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.