Build yourself a time machine and hurtle back prior February 2020. Ask politely if I want to start running. Be prepared for a bemused scoff and a hearty laugh because me – actually choosing to pound pavements and get sweaty outside of the bedroom? No bloody way, hun.
I too am surprised therefore of my new reality. Hi, I am a runner.
I now steadily complete 5K’s and race around Salford Quays in the wind and the rain. I whip around Ordsall Park in a pair of shorts and dash through puddles in long leggings which make my butt pop. I choose to run to work instead of potentially getting fined (again) on the tram. I forced myself to run during my period this month and the aftermath was mental. Honestly, who is she, and when will it stop?
I am no professional. In fact, I have not been running long enough to even pronounce myself as an amateur. But I am a runner. I find the cardio ridiculously beneficial, with blood pounding in my ears and the shortness of my breath hanging me out to dry. I feel like I have pushed my body to limits I was unaware of.
My body aches gallantly and I am ruddy proud when I return home and guzzle water down my gullet. I have never felt this sense of accomplishment when it comes to exercise before, and I do not want it to stop.
Over the past couple months, I have started to pick up some handy tips, cheat codes (which might not work as well as Motherlode) and genuine ways to improve the overall enjoyability of rot being able to breath in public.
1 – Podcasts and Audiobooks over music
Fair enough, Freak On A Leash by Korn, or Barbie Girl by Aqua on repeat for 45 minutes might be your thing. I however, prefer not to know that is has only been 3 or 4 minutes since I last stopped for air. Podcasts and Audiobooks therefore are great ways to ease your mind out of your body and focus on an outside influence.
I personally find my Audible Subscription gives me the goods. I have just finished Douglas Adam’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and am now tearing through Blood Of Elves (the first Witcher novel). Swap your music out: game changer.
2 – Invest yourself in trainers
I used to think painful ankles and shin-splints were a myth, but after lapping in my old Nike Pegasus and feeling the burn; I knew it was time for a change.
I now run in these New Balance 1080v10 in Black with Outerspace. It is like walking on sunshine (wooaah). They are springy and supportive, sleek and light. I feel no pain, only bounce. I adore how they mould to my feet and how they protect from major impact. I have never been attracted to a shoe before – maybe this is my true sexuality?
The guide to a good shoe is different for everyone; whether intermediate or expert; whether you will be participating in cross-country or road running. Other factors include your age, your height, other exercise you participate in and whether you are going for gold, or are happy taking the bronze place.
Do your research, find your jam.
3 – Use a recording app
Along with being a running wanker, I am also now a Strava star. Whether it is my early morning swim or late night Parkrun, Strava has all my workouts neatly and chronologically lodged. The app itself is dead simple to navigate – press record and you are off.
I find Strava to be a mass hub of motivation. I am able to earn virtual medals for PB’s. I can plainly see which roots are my strengths and which ones I am shit at. I can monitor my ability to speed up, and also pit myself against my favourite Instagram runners. I am a big Strava fan. Come and find me here.
4 – Run with a goal
Now, hold your horses. I am not telling you that your eyes should be peeled and your mouth should be foaming for the chance to run a marathon in the next couple months. What I am attempting to project instead is that running is easier when you have something in mind that you wish to achieve.
It may be that you want to complete a 5K every week, with each one bringing you more joy and ease than the last. You might want to increase your stamina; improve your breathing; feel healthier and fitter; tone your bum; get calfs the size of Spain. Whatever you want; make it an achievable goal. Try not to get caught up in ambition; start small and grow.
Hi, I am a runner, and I am not sure whether I will ever fall out of love.