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In a moment of madness, my Dad somehow convinced me to sign up to do the Brighton Half Marathon next February. Along with my sister, her boyfriend, my boyfriend, my cousins, my aunties – it all just sounded like one big party and I didn’t want to miss out – completely disregarding the fact that I begin retching just after running for the bus. Though I’ve got months to prepare for this thing, I wanted to start early and so have begun sneaking in some prep already and you know what? I’m actually getting quite into it. After I got back from Milan I was feeling a bit rough around the edges after a few too many pizza/pasta/deep-fried pizza parties (I know, so tasty), so in the past three weeks I’ve stepped up my fitness game and it feels good.

Here’s the deal. I try to do some kind of physical activity for 20 minutes-ish Monday to Friday. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do a run, Tuesday I work on arms and Thursday I work on abs. So far so good. For the runs I worked out that one lap around the block is approximately one mile so began with just the one lap and did that for around two weeks and have just stepped it up to two. I’ll keep doing that until I no longer ponder if I require medical attention at the end and ramp it up to three. For the workouts – I just love a good Fitness Blender one. Straightforward, easy to follow and no music so you can blast out your own tunes. For my ‘arm’ day I do the Tank Top Arms Workout and for ‘abs’ day I do their Six Pack Burnout (the first time I did this it hurt to laugh, cough and sneeze for three days after – ouch). Here are some other things that I’ve found have given me a motivational kick up the rear:

Nike+ Running App. After spending three years studying a Psychology degree which was basically three solid years of statistics – no one tells you that before you sign up – my mind works in a number crunching way, so this app is right up my street. It tracks your run as you run it, detailing a map of where you’ve gone, how far you’ve run, how fast, what your average pace was, all that kind of jazz. I’m telling you there’s nothing better than hearing ’1 mile completed’ in your ear. A great way to track progress.

Music. A revelation. I purchased a phone holder arm band the other day, so now not only do I look totes profresh it means I can pound the pavements as I listen to my ’90′s throwback-centric music archive. Any good running album suggestions are much appreciated.

Stretching. It’s the main reason why (‘Six Pack Burnout’ video aside) I always feel in good enough shape to get moving again the next day. I never used to stretch *slaps back of hand* and after the most laid-back of runs it hurt to get out of bed the next day, but with even just a five minute speed stretching session before and after whatever activity I’m doing – though I try to get in a solid ten minutes if I can – there’s no residual aches the next day.

One thing I’m still working on is trying not to look a hot mess as I train. I often get overtaken by those with a skippy pace who haven’t even broken into a sweat, while I huff, puff and misjudge the wind, accidentally spitting on myself (gross, but true). Baby steps people, baby steps.

  • http://theconsciencefund.wordpress.com/ Divya

    I have been enjoying the Fitness Blender videos a lot these days! Had Subscribed to them a year ago and since then it was their in my inbox earing dust, till I realised I need to do something about my unwanted growth at all the wrong places!

    My Wedding in Pictures

  • Anna Blush

    Good on you Anna! It’s so hard to get in to a good fitness routine but once you do it’s so rewarding. I’ve let me slip a bit and this has inspired me to get back in to it. Thank you! x

    http://anna-blush.blogspot.com

  • http://hannahbeths.wordpress.com/ Hannah

    I love running! It’s hard to start but after the first few weeks you learn to enjoy it and there is no going back! The app I use is RunKeeper which really works for me. I have been blessed with the sweat gene meaning I go very red very easily and I’m surprised no one call called the ambulance after seeing me running! A good pair of running shoes is essential also :)

    I love a bit of Spice Girls and McFly when running and this playlist is my fave: http://8tracks.com/jennaaae/treadmill-jams

    Another great post :)
    Hannah xx

    http://hannahbeths.wordpress.com/

  • Hanna Kroon

    So glad to see that you’re enjoying the fitness thing! It took me a while also but for the past seven months, I’ve been committed like never before!

    For getting into running, I highly recommend the Couch to 5k app. You run and walk with certain intervals, with the running interval getting longer and longer each week. Awesome way to get into running without overwhelming yourself!

