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.
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.