Thursday, May 12, 2016

5 Tricks for Getting Hooked on Running


I'm new to this, I know, but I also have the attention span of a hummingbird when it comes to anything but teaching and reading so the fact that I've been on fire for running for over a month is a good sign.

Here are my hints for getting hooked:

1. Find a time of day you like to get out of the house. For me, in hot-ass Texas, it's definitely as early in the morning as I can swing. Typically that's around 7:45, after I've dropped my kiddo off at school. As we creep into summer, I may resort to getting up at 5 a.m. to get it done before the sun starts blazing.

2. Find a route you like. I'm all about city streets. I don't care for walking on tracks or treadmills because boredom will take me down quick. I'd rather see scenery passing by. As it is, I have a specific route around my small town with lots to see, and a nice mix of uphill and down with the downhill slide taking me home at the end of my workout.

3. Speaking of routes, find a short one and a long one! I use my long route for my morning walking/running, and I have a short route for when I feel a burst of energy during the day or if I start getting stir crazy. A trip around my block is almost exactly 1,000 steps, so if I want to push myself on a daily FitBit challenge or just get out for some air, I'll circle the block until I'm ready to stop.

4. Make a couple of ass-kicking playlists! I need muuuusic. If it's a walking day, I can get by with podcasts, but if I'm running, I need a wicked beat. I recently ditched my subscription boxes (makeup, comics) and picked up a premium subscription to Spotify. I've crafted a couple of my own playlists, and I occasionally listen to Spotify's tailored running playlists. I also like that with a premium subscription I get unlimited skips, so I can romp through any playlist at my whim.

5. Buy some running clothes. I downplayed this aspect of running to myself for a while. I spent a good four weeks in ratty tees and sweatpants. That was fine when it was cool outside, but now that the weather is heating up, I really want some capri-length leggings, and even though my arms have always been a point of self-consciousness, I do not care. I NEED TO BE COOL. Hello, tank tops!

What are your tips for getting motivated to work out? 

29 comments:

  1. I am one of those weird people who just isn't running with music. I mean, I do it sometimes (especially on race days). But overall it doesn't distract my brain enough the way audiobooks or podcasts do so I just end up listening to the voice in my brain telling me to stop.

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    1. I know alllllll about the distraction. On walking days I often do podcasts and audiobooks, but on running days the beat keeps me going. Not weird! It's all about what distracts us. That word is SPOT ON.

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  2. You are just like my sister - she loves new work out clothes, especially fun, pretty ones(says they push her to work out more). I'm starting to think maybe she's right, since she seems to work out more than I do. And I am with you when it comes to music. I need good music to work out to or else. I think its awesome how much you've fallen in love with running :) Go Andi!!

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    1. I'm a clothes horse in general, so I'm surprised at myself that I waited so long to get on the workout clothing bandwagon. I think at the beginning I really didn't feel good about my body so I thought why bother. I do find that just as buying everyday clothing that fits and looks flattering on me makes me feel good, so does having nice workout gear. Plus, they're so functional! As the weather has gotten hotter, they are an absolute must for me. Thanks, Nadia! <3

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  3. YAAASSSSS!!!! This is so awesome, Andi!! Boy, you're already way ahead of the game; the fact that you have been able to recognize what it is that you enjoy (and don't enjoy) is a huge step (no pun intended) along the way and will help you continue to find the pleasure in your activity. Um, yes, 5 am will definitely need to become a viable option; it'll still be HOT AS HELL, but there's something a little less "hot" about running in the pre-dawn morning. My running is not always "fun," but the sense of accomplishment (I'm running when I could be in bed! I'm chasing my goals! I rock!) outweighs any of the not fun stuff; also, it's really great to start my day with that time to myself. I'm so proud of you!!

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    1. Hahaha, I love a pun. "Run" with it. Pun totally intended. :) I am soooo not looking forward to the mornings when it's 90 before the sun comes up, but the sun is what really gets me. Can't handle it beating down. And I keep throwing that word "fun" around without really meaning to. Chasing goals, feeling the motivation to do this thing is fun to me because I'm sooooo Type A. LOL I think there might be a post in there somewhere.