  • Lianne Satterthwaite

    For running tracks, have a look on the Skinny Confidential, they have so many playlists on there, some great tunes and some new ones as well. Trick is not to listen to them till your actually running so then you keep going just that bit longer to hear the next song!

  • Beccy

    Well done on signing up for the half marathon! I used to run a lot, and did a half marathon myself, and wish I kept going Now I struggle when I go running, but I just need to get in the routine again.

    Oh, and as for those people who overtake you and don’t sweat, ignore them. They’re not real in my opinion!

    http://www.bluebellandbumpkin.blogspot.com

  • http://ivysmaquillagecove.com/ Divya

    Good going Anna x and as long as you outdo yourself everyday, who the * cares about whose non sweaty and overly swift! All the very best for this new venture.
    Some music and some much needed calorie burnt count is what keeps me going when it comes to ignoring those hurting legs and back

    ivysmaquillagecove.com

  • ScandiAnna

    Well done!

    I’m in a bit of motivational dip but your post cheered me up. I’m following a program, but it feels like I have hit a plateau.. >_< Any tips? Anyways, tonight I'm going to do the following program: 10 min power walking, (6 min running + 2 min walking)x3, 10 min power walking. My goal is to run 10K without pausing in 5 weeks.

    I will sign up for a half marathon in due time, just need to find a nice running event.

  • Alisa

    I ran my first half last month, and though I didn’t train nearly enough (too busy with midterms and papers), it was really fun. I was so nervous going in, because I didn’t feel fit enough, but once the race starts, you find people who are at the same pace you are and are just having fun. Good luck!

    P.S. One recommendation – add glutes and legs to your ab day. Your glutes and hamstrings will be the powerhouse muscles that will keep your legs going and prevent your form from suffering when you get into longer distances. it’s the one thing I wish I had worked more on before my race, because my lower back and knees hurt for weeks after the race. Purely due to weak running form.

  • Anna

    That motivates me quite a lot. You are the best Anna! Well done x

  • http://jodie-melissa.blogspot.co.uk/ jodie moores

    I never realised you studied psychology, I do too.. Yep, no one does tell you about the statistics do they! I have the roshe runs and they are so comfy.. Good luck with the marathon training xxx

    http://jodie-melissa.blogspot.co.uk/

  • http://papayapieces.com/ Sofia

    Wow well done! I swim a lot but am so rubbish at running. I always try and say I’ll run but end up going for too long a distance (and then don’t want to continue) when I know I should start off with say a mile like go and work it up from there. Thanks for the nice down to earth tips and I hope in a month I can say I’ve been doing the same :)
    When you do run the half marathon it must be an incredible feeling!

  • http://merredee.blogspot.com/ merredee

    Nice work! The other day I inhaled a bug whilst running, just something to look out for! I had to take a 5 minute break just to recover…

    merredee.blogspot.com

  • http://www.styleplayground.com/ Axelle | Style playground

    It’s great to hear that you are getting into running! I started running last year and, although it was hell at first, I am now completely addicted! Nothing beats that after run feeling, when you know you did really good! My best tip for you would be to get a heart monitor sensor (I have a Polar one). Although it is pretty expensive, it is so worth it as it tracks your heart beat, calories burned and all that jazz. It really helped me to improve and it’s great to check your heartbeat so that you don’t overdo it!
    Axelle
    Style playground

  • Carina Stewart

    Using the Nike+ App motivates me to run further. I love the prompts telling you just a little further and you’ll beat a previous record. Good luck with the training :)

    Carina | http://carstina.com/

  • Mady

    I started running with the “Zombies Run” app… Nothing get me as motivated as training for a zombie apocalypse and listening to good stories and music while escaping the undead ;) and it tracks the same things as the nike app which was too dull for me…

  • http://ljepotaaunaturel.blogspot.com/ Gospođica Marijica

    Glad you enjoy it. I myself could never get into running, but hey.

    http://ljepotaaunaturel.blogspot.com/2014/05/floods-in-croatia-bosnia-and-serbia.html

  • http://eleseaesthete.com Elese

    I love to run! I use the Nike + app sporadically and it motivates me heaps xx

  • Liz R

    If you ever get tired of music, listening to podcasts can be really fun too. There are so many categories and topics, I love history so I download those. You can really just zone out and listen to something interesting, sometimes i extend my run so i can finish listening!

