be under less strain. However, if you push yourself hard and run for extended periods of time on a regular basis you might be doing more harm than is good. A study published in the British Medical Journal’s Heart publication last autumn found that intense activity in the longer term didn’t provide greater benefits for heart health and could affect both the structure and electrical activity of the heart; they concluded that people were best to keep vigorous activity to under an hour each day.
Reduced Immune Function
Although regular moderate activity can provide your immune system with a boost, taking part in frequent strenuous exercise can make you more susceptible to infections. There is some research that suggests just 90 minutes of intense activity can hamper your immune system for the three days following the exercise; this might relate to the release of adrenaline during such activity, which places a stress on the immune system. If you can’t avoid long strenuous training sessions, make sure you build in rest days each week to allow your body not just chance to physically recover, but to reduce your risk of developing colds, flu and chest infections, which will interfere with training and your performance. However, managing stress in your life, not smoking and eating a varied diet rich in fruit and vegetables will also help to ward off infections.
Don’t let these potential problems put you off running, simply take some precautions to guard against them and remember you can do too much of a good thing, so build up gradually and don’t try to run too far too soon.
Written by freelance writer, Eve Pearce
*If you’re interested in snagging a spot for a guest post, please e-mail me at email@example.com. I’d be more than happy to discuss details! Topics can be success stories, tips, recipes, etc. as long as it’s related to healthy living.17 notes
Job title: Manager of Your Health
Job status: Open
Positions available: Unlimited
The cycle of the working class…most of you know what I’m referring to. We get up. We get ready. We show up. We do our best to get through the day. Then we go home only to prepare ourselves for the same routine. We may not want to do it. We may find it monotonous. And we may bellyache from time to time. But we still show up for a reason. Money to pay bills? Self-satisfaction? Whatever the case, we essentially work towards something. Otherwise, why else would we be motivated enough to punch our time cards?
Well, guess what? It’s time to begin your 2nd job. It’s time to begin establishing new priorities. It’s time to treat exercise like it’s your job. Your health is something that should never be thrown on the back burner. And you always have the opportunity to find a “job” that you enjoy doing - running, yoga, swimming, lifting, anything! The options are virtually endless. This time, you don’t have to place yourself in a dead-end job. It’s possible to find something that suits your personal needs / current lifestyle.
You are the owner of your life. So, congratulations! You’re officially hired to be the boss of your body and the manager of your health! The pay off may not come in the form of cold hard cash, but the physical benefits out-reap any momentary (normal) pain or discomfort that you may feel during exercise. And your body will pay out what you pay in - weight loss, less anxiety, more confidence, maybe a sense of self-pride? Heck - you’ll even reduce the risk of life-threatening diseases and illnesses! Bonus check!
Be just as dedicated to your health as you are to your job. If you slack off on the job, then your quality of life will soon reflect. What happens when you turn into the excuse maker at your job? You’ll probably get a verbal, then a written, and ultimately worse…fired. Regardless, it will almost always result in a negative outcome. Don’t get fired from life. You only have 1 body, so give it the respect that it deserves because guess what? Your body is your body FOREVER - it’s not going anywhere. Pay close attention to each department: body, mind, soul, and spirit.
Finding the right balance within all areas of your life is the key to success. You work at least 40 hours per week, so that’s about 24% of your week. It’s perfectly reasonable to be able to gather up enough time for a quick and effective workout. Any amount of time is better than nothing at all. But aim to intensify the activity if you find yourself needing to race the clock. Make it count.
Treating exercise like a 2nd job will help you cut back on “calling off”. Yes, you’ll have temporary rewards from calling off, i.e. more sleep, relaxation, or time to get things done that have been set aside. But these rewards won’t last forever. The rewards from being healthy will continue to last as long as you keep showing up to your job! You’ll see improvement in all aspects of your life as you become healthier. Here are some tips to help get you started!
