Hey friends! How’s your day going? Hope it’s a good one because the weekend is allllllmost HERE! I am super excited because my son is coming back home from visiting family in California, and we have another week of Fall break to do “October” stuff together! But today I wanted to share with you all how I got back into running again.
After talking about some of my favorite Fall things in this post, I realized how much I missed running. Living in Arizona, extended summer runs are not an option unless you start before 5 AM. With my husband deployed, I didn’t really have the luxury of leaving the kids at home and enjoying an early morning jog. And running during the day in 110 degree weather was simply unbearable.
So we had to wait for cooler temps. And they are finally here!
The fact that Fall is traditionally a busy race/5K season is another huge motivator. While I enjoy running for health benefits, participating in a 5K has always been a dream of mine. Time to check that item off a bucket list!
If you’re like me and you waited to start running again after a summer break, read on about my strategies. I hope they will help you ease back into this activity without injuries and still have fun. As always, remember that I am not a certified professional. Check with your doctor before starting a new activity.
This is probably the biggest problem moms have. Remember though, physical activity is what feeds your energy (and mood) and it sets a wonderful example for your kids. So if you can’t leave your kids at home, get creative. Take them with you! They might enjoy it more than you expect!
(Maria’s shoes are PLAE, mine are Brooks)
My kids often come along on my runs. Dmitri rides his bike and Maria tags along in a stroller. They both absolutely enjoy being outside!
Lately Maria has been asking to get out of the stroller and run along with me. This two year old has got some speed, you guys!! And Dmitri recently joined a running club at school. He now wants me to take him to school early so he can get a few laps in. I’m a proud mama!
OK, so truth be told running with kids may not be the same relaxing experience. But we always have so much fun together and create lots of special memories! I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you have a pretty trail around your house? Do you live near a lake or a park? Our beautiful desert landscape is partially responsible for luring me back into running again. It’s quite unreal to see all the desert cacti up close as you run.
You can use an app such as Couch-to-5K to track your miles and pretty soon you will know by heart how many miles is in that loop around your neighborhood.
Every once in a while I like to mix it up and take different routes to keep things fresh. It’s always fun to see how far you can go!
Use Run/Walk/Run method
So for the past week I have been following the walk/run/walk/run method. Basically you alternate walking and running sprints based on a training schedule (or you can simply listen to your body for cues!). If you want to learn more about this method, check out Dr. Calloway’s page. He shares a ton of inspiring photos and helpful info to get you up and running (pun intended).
This method is similar to Couch to 5K program I used when I first got into running. Check out my Beginner’s Guide to Running post for more info.
Don’t overdo it
When you get back into running again the temptation is to push yourself too much. As many of you know, that’s a sure way to get injured or lose interest in sport altogether. Do yourself a favor by taking it easy and listening to your body. Even a simple walk or a slow paced jog is better than same time spent on a couch 🙂 So you’re already doing something good for yourself. Don’t over-do it.
It will take time and consistency to build up your endurance level and aerobic performance. Remember, you not only train your muscles during a run. You also train your heart and blood vessels to pump blood more efficiently, allowing more oxygen to be delivered to muscles and organs. Not something you can achieve in one day.
Remember to spend several minutes stretching your legs after a run. I always feel it when I forget (or don’t have time) to stretch. My muscles feel tighter the next day. In that case a warm bath will help with healing.
I also make sure “not” to run every day. It seems counter-intuitive if you’re training for a 5k or a marathon. You just want to run every day to reach your goals, right? The truth is, you will wear your body out and make it more prone to injuries. Days off will help prevent injuries and let your body and chance to recover.
Last week I only ran 3 times. On my off-days I focus on yoga and strength training. You need strong muscles in your hamstrings, glutes, quads, and also your upper body to hold you up. When my core is weak, I tend to hinge forward and my breathing is affected. So don’t neglect your core either!
Be patient with yourself
I started running again just a few weeks ago and it was pretty shocking how much my performance deteriorated during the summer break. I am learning to be patient with myself (probably thanks to studying yoga and the concepts of respecting your body).
Sometimes it’s not all about the goal (like finishing 5K). Sometimes it’s about enjoying the process. Live in the moment and appreciate what your body can do. You’ll get to your goal, trust me, but with way less stress over it!
Enjoy the process
What makes running fun for you? What motivates you? When you get to the finishing line of that 5K, what will you remember about the training process? Those all are the questions I ask myself while running.
For me, it’s the fact that I am doing something good for my body. Physical activity, especially the one you enjoy, prolongs your life, keeps diseases at bay and elevates your mood.
I also hope to set a good example for my children. We often talk about health and importance of staying active. I like to practice what I preach and get my kids involved whenever possible.
As an old Chinese proverb states:
Tell me, I’ll forget
Show me, I’ll remember
Involve me, I’ll understand
I rest my case 🙂
Find your groove
Nothing fires up my engines more than loud upbeat tunes blasting through my ear buds during a run. Lately I’ve been playing HandClap on repeat, but I really need to work on building up my playlist.
Friends, please share with me your favorite songs for running and workouts! What do you like listening on your runs? Do also tend to get back to running again in the Fall?
If you found this post helpful, feel free to Pin it to your board and share with friends. Let’s inspire others to stay active and healthy!
Have a beautiful day!