As I'm typing this (Thursday) I'm lying in the couch, a berry tartlet next to me and the only exercise I'm getting is through the act of balancing the laptop on my stomach (that is full of takeaway, champagne and treats. I had a good day.) The point I'm making is that I'm currently not feeling very exercise-y at all at the moment. However I promised myself that I would sit down and write a little bit about what I've learnt so far in the process of running when I've reached halfway through my schedule. Which happens to be now, sooo... I hope this is at least vaguely interesting. I originally wrote a much longer post and then realised that there will never be anyone, ever, who will manage to get through all of it without yawning, so I've now split it up in two parts. The next installment will be published in a week or so.
Equipment - One of the better things about running is that you can do it with relatively little preparation. However, decent running shoes are a must. I'm not saying that you have to spend a huge amount on them, but they need to be comfortable and they need to fit your feet well. You know what's shallow and really shouldn't make a difference? Clothes. Two years ago I ran wearing old sweats and t-shirts. And a normal bra (TMI). It's not that you can't run in those clothes, but they're a lot less comfortable and feel slightly heavier and more limiting. I now run in super tight running trousers with about a million air-holes and although the act of putting them on is about as exhausting as the running itself, I do think they've made running a lot easier. Lastly, I recommend getting an armband to hold your phone while you're running. It leaves your arms free for flailing or other running-related activities.
Schedules - I don't know about you guys but I am the kind of person who needs a schedule. I found my beginner's running schedule here (and I've used it before so I know it works) and I follow it religiously. When I'm nearing the end of my run and my feet are sore and in general I just want to lie down and die, I think "the schedule says I should be able to do it, so I have to". Is this really a sign of unhealthy mental activity, my obedience to a schedule? I don't care, because it works for me. My boyfriend's sister ran this schedule with me in 2011 and in six days she's running her first half-marathon. Behold, the power of the schedule.
Apps - This is oh so high-tech. Apps are good because they allow you to keep track of how far you've run. I'm not a very competitive person (unless we're talking about Scrabble or other life-changing games) but even I like to compare my run against a previous one and note that I actually improved, even though I feel like the sweatiest and most exhausted gross person in the world. I use RunKeeper, which is great because it allows you to create activities. Cue example; I've just finished the schedule for week 4 which means that I had to run for five minutes and then walk for two (repeat three more times). I set these intervals up as activity "week 4" and a beep accompanied by a robotic voice will tell me when it's time for me to run and when it's time for me to walk. I'm sure there's other great apps out there, but I love this one and although I'm currently using it with my iPhone, I know that it's out there for Android as well.
P.S. Next week I'll talk about when I like to run, how I run (it seems self-explanatory but I was certainly not running the way I should when I started) and about the importance of stretching. Riveting stuff.
P.P.S. This is my 200th post! Celebrations and stuff all around.
P.P.P.S. My best friend from Sweden is visiting this weekend and I am SO excited.