Make a schedule: Plan workout sessions in advance, and work around these appointments, meetings, or whatever you want to call them just as you would with your regular work schedule. And be descriptive! Write a brief note explaining where you’ll workout, what you’ll be doing, and how long you’ll be doing it (i.e. home, yoga, 1 hour). I know it sounds less-than-appealing to schedule exercise, but then you won’t have any other choice but to commit to be fit. Just think about how good you’ll feel afterward and how crummy you’d feel if you were to cancel or no-show your planned session. I know that with the longer I put something off, the less motivated I become. Adhering to a schedule will also allow you to look back and see what you’ve accomplished and where any problems have arose in the past.
Don’t be late: Nothing looks worse than showing up late for work, so it’s seemingly easy for us to race the clock when we’re running late. We find ourselves suddenly turning into the Tasmanian Devil, and in a whirlwind, we quickly get dressed, grab a cup of coffee, and rush out the door with no problem. Then why can’t we treat exercise appointments in the same manner? Fuel your body, get dressed, and do the work. We are perfectly capable of showing up on time. Have an early morning session scheduled? Get your gear ready the night before, or place your alarm clock in such a place that you actually have to stand up in order to turn it off. Have a session scheduled after work? Pack your gym clothes beforehand, so you don’t make an excuse to go home where you’ll be more inclined (no pun intended) to sit on the couch.
Hold yourself accountable: Find a “co-worker” to help you get the job done or to motivate you at the very least. Stick with the mindset of not letting your fellow employees down. You’ll be less likely to blow off a workout if you know that somebody is waiting for your arrival. If you constantly stand people up for no good reason, you’re going to come off as being unreliable. Find people with similar goals, and come up with a plan for success that you can work on together. You can even keep one another updated on your progress. Make things exciting! There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. Or you can find a class and try something outside of your comfort zone. You never know - you just might surprise yourself and find a new activity that you enjoy!
Learn to prioritize and multitask: Occasionally, inevitable things will happen, but you need to ask yourself if it’s a legitimate reason or just an altruistic excuse to throw in the towel early. If you’re tired, just give it 5-10 minutes and see how you feel from that point on. More than likely, you’ll want to continue. Nobody likes the feeling of unfinished business. Happy hour can wait. The dishes can wait. Family obligations or emergencies? That’s an entirely different story, and obviously, you’ll have to cancel or reschedule your workout when certain situations arise. It’s all about priorities! If you feel guilty for setting a task aside, try to multitask as you’re able to by bringing books or study materials with you. You can multitask in other ways too - calf raises while brushing your teeth or planking during commercial breaks, perhaps?
Focus on the task at hand: You can’t spend all of your time agonizing over your entire to-do list or focusing on other people. The only thing you’ll accomplish is the loss of precious time and much added stress. Be present in the moment, and do your best! The results you see are directly proportional to the effort that is given. If your mind isn’t in the game, your progress is going to be on a standstill. Try to eliminate as many (if not all) distractions as you can - shutting off your phone is a biggie! Your zone can be lost with a simple email or text message. And don’t waste time socializing…just get the job done. You’ll save time, and you’ll get more out of your workout. So set the stage, stick with your plan, and visualize the outcome.
Follow a dress code: Don’t show up to the gym wearing a prom dress, a pair of worn-out jeans, or dressed as if you’re about to go on a special date. You wouldn’t show up to a corporate office in sweatpants, would you? I sure hope not! Wear clothes that will allow you to bring your A game for whatever activity you plan to partake in. Running? Wear proper running shoes, not baseball cleats. I’m sure you understand my point. It doesn’t have to be top-of-the-line, wallet-emptying equipment, but you should be comfortable and dressed for the job in the most appropriate manner.
Schedule days off: Nobody should ever have to work 7 days straight without a break, so it’s crucial to give your body necessary and adequate time for rest and recovery - at least 1 full day per week. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself feeling lethargic, overworked, and unmotivated as a result. Rest is important because it allows your body to adapt to the physical stress that you have placed upon yourself in the days prior. Your body will also be able to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissue. It’s quite remarkable how the human body is able to adapt to stress. I know that rest days can leave some people feeling antsy, but trust me, your body will thank you in more ways than 1! If rest is driving you up the wall, you can also try active recovery like yoga or stretching.
