Last night I had all my running clothes laid neatly on my dressing table with the full intention to put them under my morning baggy dog walking clothes and strip like a Superhero on my return to set off around my village. Sadly nature got the better of me and decided it would rain hard continuously, so I’ve taken it as a hint to catch you up to speed instead.
What I’ve been hiding from camera on my YouTube channel for the last five months is that I have a sports injury; in fact, I still do. It’s located toward the right waist next to the spine and was originally advised to avoid exercise for a month (no problem!), then I had an ultrasound scan and four blood tests, yet everything was normal which was sort of a relief. But alas, the groaning waist/spine is still here and this month I thought enough was enough as my new trainers have barely had a beating this year where as this time last year, I was the fittest and most toned I’d ever been in my life. I miss her a little.
If something upsets my halo-routine, I can find it hard to get back in to it when fitness is concerned; this is a main factor of why I don’t join gyms any more. I much prefer exercise on my terms, in my home and no one to distract or deter me. Why bother wasting time packing a bag and travelling to work out on machines when I can just pop up a YouTube video, sweat and smell in front of a one dog audience and jump straight in to the shower, all while my breakfast is cooking. And the added bonus is that it’s all free; just buy your equipment, make a schedule and stick to it.
As for running, there are all kinds of paraphernalia on the market, but surprisingly, you don’t need a lot of it, or at least I don’t. I prefer to wear my light but thermal long sleeve Campri top which was as cheap as chips in the Sports Direct sale and perfect for most weather conditions. On a colder day, I just pop over my light short sleeved Berghaus jacket and peel off when needed and occasionally wear gloves if it is bitter outside. However, I don’t tend to run far away from home if I’m unsure about the transitional weather and have been known to run past my house, chucking excess layers over my garden fence or on my track if I’m in a secluded park (no valuables in the pockets of course). Then out comes my no-sweating capri leggings with key pouch by HIND, Karrimor trainers and most importantly of all, my ShockSock phone holder that straps to my arm and any kind of comfortable earphones. My Bluetooth headphones are generally better in my opinion as there’s less chance of yanking them out of my ear, but it’s not funny when they run out of charge or you need to sync them up again when all you want to do is just get out the door and go.
If you are a stranger to running, then my absolute favourite way to start is by following the NHS running plan, Couch to 5k. It is totally free and you’ll just need to download the podcasts from their site directly on to your your phone and embrace your first run. There are many apps as an alternative where you can listen to your own music, but I prefer the NHS random music and NHS Laura guiding you through with running tips, like she’s holding my hand.
I originally completed the plan earlier in the year and it really is that brilliant; I tip my hat to anyone that successfully encourages me to work out. But playing it safe, last week I thought I’d start at the beginning again and as usual, take my collie with me and Instagrammed it! Don’t be fooled that repeating it will be easy; I can run faster now, so I naturally pushed myself further than the old Vikkie who thought she couldn’t run for peanuts. Although pizza at the end of the finishing line would be much more appreciated!
The next morning, it was a great feeling when my joints felt more open and flexible while my bum and thigh muscles felt a little pulled. I also managed to fit another run in that week after gaining more confidence, (although it is suggested to do the scheme three times a week with days off in between), so I dipped in to the highest accolade of week 9. To my amazement, I completed it without stopping and just paced myself through a 4 mile run.
Another great tip I would suggest if you’re starting out too is to install the free app, Endomondo. There are many others, but I found it was one of the best for progress stats, calorie burning info and general activity. You could technically keep your phone on you all day with an activity tracker app running in the background, but be warned, they can sap the life out of your battery. Because of this, I now have wear a Fitbit Charge HR which independently tells me how many miles I’ve run, calories I’ve burnt, my heart rate, flights of stairs etc, all with the touch of a button on my wrist.
And once you’ve got your first run out of the way, and by this I mean got over the paranoid feeling that everyone’s staring at you, you’ll soon realise you were just being silly.
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