health

5 easy ways to become a runner this winter.

Nat mid run

By NATALIA HAWK

I feel like everyone I know has suddenly remembered their fitness-related New Year’s resolutions and signed up for some kind of running event. And it’s not like there’s a shortage to choose from: the City 2 Surf, the Blackmores Running Festival, the Colour Run, the Neon run, Tough Mudder, Bridge to Brisbane, the Melbourne Marathon, the Perth half marathon… they’re just a handful of the events that are scheduled to happen around Australia in the next couple of months. (And if you’re yet to sign up for something and want to check out what’s near you – click here.)

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by The Athlete’s Foot. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words. 

I’m not sure why all these running events are scheduled to occur right as we’re transitioning out of winter and into spring. Maybe to shock us into getting our butts into gear after we’ve spent a good few months watching Game of Thrones and mainlining soup and saying things like, “the calories in hot chocolate don’t count if it’s less than ten degrees!”

I’ve signed up for three events thus far – the Blackmores Bridge Run, the Sydney Colour Run and the Sydney Neon Run. Separately, they’re all relatively short distances – 9km, 5km and 5km respectively – but if you add them all up, they total 19kms, which makes me sound a lot more impressive so let’s go with that. I’m doing a 19km run. Over several weeks. Cough. Cough.

And I’ve downloaded all the running and training apps. I’ve got a pair of brilliant running shoes (fit by experts at The Athlete’s Foot) and a heavy-duty sports bra. I have the magnesium powder, the multivitamins and I know all the right stretches to do after a run so I don’t wake up walking like Frankenstein.

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I’m prepared in every sense of the word. But now the only challenge is now actually sticking to my training routine so that I don’t get bored, forget about it, and find myself on the start line in a month’s time frantically trying to remember how to put one foot in front of the other. So here are the steps I’m taking to become a runner this winter:

1. Make exercise your Non-Negotiable Thing.

You know your Thing. Everyone’s got one. The thing that you won’t possibly negotiate out of, because – to you – it’s just not negotiable. Maybe it’s your weekly lunch with your grandparents. Maybe it’s your fortnightly date night with your partner at your favourite hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Maybe it’s Tuesday nights, when you take great pleasure in sitting on the couch with a bowl of spaghetti carbonara and watching back-to-back episodes of Geordie Shore.

Whatever it is – take exercise and make it your non-negotiable thing. Treat every run like an appointment with a specialist that you’ve had booked in for months. If you somehow manage to convince yourself that you absolutely can’t miss a fitness session, you won’t find yourself coming up with excuses to get out of it.

2. Find yourself an exercise buddy.

If you fail to exercise but nobody knows about it… did you really fail? You know, tree falls in a forest and all that. It’s hard to hold yourself accountable to things. I am way too soft on myself. If I have the slightest stitch, if I have a tiny bit of a period pain, if I had a bad sleep the night before… no exercise for me.

The trick is to find yourself an exercise buddy that is a complete hardarse. The kind of person that will just offer you a spoonful of concrete if you try to make excuses that you both know are complete bullshit. I have one of these friends and she is very, very mean to me when it comes to making me go to the gym. But she’s also very, very nice to me when we end up having a great workout – so it’s all worth it in the end really.Nat lacing up

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3. Remember to mix it up.

Cross-training is a fancy phrase for “doing different kinds of exercise”. And it’s beneficial in so many ways; it’ll ensure that you’re working out different muscle groups, it’ll decrease your chances of injury, and it’ll ensure that you don’t get bored doing the exact same workout every day.

As well as running, I do a different type of cardio DVD (Zumba and Brazil Butt Lift are my favourites), touch footy, a day of swimming and a day of yoga.

4. Find your happiness and incorporate it.

What makes you happiest? What lights your heart up that little bit more? Figure that out, and incorporate it into your training. I find running that little bit easier when I’m making my way along the boardwalk at the beach, watching a spectacular sunrise or sunset, focusing on breathing in the salty ocean air rather than thinking about how unfit I am and how embarrassing it would be to pass out in front of everyone at Bondi beach…

5. Set realistic goals so you can keep saying… #IDIDIT!

There’s not much point in setting a goal to be able to run from Brisbane to Sydney if you currently can’t even run across the street. It’ll only set you back. If you continue to set realistic goals, you’ll stay motivated and be able to keep saying – #IDIDIT!

The Athlete’s Foot has a new website and they’re running the #IDIDIT competition – giving away weekly prizes of new running shoes all through this running season. If you post a picture of your own #IDIDIT moment, you can win a pair of very amazing running shoes to help you kick (maybe literally) those goals.

Check out some of the #IDIDIT photos I’ve been posting…

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Have you signed up for a running event in the coming months? How are you training, and how are you staying motivated? Any other tips on how to become a runner this winter?

If you’d like to sign up for an event but don’t know where to start – check out the Athlete’s Foot website here. And don’t forget to enter their #IDIDIT competition for your chance to nab a brilliant new pair of shoes.

Comments on this post are for this post only. If you have questions or comments about this product or about sponsored posts in general please email [email protected] or visit our frequently asked questions page here.

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