Strive for upgrades and promotions: Don’t expect to see results if you don’t put in the work. You can’t sit around waiting for good things to happen. You always hold the power to make good things happen. The biggest obstacle in life is attitude, and the only limits you have are the ones that you place on yourself. But a key thing to remember is making sure that you don’t take on too much at once. You can’t expect to become “employee of the month” after 1 week on the job. However, every new day gives you the opportunity to be better than before…or be “promoted” to the next level (i.e. a heavier dumbbell, longer mileage, or advanced variations). Adapt, reflect, and progress. Doing too much will result in injury, while doing too little will not result in anything at all. You can certainly dream big, but take your climb on the totem pole one day at a time.
“Do you love yourself?” If you were to approach me in early 2009 and ask me this question, it would’ve been blatantly obvious that I didn’t.
There I was, 20 years old, living a sedentary lifestyle at a whopping 230 lbs.
I didn’t communicate with myself and, and as a matter of fact, I didn’t communicate with anyone. I allowed myself to be bullied into silence by my peer’s comments, which left me feeling completely ashamed and worthless to all walks of life.
Some days, I didn’t even want to get out of bed, nor did I feel like I had a reason for doing so. I self-medicated with food, leading my unhealthy eating habits to spiral out of control.
To rid me of this empty void within my heart and soul, I brainwashed myself into thinking that food was my only comfort in life.
But my hatred towards myself became so strong that I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was slowly killing myself with food…something whose purpose, ironically, is to aid in our survival.
It wasn’t until one night, in April of 2009, when I woke up and realized that it was time to make a change.
I was tired of having my quality of life go down as the numbers went up.
I was tired of feeling breathless after hauling myself up a single flight of stairs.
I was tired of avoiding social gatherings because I was too embarrassed of my existence.
Most importantly, I was tired of not living.
I had to wake up from this self-induced ‘coma’ that I put myself in. I was just a body comprised of fear, hatred, and sadness - a walking billboard for the hopeless.
Believe it or not, I came to terms with my food addiction and was inspired to transform myself by watching The Biggest Loser. And after making necessary lifestyle changes, I successfully lost 110 lbs.
Unfortunately, I didn’t focus on my psychological well-being. I was still stricken with fear. I was chained to the scale, my life controlled by numbers.
After some time, my inner strength began slipping through the cracks. Self-sabotage pushed me too far in the other direction, and I found myself in the same deep depressive state that I was in at 230 lbs.
If I hadn’t met a runner in late 2010, I have no idea where I’d be today.
This avid runner convinced me to sign up for my 1st race after I showed genuine interest in the sport upon testing my limits on the treadmill. The rest is history.
Now I can proudly call myself a 2x marathoner and an ultramarathoner 2 years later. Running has trained me to run the day and to not let the day run me.
I put on my cape, chased my fears, and rescued myself. I am my hero. I am me. I am Adrian.
I’m not just a runner. I’m someone with a strong passion for life. Even when a gust of wind crosses my path, I will continue to keep my flame burning bright.
The best reward of this journey is being able to say ‘I love myself’ and sincerely mean it.
You all have the power to love yourself, too, and here’s what I’ve learned through much struggle:
1.) Change your vocabulary. What is the first negative thought that comes to your mind? It may be something along the lines of, “I can’t do this; I’m a failure!” Repeat your thought loud and clear for the entire world to hear. Come to terms with your negativity. Bottling up these intense feelings that you have towards yourself is unhealthy, whether it has to deal with doubt, lack of self-respect, and so forth.
Write this thought on a piece of paper, crumple it up, and toss it into the garbage. This thought can’t destroy you any longer! Like the old saying goes, out with the old and in with the new. Start saying the exact opposite; “I can do this; I will reach my goal!” Repeat this thought over and over again, ultimately locking it up inside of your head.
When you need a moment of self-affirmation, you now hold the key to release the positivity.
2.) Grab a pen, some paper, and make a list. Write down your positive attributes, greatest abilities, and biggest accomplishments. Next, identify areas in your life that you feel need to be changed or improved. Once you’re fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you can come up with possible solutions to the latter of the two. Instead of dwelling on what you believe needs fixed, do something about it and stop making excuses to rationalize your behavior.
Prime example: “I failed this exam, so I’m obviously a loser. I’m going to give up now.” What should really be rolling through your mind is: “This too shall pass, and I will try harder next time. This is no time to give up because I’m much stronger than this.” A little belief in one’s self goes a long way.