  • Stephanie

    Good on you for doing this! I would even get to the part of agreeing to do it, haha!

    Stephanie

    http://missstephanieusher.blogspot.co.uk/

    http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3436251

    xxxx

  • http://www.alittlelucy.com Lucy Alex

    I love this post, I’m exactly the same when it comes to running, my stamina is awful but I need to do something to improve it! xx

    A Little Lucy

  • Juliana

    I should take this as motivation! I haven’t exercised since I left high school and the jeans are getting tighter….

  • Marta

    I’ve always hated working out with a passion, but it’s just gotten to a point when I couldn’t avoid it anymore – I’m 27, I spend whole weekdays glued to the computer and I love food way too much. I started running with Ease into 5K app (real baby steps), fully expecting I’ll never keep up with the running routine long enough to experience anything resembling runner’s high. It’s been 4 weeks, I’ve gotten to know my neighbourhood better, trying new routes in nearby forest every time and the whole thing makes me so ridiculously happy! So happy, that I stopped giving a damn about my beetroot face. Hey, I’ve seen a deer today, and if sporting crimson on my face is the price, I’ll pay it gladly;-)

  • MaquillageMagic

    I am really getting into running, I have signed up for the Brighton Half Marathon and am managing to run about 4 miles now! Still a very long way to go!!

    Laura xxx

    maquillagemagic.blogspot.co.uk

  • Joycelyn Steib

    Awesome!! Keep up the great work-out. This is a great helpful post and thanks for sharing with us. :)

  • Dagny Stefansdottir

    I always wanted to get into running, I do from time to time. Sadly not enough though, I live right next to a gorgeous outdoor paradise where it’s fantastic to run. I do yoga though and I usually to squats, abs and arms before and after each class which is 6 times a week.

  • JosieLovesShoes

    There’s nothing I hate more than working out (so lazy!) but I’m determined to do something for my health! You’re doing so well, well done! x

    http://www.josies-journal.com

  • http://finedestination.tumblr.com/ Hannah

    Just remember, all those skippy people passing you used to be huffing and puffing just like you. Keep it up!

  • mikaylaa.s

    so great that you have a plan, I’m just starting to work out, and it’s tough to find the motivation. This really inspired me!

    :)
    http://www.northernjoli.blogspot.com

  • http://yourstrulyjen.com/ Jennifer S

    I’m getting into running recently too! I need to sign up for a race, just to give me motivation to keep going with it. There are days when I’m lazy and make excuses for not doing it, but when I actually get my butt out there and do it, I feel so accomplished and less guilty about eating that pizza for dinner. Try to get off the sidewalks when you can–it’s hard on your knees!

    -Jen
    yourstrulyjen.com

  • Daisy797

    Hi Anna,I did two half marathons before. As I increased mileage, doing yoga once or twice a week helped a lot. My hip joints would get so sore once I started running beyond 8 miles. Give it a try if you can. Good luck!

  • Rena Blank

    Good Luck! I try running time to time but it never really works out I am much more of a swimmer! xx Rena Kiss and Make Up

  • OfficialSarah

    I just started running myself as I have never been able to due to a heart disease (av-node re-entry tachykardia, which as been fixed with a radio-frequency ablation around Halloween last year) and the movements while running weren’t good for me and triggered my heart problems. Not that I am well again I can finally train and started on the running machine at the gym, which I enjoy SO MUCH MORE than on the streets. Big plus: no one can see how slow you are actually going because no one can overtake you, ha.

  • http://shedreamsinperfectfrench.com/ Shani

    Ahhhh, not you, too! Everyone freaking runs! Even the French, who used to look askance at expats running, now run. I can’t run for more than 2 minutes without wheezing, but I also don’t enjoy it at all. Luckily, I have a bad knee, so I have a legit excuse to just say, no. ;)