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  4. I'm on my 3rd run since you inspired me Andi! I need to work on my Spotify game for sure. I had a sweet playlist going last year when I was trying to run with some Beastie Boys/90s rap that I need to get back together. You are doing so great!

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    1. GO AMANDA GO! So proud of youuuuu! Getting out there for the first few runs is so effing hard. I'll share my playlists with you if you'd like. One has some rap and whatnot, the other is sassy women exclusively.

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  5. You are the perfect person to write this post! I've seeing/reading your enthusiasm for running this past month! I love listening to podcasts while I run and running outdoors during a Texas summer?! WOW! I can't even imagine. I will make one suggestion, though. Last summer, I trained for a sprint triathlon and I really enjoyed my bike rides on those super hot and humid days. The wind you get from being on the bike makes it more bearable than running. Maybe think about subbing in some bike rides this summer when it gets really bad!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! Yeahhh the outdoor Texas running is gonna be a beast. I will totally have to get up early, and David is planning to bring his treadmill up from his family home in Central Texas for us to use, and that will be a lifesaver. Love the bike idea! I need to find one with a fairly comfortable seat. As if that exists in life. lol

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  6. This is great, Andi! It's important to figure out what you like so you can stick with it. I love running on the track at the local park and don't mind the treadmill (in the winter). I make sure to have a great playlist for when I run on the treadmill, but I am weird and prefer not to listen to any music or anything when I run outside. It's just time for me to clear my head and focus on my breathing and my pace. I get distracted too easily, too. Lol. I definitely prefer to run early in the morning - it's just a great way to start the day. And give me all the new running clothes! It took me awhile to start acquiring new clothes, but now I think I buy them more than regular clothes. ;) And I tend to wear them around the house, too, especially the leggings. SO COMFY!

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    1. I can definitely see needing the playlist indoors more than out. It's easier to quiet my brain when I'm moving past something rather than standing in the same place in my house. That takes BIG distraction. I'm definitely finding that I love wearing my running clothes in the house. I got a couple of capri-length, yoga-style pants that are great for running and working from home.

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  7. Love your last tip. A couple of years ago I started splurging on good running shoes and they've made such a difference. But sadly I'm still wearing the same workout clothes that I've been wearing for YEARS. I was just thinking the other day that I need to treat myself to something other than old ratty tshirts and worn out capris. Like REAL workout clothes. LOL!

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    1. Point 5 is totally true. I don't run right now (I have wicked shin splints and need to work back up to it) but I bought some new yoga clothes and I just want to go to yoga ALL THE TIME Now to wear them, lol.

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    2. Definitely treat yoself, Trish! Kohls and Old Navy have had some really cute stuff lately. Buying good running shoes was the BEST thing I ever did for myself. EVER.

      SarahBeth, I know the feeling! I need to get into a regular yoga practice. I have the clothes for it!

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  8. I'm married to a runner so there's some self imposed pressure for me to like running. All me, not from him. I've always been a walker and enjoy walking and doing races. I did the couch to 5k thing just to prove to myself I could do it. I did some races and placed in my age group which was my goal. I even did a half marathon that I ran about 2/3 of and walked the other third. Met my goal of the finish time on that.

    But for me - it's just not my thing. I gave running a full two years of my life and did it, met my goals and hated every single minute of it. I still love to walk but for me the exercise of choice is the rowing machine. I loved using the rowing machine at the gym but I hated going to the gym. We bought a rowing machine last year and I still love it. I enjoy it and have a great training program that I use and when I need to get outdoors I hit the bike/walking paths in my neighborhood and head out for a walk.

    I think the important thing is to figure out what works for you and what exercise you enjoy. If it's running - that's great. If it's something else, that's great too.

    I love how much you're enjoying this and I'm so stinkin' proud of you for what you're doing for your health and for your family. You Rock.