You have to trust your journey and love yourself before anyone else can. Come to terms with underlying problems and do differently than what has failed in the past.
3.) Bring your “little voice” to the surface and really listen. The past is the past, and oftentimes, the little voice inside of our heads is merely a result of our past conditioning. It’s a bundle of experiences, could’ves, would’ves, should’ves, regrets, wishes, etc. Don’t let the past control your future. You hold the power to change your current situation for the better.
Your inner voice is only a wall, and that wall doesn’t have to be permanently erect. Bring your inner voice to the surface, actively listen, and dismantle any unnecessary fears that may pose a threat to your future success. Be the change that you wish to see in the world, even if it’s your world. Your world is no less important than anyone else’s, so don’t allow it to be.
“Once the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” Sure, the caterpillar was probably unhappy in it’s former state, but now it’s free to fly away and embrace the life that it was always destined to have.
It’s time to break through your cocoon and spread your wings. I’ll see you there when you do.
How have you learned to love yourself?
You are not alone. There are plenty of reasons why it’s difficult to lose weight. I know. I’ve endured it myself. I’ve shot out every excuse in the book. Here are some reasons why people
find make it difficult to lose weight.
1.) You’re surrounded by temptation. This is often the case with a lot of people in the working class. You’re faced with business meetings, holidays, birthdays, etc. Perhaps you’re constantly on the go, and you find that vending machines and fast food joints are around every corner. There are going to be things you can control and things you can’t control. Create healthy surroundings where able, and train your mind to surpass the impassable. Bringing your healthy lifestyle with you is a surefire way in keeping you motivated. Prepare snacks, pack gym gear for before or after work, and keep track of how you’re running your body. You’re the boss. Don’t fall asleep on the job!
2.) You have an insufficient support system. While it’s true that this is your commitment, your journey, and your life, it’s always helpful to have a solid support system for those not-so-good days…when the possible seems impossible. Needing someone doesn’t make you weak, and it certainly doesn’t make you a failure. A lot of us don’t want to ask for help for the fear of hurting one’s self pride. Independence is important, but it’s human nature to crave support. Be sure to surround yourself with uplifting individuals who have no chance in sabotaging your success, and be sure to make a plan for the sticky situations - family gatherings, a partner who eats unhealthy, etc. If you open your eyes, you’ll be delighted to find plenty of useful resources such as online communities. You may even be lucky enough find a workout buddy!
3.) Your mental health is suffering. This is perhaps the biggest thing that I can highlight in this post. It’s something I wish I knew before beginning my journey. The past is the past for a reason. We all hold the power to alter our future by changing today. I used food to fill the empty void within my heart and soul, then upon losing weight, I became terrified of something that used to comfort me. It’s important to assess the reasoning behind your decision making and make the necessary changes to cope with the impending emotional stress. If you don’t understand nor come to terms with the root of the issue, the issue will never be fixed. The issue may hide temporarily, but chances are, it will rise to the surface when least expected nor ready to handle the situation. Confronting your negativity and in turn changing your thought process is the first step towards building a healthy attitude and mind.
4.) You set unrealistic goals. A lot of people set themselves up for failure before they even begin their journey by setting the bar too high. The bar should be set just high enough to where you’d only need a step stool to reach, and then you can build your ladder based on your personal progression. It’s important to celebrate the small victories to keep one’s self motivated. Your weight gain didn’t happen overnight, so don’t expect to lose it overnight. Weight loss journeys should be taken as a present day activity, not a future endeavor. So you had a bad day? Shrug it off and move on. There’s no point in dwelling within the should’ves, could’ves, and would’ves. Take charge of your life when given the next opportunity. To begin, think of your ultimate goal, and break down your goal into daily, weekly, or monthly increments. Keep track of your progress, and change anything that you find isn’t working. Weight loss plans should never be seen as a “cookie cutter.” We are all different and therefore have different needs.