    Shani x

  • http://www.totalmodisch.blogspot.co.uk/ Ruby@TotalModisch

    I decided that I’m going to get into running again and was just about to go when I saw this post! It’s like serendipity, haha! x

    http://www.totalmodisch.blogspot.co.uk

  • Charlotte Copeland

    You definitely aren’t wrong about psychology and nobody telling you about all the stats x

    http://www.blondecanvas.blogspot.co.uk

  • ashley pryde

    i tried to start running but motivation hit an all time low when uni deadlines cropped up sadly, definitely need to get back into it. you’re doing so well! xx

    peachyrobinsons.blogspot.co.uk

  • http://mividabonitaa.blogspot.nl/ Savannah Giersthove

    You’re really motivating me to start working out again! I’ve never heard of Fitness Blender before, their videos look very good!

    xoxo Savannah
    http://mividabonitaa.blogspot.nl/

  • http://www.vibrantbeautyblog.com/ Jennifer Monforton

    Ah, scary, but exciting! Good luck, Anna- sounds like you have some amazing resources and inspiration :)

  • http://kittnoir.com/ Kitt Noir

    Crikey well done you! x

    KittNoir.com

  • http://ellabellascrapbook.blogspot.com/ Antonella Zammit

    Good luck ! I like running but if it’s longer than 15 minutes I get just so bored :(

    http://ellabellascrapbook.blogspot.com/

  • Smecksie

    I hate running. But I’m in the vicious cycle that I get shin splints when I do and I get shin splints because my muscles aren’t used to running. So instead, I just watch videos and read blogs of people that run. And when I need to get my heart rate up, I watch that scary video where the scary zombie chick pops up.

    Seriously though, it really matters *where* you run more than anything. Give me a trail and a lot to look at and I can run for days. But put me on the pavement and I’m done before the mile marker hits.

  • Cassie

    I actually love running, I think it’s one of the best ways to feel healthy. I try to run a mile about three times a week.

    blushandfairydust.blogspot.com

  • Prettysnoopy

    I really want to get into doing more exercise, I walk a lot but don’t really do workouts, thanks for the beginner tips, will definitely try them out xx

    http://www.nellyandnoopy.wordpress.com

  • Mel

    I miss running but I can’t find the motivation to get back into it. The idea of getting up earlier than usual to fit in a run before work is nauseating.

    Good luck with the marathon! it sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

    http://www.raisethewaves.blogspot.com

  • Daniella

    fab! great for u!

    xx

    daniella

    simplybeautifulelegant.blogspot.com

  • http://luludarlingblog.wordpress.com/ LuluDarling

    I was never one to run.. ever !!! But a mth ago I did my first run, a week after, another, then another, and I have a next one coming up on Saturday. I really feel proud :)

    Best of luck with the marathon !!! :)

    http://luludarlingblog.wordpress.com/

  • Beth

    Love this post! Best of luck with your training!

  • http://acupofyansoon.blogspot.com/ deedee a

    this is great! i’m getting back into working out myself and just started doing barre workouts which are aaaawesome. i try and run as much as i can but running after my toddler serves its purpose, ha! but when i do get to running, i have britney spears’ “work bitch” on my “lovemyselfie” playlist! it really gets me pumping!

    good luck with the training!

    http://www.acupofyansoon.com

  • http://whatjessdoesnext.blogspot.com.au Jess Seymour

    Feeling a bit inspired after reading this!

    http://whatjessdoesnext.blogspot.com.au

  • http://www.inallofhersplendor.com johnna

    I’m a Pilates instructor and have a really challenging “Tank Top Arms” video- I would LOVE you to try it (below is the link) Good luck on your run!

    http://www.inallofhersplendor.com/2014/03/26/fab-arms-in-5-get-toned-tank-top-arms/

  • http://caramellattekiss.com/ Georgina

    I’ve taken to listening to podcasts when I run. I always thought I’d be a work-out playlist girl, and while I love pounding the pavements to a bouncy track, I find I totally zone out the fact I’m running with a podcast. I’m just concentrating on listening, and the I’ve done my run before I know it!

    Good luck with the rest of your training.

  • http://www.charlsramblings.blogspot.co.uk/ Charlotte

    Feeling very inspired now! I’ve been wanting to get into better shape for a while now, just to tone up and feel healthier. I shall be giving those ab workouts a go later X

  • nueyork

    I’m feeling inspired. Running is something I have a love hate relationship with. I love it while I’m doing it, but building up the motivation is so hard for me.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

  • http://www.toppsyturvy.com Toppsy Turvy

    Lol! Glad to finally have someone to commiserate with! The heat in Atlanta, Georgia makes it impossible to look anything approaching decent after my run.

