I’m 5 for 5 this August.
5 days, 5 workouts. I’m so happy! It feels so good to be sweaty and out of breath. I am doing everything in my power to make it fun so that I stick to it this time. And so far, so good! I am having fun. I look forward to working out every day. If you have fallen off the wagon and you can’t seem to re-motivate here are a few of the things that are working for me.
1. Get new shoes.
Running is not an expensive sport so invest in good shoes because truly it makes ALL the difference. You know the shin splints I was talking about in my last post? New shoes=goodbye shin-splints. I got my shoes on clearance but they are good shoes. Count on spending at least $50 for decent running shoes on sale. Off sale you are looking at closer to $100 but my mantra in life is that “there is always a sale”. $50 is still a lot of dough in my world but it’s less than $100. I’m sorry. I know it’s painful to spend money on un-pretty shoes or to spend money at all… but not nearly as painful as shin-splints. In the words of Nike (even though I wear Saucony these days)…Just Do It.
This is a great time of year to shop for workout clothing. If you are struggling with motivation to return to a program this can really, really help to spur you on. When you hate the idea of working out you are going to doubly the idea of doing it in nasty old sweatpants and a huge old t-shirt from college. I’m painfully frugal when it comes to buying clothing but I feel like getting nice quality running pants and a good bra is a great investment. This doesn’t have to be crazy expensive. I got nice looking very comfy sweat wicking technical Adidas workout pants at TJ Maxx for under $20. I am a very tactile person. When I go shopping, I Touch All The Things. If I especially like the feeling of a particular fabric I am going to go out of my way to touch it. These pants have good quality nice touchable fabric and I look forward to wearing them. PS: Every time I get all guilt stricken and stressed over spending under 20 bucks on myself for a pair of freaking running pants from TJ Maxx I consider the money I spend on soccer for my kids. Then I feel all angry and righteously indignant. Come on now.
PPS: Can’t end this section without specifically imploring my female readers to at least find a decent sports bra.
If good running pants are nice a decent bra is critical. Look running is tough enough. You don’t want to be thinking about/clutching/seeing your boobs hoving in and out of view when you run or hoping they don’t knock you or innocent bystanders out. True, a decent sports-bra can be upsettingly expensive. But… what have a told you? There is always a good sale. Find that sale and get yourself a solid over the shoulder boulder holder that can do the job quietly and effectively. Close your eyes, fork over that cash, strap those girls down good and then forget about them.
3. Refresh your playlist. People! Music is second only to running shoes in being Everything. If you are a natural, “born to run” blahblah runner then whatevs…go prancing forth in your funny little barefoot toe shoes with nothing but the sound of the wind and the twittering birds and your easy breathing in your ears and have a lovely time. If you are normal then you need music to drown out the sound of your ragged breathing. Hearing yourself breathing heavily is disconcerting and will make you feel tired even when you aren’t. So! Music! Do a little survey of your friends and family for their most motivating “get going” tunes and you might find a new power song. It’s also fun to ask friends you grew up with to remind you of songs from your shared glory days…the blast from the past will be an excellent distraction. Speaking of which.. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank AC/DC for Thunderstruck which has been a great motivator for me this week. You’ve been….. thunderstruck…yeah yeah yeah (good luck getting that out of your head for the next day or two. You’re welcome)
4. Use your music as a training tool while you are getting started. So now that you have your groovy playlist all ready to go consider really using it. Here’s the thing. Right now the goal (for me anyway) is simply to get back into the saddle. This means that you don’t want to be all intense and mean to yourself while you are still a fragile flower who is easily deterred. You need to ease yourself into it. It’s all about making good associations with exercise until it can become a rewarding habit again. So many people go all out the first day and then can’t walk again for a week or two and then the moment has passed. And whenever they think of working out they remember that time they couldn’t sit down on the toilet for a week without crying. Don’t be that person.
You know how I love an analogy. Think of yourself as a dog.
I took our dog to the vet yesterday. She’s only moderately dumb so of course at first she was not so keen to go inside. But from the second she walked in they were plying her with treats.
“ Hey Shemly come on in! Here’s a treat!” “Stand on the scale! Treat!” “Come into the exam room! Treat!” “ I’m going to hurt you now but first here’s a treat!” “ More pain now…treat!” She never wanted to leave. Once she was done with the vet himself the treats stopped abruptly but the fact remains that Shemly is now a vet addict. Even after the shots and an unfortunate incident with a grouchy little bitch who tried to bite her face off. (I love being able to say that without being profane.) Ah swearing..I’m sorrynotsorry I do rather love it…… Ok wait..where was I?
OK yeah so treat yourself like a dog. Leave yourself wanting more. Keep the treats coming baby. For me music is fun and motivating and rewarding. And so I’ve been using my playlist as a very lenient personal trainer.treat dispenser. Here’s my highly technical training system:
I put on a song….when it gets to a speedy motivational bit..I run….for as long as it is speedy and motivational. When it moves to a slower bit or the speedy part has been going on for too long, I walk. To be honest I do more running than walking this way because my playlist is pretty hyper. This is not necessarily good because I am a huge believer in the Jeff Galloway run:walk method for avoiding injuries especially when you are starting out. But if I feel like I have been running too long I just compensate by walking a little more later. Like I say, it’s all very technical. Yes I am a certified personal trainer actually, why do you ask? ;)
5. Keep your expectations low and slow.
I know. I know couch to 5K programs are much beloved of beginners and people who are trying to return to fitness so I won’t diss them for a minute. I’ve gone that way myself many times and indeed they have their place. But that wasn’t appealing for me this time. I’m a dog now. It’s got to be as fun as possible. Plenty of time for goals and pressure later. For the next month at least I am not timing myself. I am not measuring my distance. I mean, I know roughly how far I am going and I could probably go further without too much trouble but I’m not just yet. I’m romancing this whole fitness thing remember. Slow and easy baby. Let’s not scare anybody off. I have several reasons for this. I have had a lifetime of pain this last year and so I’m pretty invested in staying healthy and pain free for as long as I possibly can. I’m definitely not doing this for weight loss purposes either. I’m doing it because I CAN. I can finally move mostly without pain-what a gift! I’m doing it for a sense of reconnection to myself. I’m doing it so I can be less Mommy Dearest. I’m doing it because the weather is awesome and the trail is beautiful and time to myself is much, much needed. I’m never out for longer than 30 mins. And that’s been plenty.
If running/walking isn’t your speed try the Scientific 7 minute workout on for size. No matter how much you hate it-you can do it for 7 minutes. If running used to be your thing but it just seems tooooo haaaaard these days consider that Running 5 minutes a day can have a profound impact on your health. So start with just 5 minutes. It totally counts.
Any fun tips to add?
Adding this to WFMW at we are that family because so far…this is working for me.Tweet this!