I’ve had a lot of questions since I’ve lost weight from people wondering how I’ve done it. Aswell as a good diet, running has been a primary factor in losing the weight for me, and in this post I thought I’d give my experience and some helpful tips for beginners or anyone who wants to start a healthy lifestyle through running.
How I started
On 18th January 2017 I went out for my first run for two years. My last run was recorded in 2015 and boy had I fell out of shape in more ways than one. It was hard. Really hard, I could barely get down the road without feeling like I was genuinely going to be sick. But hey, that’s why we start these things right? To be better.
The photo above was my stats from my first run of the year. You can see I didn’t run far or fast, but it was a start. I then dabbled briefly into the Couch to 5k programme (which you can find online and on the app store) which I did with a friend a few times. However, being as impatient as I am, I did not want to wait 8 weeks to finish and so I began doing my own thing away from the programme. I would just run a bit longer every time and eventually I found a few routes I was comfortable with and worked from there. Personally I prefer to run a circular route where I don’t cover the same ground twice, but it’s not always possible.
At first I began running outside, but after I joined the gym I started to combine outdoor running with HIIT on the treadmill, fitness classes such as zumba & clubbercise and swimming. At the start swimming worked wonders for improving my cardiovascular strength without putting too much stress and strain on my joints. This helped with running as of course it made me fitter and I was able to run for longer.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to take your time in building up your running fitness. I have made this mistake so many times and have been crippled with shin splints and sore joints to the point where I’ve had to stop altogether – give up and end up right back to where I started.
Start yourself off with a couple of times a week. If you feel you can do more then great. But listen to your body. I honestly cannot say this enough! If you’re fatigued, rest. If something hurts, rest. You’ll only do yourself an even bigger injury. You won’t enjoy running and the whole thing just won’t work. Ok? Cool.
So tell me again how running is going to make me lose weight?
I used to think that doing exercise along with a healthy diet wouldn’t make much more of a difference than just focusing on eating well alone. Well I have been proved wrong since I started running. On a weekly basis I lose an extra pound more than the weeks where I don’t run.
In the beginning of course I was running to burn extra kcals. But as I got fitter, and stronger I found I was more motivated to get out for a run and I wanted to push myself, run faster and further. Running makes you feel fantastic. Which makes you more motivated and confident. You don’t want to pig out on crap when you’ve just killed yourself pavement pounding. I’ve also found that running suppresses my appetite, I don’t want to eat straight after a run – instead I am able to wait a bit and fuel my body with the right food. Another thing I love about running is that it carries on burning calories long after you’ve finished your run, and helps to boost your metabolism. Before running I only had to look at a takeaway and I’d put on a few pounds, now my metabolism is faster I can indulge every once in a while and it doesn’t have so much of a dramatic effect on me and I’m able to enjoy the nicer things in life because of it! Running makes you feel better… Mind, body & soul. I love being out on the road with my music giving my body the time it deserves.
What I run in
It’s really important to feel comfortable when you first start. It’s bad enough having to run in public (trust me I’ve been there, I know what it’s like) without worrying about your physical appearance. Personally I like to wear some high waisted gym pants as it keeps everything from wobbling around (if you have bits to wobble as I appreciate not everybody does lol!). I like mine to be quite tight as there’s nothing worse than pants that slip down whilst on your run! As a naturally bigger busted woman, I like to, and still do wear two bras. A non-underwired bra underneath and then a sports bra on top – it just helps to make sure the ladies don’t go anywhere, y’know. In the beginning I wore a very loose fitted t-shirt that was lightweight and airy so that I didn’t know I had it on, and I’d recommend that for beginners and it is ultimate comfort and you won’t be paranoid about people looking at you. Now the weather is a bit warmer and I’ve shed a bit of timber – I run in a vest as it keeps me cooler.
As far as trainers are concerned I wear the Asics GT-2000 3 shoes and I find them really comfortable. Nice and lightweight with a good amount of padding and support. I used to wear Nikes but found they lacked support and contributed to shinsplints. I’d recommend being fitted with proper trainers if you can as it does make a difference.
Other useful equipment
I really like to wear overhead (is that what they’re called? No idea, pic below) headphones when I’m running because it eliminates the issue of headphones falling out of ears and unnecessary distractions. I put them on at the start and they don’t budge, which I like 👍
As far as my phone is concerned I use a running arm band thing – nice technical term. At first I was putting it down one of my many sports bras but this became impractical and I like it being on my arm as the headphones attach easier and I know it’s in a safe place and not going to fall. The particular one I use had a slot for a house key too which I found useful although I’ve not tried it with a car key yet.
I also like to wear my fitbit when running as I can record my route, pace etc which comes in really handy for improving. Having it on my wrist is easier too as I can check how I’m doing along the way without having to look at my phone. I also used to use the Runkeeper app but I’ve recently switched to strava after I had a few issues with Runkeeper not recording properly. It’s really nice to see how far you’ve come after a while. I can now (almost) comfortably run 3 miles and have my first 5k event coming up in July. Currently I’m starting to train for my next milestone which is 10k.
I never thought I would be into running again, I really love it and I can’t thank it enough for helping me get back into shape and drop some much needed weight. I encourage anyone who’s been thinking about trying it to start. It’s so easy and doesn’t require much equipment or a gym membership (unless you want to do other things too of course).
If you have any questions you’d like to ask me I’d be more than happy to answer them. Like I said I’ve written this blog post to answer some questions I’ve already had from people and I hope it inspires at least one person 🙂
To follow my progress you can do so on instagram.com/_slimminglucy_
Thanks for reading & good luck in your journey x