  • Ania Spurdens

    Doing a Psychology degree at the moment, I know all about the joys of statistics! Really enjoyed this post!

  • http://brov.co/log Alexandra Brovco

    I love how honest you are about this. I’m trying to get back to running, and ouch. Can’t run more than half a block, and kinda feel like this after it. Appreciate the tips, and links to workouts!

  • Naomi Simons

    I love how funny you make everything seem- even dreaded running!

  • Samantha Jeffery

    Great post as always :) What headphones do you use? Music really motivates me too, I’d love to get into running and one of the things stopping me is not having the right headphones! Theres nothing worse than loosing your music halfway down the street haha! x

  • http://www.shiningaugust.co.uk Sam P

    Great post! I’ve been thinking of getting back into running – or at least some form of fitness – and this is great inspiration. I always get disheartened when I’m not instantly as fit as I used to be (I used to run about 30 miles a week, a loooong time ago) but I guess I have to just start from scratch and build up slowly. Maybe signing up for a big race will get me motivated too!

  • Rachel H

    You should make a post about your workout playlist!

  • Hayley

    Oh man, I’m literally sat at my computer with statistics notes and books scattered around me whilst I’m typing this! (Midterm on Friday, yuk). Love this post though, it’s giving me some extra motivation to run again. I used to be an avid runner but I’ve stopped all together after about the second year of uni and now when I attempt it I just get frustrated that I’m not at the same level I used to be; my brain has the same pace set in mind while my body barely struggles through the first kilometre. So yes, baby steps. Baby steps are in serious need.

  • Ella

    I really, really need to try something a little like this x

    ellabooxo.blogspot.co.uk

  • Cecília Alvares

    It really takes time to get to run without feeling like an ambulance should take you back home. You have to be persistent until you get your body use to it, after that taking days off won’t make you go back to that horrible first stage (I actually traveled for a whole month and had no problems catching my breath in my first run). But I have to congratulate you for the half marathon challenge… I personally never had the courage to face a run that might take more the 2 hours.

    p.s.: maybe you should consider leg workouts to prevent injuries.

  • Ashley

    Congrats on signing up for a half-marathon. I’ve done two half-marathons so far and I’m doing my third one in a couple weeks. I think it’s so awesome that you have a whole group of people to run the race with.

    xo Ashley
    lionslacelattes.blogspot.ca

  • Jessica Thoma

    Thanks for the Youtube workout recommendations! Gave the Sixpack Burnout a go yesterday and basically can’t move today but I feel like it’s worth it :D As to any music suggestions I recently did a blog post about my workout playlist, maybe have listen ;)

    jess-inretrospect.blogspot.com

  • http://www.pinupjet.com Marine T.

    I run too and your recommendations are great ! I love the Nike App. I feel so proud of myself once I’m done and I can see my progress. It pushes me to go further every time I run !

    Pin-Up Jet

  • Vivian

    Absolutely love to read your posts and watch your videos – you have a cheeky and witty writing style that I adore! Props to you for the dedication and that’s always what it is – one step at a time. I might just pop on a Blogilates workout after a bit more blog reading! Much love from Sydney x

  • Calope

    Anna, I was exactly where you are now just in December. I’m far from speedy, but still loving it! If you’re looking for a little inspiration I would recommend reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (you can read a snippet on Amazon to see if its for you). As for music look at ZZ Ward, Hozier, and Lost and Found by pretty lights (from the Divergent soundtrack). That last one gets me up hills when I would rather walk them~ Stay strong, and keep us up to date!!

  • Amyzz

    Anna you should definitely do a music post

  • http://www.reniqlo.co.uk Lucy

    I’ve just started training for a half marathon and the Nike app is great…You can’t beat a bit of Bonnie Tyler ‘I need a hero’ to help push you up those hills! Still working on the whole red and sweaty face look though!
    http://www.reniqlo.co.uk

  • http://olis-myme.blogspot.gr/ Olga Olis

    I took up running recently as well! I would love it if you gave any music reccommendations for running!