5.) Your schedule is inflexible. “I can’t because I have to…” Does this sound familiar? Truth is, you can’t wait for time to arise, you have to make time. Life will always be busy. Any number will always be better than 0. While it’s true that you need at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day, it’s perfectly acceptable to break the time into smaller, more feasible increments. 30 minutes is 2% of the day. Do what you need to do, and put off what you can put off. Your health, however, should never be something that’s placed on a shelf. Health has no room for procrastination. Schedule workouts just as you would a meeting, appointment, etc. and make them mandatory! Stay prepared for those bumps in the road by keeping your workout gear handy and healthy snacks within reach. Life can only be as flexible as you make it.
6.) You aim for perfection. Do you want to be perfect? Well you can forget about that. You’ll have good days, bad days, and everything in between. That’s the beauty in the journey. It puts the tiger in the cat. Strive for progress, not perfection. If you’re perfect, you’ll have nothing to work for. No sense of pride. No sense of satisfaction. No sense of glory. You’ll be stuck in time. Allowing room for error will allow you to learn, which will then allow you to move forward much stronger than before. Don’t let the bad days derail you. You wouldn’t trash an entire bushel of grapes because of a single bad one, would you? No. You’d pick it off and save the good grapes. Use that as a metaphor for life too.
7.) You have a bad attitude. “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” Thanks Scott Hamilton. You took the words right out of my mouth. Don’t expect to see permanent results if you don’t instill permanent actions. You have to be ready to make the changes, and you have to be in this for life. It’s very easy to be discouraged when hitting a plateau, but I view plateaus as the body’s way of asking, “Are you in this for life?” Weight loss isn’t easy, so it’s crucial that you keep the flame within your heart burning bright even as a gust of wind crosses by. Seek motivation and reasoning to keep moving forward. There are no quick fixes. Quick fixes lead to quick results, but those results are quick to fade. Trust me. Been there, done that. It wasn’t until I changed my way of thinking that I was able to build a new lifestyle suitable for me. Do this for you. Do this for life.
8.) You’re making things too complicated. It’s really not that complicated. It’s a struggle, but it’s not complicated in the strictest of definitions. It’s easy to brain wash yourself into thinking that simple things are complicated. I see it as an excuse maker. Enough with the, “it’s impossible” excuses. Turn the “impossible” into “I’m possible.” Yes, weight loss and exercise are things that need to be understood and initially approached with care, but focusing on too many things at once will create a “What am I getting myself into?!” frame of mind. The true answer? You’re getting into life. Don’t think of the technology behind the camera, the developing process, and the pixelated elements of an image. Look at the big picture. The dream. The end result. How will you become a better version of yourself?
9.) Your overall lifestyle is poor. Successful weight loss requires action against many components within your life. You can’t change just one thing and expect it to work. It’s like having a bulb that burns out because of faulty wiring. If you only change the bulb and ignore the wiring, the bulb will never glow. An overall healthy life is comprised of mental toughness, eating right, and staying active. Each one ties into the other, and you constantly need to be open to new ideas. You’ll can either undo the damage or let the damage undo do. The choice is yours. Throw the word “diet” out of your vocabulary. It’s a lifestyle change. You have to be willing to set rules, make sacrifices, alter your schedule, and change your routine.
Never lose hope. With dedication, discipline, and determination, you too can surpass these struggles.33 notes
“Adrian, you’ve inspired me to run, but I don’t know where to begin? Any tips?” Yes! Here are some of my favorite tips to help get anyone started on their own running journey.
Find inspiration. If you’re eager to begin running, it’s obvious that you’ve already found some form of inspiration that leaves you wanting to lace up your shoes. But it helps to seek more motivation. For me, my initial inspiration was from a friend, an avid runner, but I ultimately became my own motivator. The old me, that is.
Talk to other runners. Watch running videos. Read running magazines. Once you find your form of motivation, don’t lose sight of it. Excellence can be sought after at any age. Lace up and find your greatness one stride at a time.
Understand the sport of running. Before making running a part of your life, I highly condone doing your own research on the basics beforehand. Read about common injuries, proper hydration/nutrition strategies, etc. Heck, you can even go as far as looking up runner lingo so you don’t sound like a total newbie amongst the more seasoned runners. Fartlek? Bloody nipples? VO2 max? Huh?! On the plus side, for me at least, the more I read about running, the more motivated I became to open the door and step outside of my comfort zone. You never know; you may find inspiration along the way!