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    1. For years, for me, it was biking at the gym. When I was in college there was a stationery on the third floor looking out over the lacrosse practice field, and I could get lost watching that for hours. We bought an indoor bike for me years ago, but it just didn't have the same appeal. Without being able to watch something to get lost in it wasn't magic anymore. So far running is definitely flipping my switch, so we'll see if it sticks for the long term!

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    2. Yep - gotta have something to watch or boredom sets in pretty quick with the indoor stuff. My ipad and Netflix go perfectly with my rowing machine.

      I love that running is working for you. Even if it doesn't stick for the long term the routine of doing something good for your body will.

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  9. I miss running. Before we moved, I loved it so much. We used to live just up the street from a city part with great trails, which was in the same parking lot as my library. That was a second home. Now it's a longer drive away and I find myself just walking around the neighborhood instead. This injured foot doesn't help, and I only ran once or twice the entire year we were in Boston. One day, I'll get back to it, when it won't aggravate my foot.

    I do admit, though, I hated listening to music while I ran. I found that my pace would change with the songs, and I'd get annoyed. After awhile, I took to listening to audiobooks, and my pace was much more even (and faster) when I was engrossed in a book!

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    1. I love that the experience and what works is so different depending on the person. The park with trails sounds amazing. I'm pretty much confined to my town, which is small, so I can cover a majority of it in one walk or run (a crazy thought). I think the music helps me not get too bored with the scenery, though I'm pretty persnickety with my music choices on any given day. For walking days I can definitely get on with a podcast or two or an audiobook. I think I'm going to listen to Amy Poehler next.

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  10. I really don't like walking or running because of the boredom thing too but I've found that audiobooks help me get through a walk. I just have to be careful to pick something with a gripping plot. I tried doing an audio version of a Queen Victoria bio and it did not work. ;)
    I bought some nice new walking shoes too but it turns out that the ones I got are not friendly with my arches. I'm not going to give up though because I really do feel better when I walk regularly -- and I'm determined to get 10,000 steps more than a couple of times a year. You are a definite inspiration for that!

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    1. Ohhh, I bet the Victoria bio was not good for that purpose. I hate that the shoes didn't work out. I'm always afraid when I buy a new pair that it'll take me too long to discover what doesn't work that I won't be able to take them back. Thank you re: inspiration! I've become quite the competitive person when it comes to step count. I have no idea how that happened.

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  11. Good tunes and running clothes are key -- and I couldn't believe how much better I liked running after replacing my decade-old sneakers with brand-new running shoes that a super-helpful employee at a specialty store helped me choose. Lately, though, I've fallen off the wagon; I've been so stressed and busy that whenever I have downtime, I just want to read in my bed. Of course, running would probably help me feel less stressed, so it's quite the catch-22 :P

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    1. Girl, yes. The difference the shoes make...unbelievable. I'm glad you found some good ones, and I hope life straightens out so you can get back to it if that's what you want to do! Definitely a catch-22!

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  12. Great inspirational ideas!

    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com

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    1. I don't run, but walking with a friend always helps me. Walking and talking.

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    2. Thanks, Deb! I've thought about running or walking with friends, but I prefer to huff and puff alone. lol For now.

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  13. I love this! #5 is especially true for me. It seemed silly to fixate on what I looked like when running, so I held out at first, but I find I'm more likely to put workout clothes ON (and then actually go out and workout) if I have clothes I like. I need to get better about taking those short midday bursts of energy and translating them into short runs or walks; I tend to get caught up in the "if I don't have an hour, I can't go out" mentally, which can be counter-productive on busy days.

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  14. I started running in February and the kickstart was a combination of getting a Fitbit and having my rheumatologist comment that I'd been steadily putting on weight for the last 7 years. Yeah. But keeping it up is the real key, as you say, and your points are great. I've been using http://gb.mapometer.com to gradually increase the distance of my running routes and stay as off-road as possible. Having the Fitbit definitely guilts me into making time for running where before I might not have bothered.

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