Photo circa summer 2011.
Set a goal. Having a goal is a sure fire way to keep yourself motivated. If you run without a purpose, you’re simply chasing the wind. Go after your dreams. Chase your fears. Be your hero. The goal doesn’t have to be a race, time, or distance; simply bettering your life is a more-than-acceptable goal. But signing up for a race is pretty helpful too (race finder)! Find a running buddy with a similar goal and train together; set dates and commit to them. Also consider joining a running club in your area. Trust me, they are out there. For me, it’s one of the BEST decisions that I have ever made - so much support. Click here to find a club!
Be realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting the bar too high from the very beginning. Don’t expect to roll out of bed in a week with the sudden endurance to run a marathon. Not everyone can be like Dean Karnazes. I was a happy camper during the very moment that I was able to run for a mere 10 minutes straight let alone for 26.2 long miles! Running takes determination, dedication, and a high level of discipline, but I can guarantee the worth. Being able to experience the world through running isn’t something that can simply be described by words alone.
Dean Karnazes - Ultramarathon Man
Come up with a plan. So you’ve found inspiration, understand the running basics, and have a goal. Now what? Find some way or another to help guide you along your journey. Having absolutely no plan is like traveling within a foreign country without a map. Sure, you may be able to get by, but ciaos will be had and treacherous paths will be crossed. There are so many options out there - Hal Higdon, Hansons Marathon Method, Jeff Galloway, etc. If you’re a true first timer in the world of running, I highly suggest a Jeff Galloway’s run/walk program. It’s a great way to build a solid base, lessen the chances for injury, and they even offer plans from a 5K all the way to a full marathon. Don’t forget to track your progress through the use of a training journal, calendar, or through an online community like Dailymile - add me!
Invest in a good pair of running shoes. I would’ve liked to put this notion first, but it wouldn’t make too much chronological sense. If you still feel that running is something you want to do on a regular basis, good shoes are a critical component. Long story short, I quickly learned the importance after I discovered blood all over my socks upon wearing ill-fitting shoes during a 6 mile outdoor run. Your running shoe size will be different in comparison to your everyday shoe - about a 1/2 to full size difference in fact. Seek an expert opinion from a local running store where you can get fitted properly. Most running stores will examine your foot structure and perform a gait analysis. Don’t merely pick a shoe because it looks good - injuries don’t look good. This investment is worth every single penny.
My favorite shoes are anything from the Brooks Running PureProject line. But don’t take my word for it! There are hundreds upon hundreds of options.
It’s not always about running. Cross training is a critical part of the running equation. Activities can include but are not limited to cycling, elliptical training, yoga and flexibility training, weight lifting, core exercises, and plyometrics. You’ll not only lessen the chances of overuse injuries, but you’ll also become a stronger runner, both mentally and physically. Your mind can be beaten down just as much as your body. Listen to your body, address physical cues, and take an extra day off if you need it. A teensy twinge can turn into a full blown side lining injury if it’s ignored - trust me.
Expect bad days. More often than not, you’ll be faced with not-so-good days. That’s just life in general - things happen. You can’t let the bad days interfere with what could turn out to be a good day if given the chance. Sulk for a moment, brush it off, then move on.
…make you appreciate the good runs even more.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Your first couple of weeks of running will be challenging and on the lower end of the fun spectrum until your body has the chance to adapt to the new aerobic and muscular stressors. If you can get past this, you’ll soon realize that you’re far more capable of anything you put your mind to. The sweat? The breathing? The body odor? That won’t go away. But you know what else won’t go away? The pride, the strength, and the memories.
Here’s another bit o’ information for your noggin. Running isn’t meant to be pretty (see below). If it is, you’re not doing it right.
Prime example of race photos gone wrong. Fall 2011.
Last but certainly not least, don’t EVER be embarrassed. “If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” Thanks Mr. John Bingham.
RUN YOUR LIFE & RUN YOUR RUN. There’s a lot to the sport, but don’t make it as complicated as it may seem. In a broader sense, running is simple. Running is beautiful. Running is a way of life.51 notes