Category Archives: Running

Becoming A Runner

It may appear that over the last few weeks, I have ‘lost my way’ in regards to running. This is partially correct. I have found myself feeling a lot more “satisfied” from weights workouts, whereas my running workouts are often cut short by my lack of fitness.

I have found I can go for longer weight training, build up the same energy and see more progress. Conversely, while running, I don’t know whether this is because I am currently treadmill training, but I find myself bored quickly, clock watching and annoyed at my body’s inability to do what I want it to do.

This is why I am aiming to take my running outdoors over the next week. The difference in environment, the obstacles, undulating terrain and fresh air should definitely help in making it a lot more enjoyable. Reading this POP Sugar article, there are a few points to help enjoy running, which I actually want to do! Fuelling, hydrating, being realistic and being entertained all take away aspects which can harm enjoyment. I can manage these quite well, especially the entertainment side, with my meticulously selected playlist in combination with Zombies! Run!

I hope I can enjoy running, I really want to.

Pollen Allergies & Running

Another reason why I do not particularly like the prospect of moving my workout outdoors is that I do suffer from hayfever. Pollen allergies are quite commen, and I have spent my entire adolescent life and 20’s battling with coughing, sneezing, puffy eyes and general sore throat.

When I work, I am in a large room which is very well air conditioned, so I don’t generally suffer. Furthermore, my symptoms since moving to Scotland a few years ago are quite a bit less than when I lived in England. However, I do still experience a bit, and when I am at my phase of training, I need every last bit of my respiratory system to help me along. I can’t take tablets (they are banned in my line of work), so I need other methods to help.

I have been considering my first steps outside, like a well known deer, for quite a while, and have been researching how to battle my own issues to make the transition easier.

Bambi… or me?

My research has been quite fruitful, with many tips and tricks to help out. First of all, Fitness is a Way of Life tells me that by following a steady continuous sport such as running (rather than stop-start such as football), I am in with a good start. Also, changing bed linen and avoiding high pollen days are good second steps. The NHS add that by reducing stress and increasing exercise, symptoms will reduce too! This is a win-win as exercise does on the whole reduce stress, and running is definitely classed as exercise!

The Runner’s World forums offer a few other tips, including Olbas Oil on your top, wearing a buff over your nose and mouth, or vaseline around your nose and mouth. Furthermore, other methods of reducing the symptoms include running after a rainstorm, wearing wraparound sunglasses, showering immediately after finishing, or avoiding windy days.

My JogStyle suggests increasing the warmup time and reducing the intensity for those who suffer. By spending time getting your respiratory system used to the environment and the fact it will be exercising in it, you can reduce the effects on the body. The other option is to take your workout indoors on those days where the pollen is too high.

A few anecdotal treatments which I have tried with limited (but not absent) success are firstly, eating local honey. As local honey is made by bees using local pollen, a small resistance is developed over time, reducing the effects in high season. Furthermore, taking pollen tablets (available in health stores) can help in keeping the effects lower during the high season. I found that this worked very well during my teenage years, as the hayfever season fell precisely with exam times. I managed to get through most of my exams without looking like I was crying, so I would class that as a win!

Why Run?

Running, for someone inherently lazy like me, is a strange beast. I seriously dislike the prospect of making myself ache, pant and sweat, all through personal choice. However, once I have started, and the prospect becomes a reality, I actually do feel a small amount of enjoyment.

The biochemistry of exercise is fascinating, and to paraphrase one of my coworkers, “the dolphins make you feel good”. They really do! The ‘runner’s high’ is another strange concept, where despite having worked hard for ‘X’ hours, despite aching, sweating, panting and being overall a smelly mess, you actually feel good! This is because of the hormonal release, endorphins, and the subconscious and conscious reactions to doing something good. Good for you, potentially good for others, giving you a clear head, winning the race against yourself, to beat your challenge. All of these make a difference in how you feel after your workout.

Endorphine Molecule
Endorphine Molecule

These are all things which I consider as I lace up my trainers. Honestly, I don’t always feel up to exercise. Maybe this should be more accurate as I don’t ~always~ feel averse to exercise. However, I know that when all is done, I will feel better, feel awake, alert and clear headed…. which makes everything worthwhile.

Information Overload

Since starting out on my mission, I have gathered a lot of information about running, exercise, healthy eating and numerous other bits and bobs. However, the problem is, putting them all into practice simultaneously is difficult! This post is as much for me as anyone reading. Here I will try to bring together everything which I have learned….

Starting out in Running

15 steps to kick off your running journey, or check out the FAQ‘s for some other answers! Find some of the terminology and get to know your new world.

The Importance of Friends

Friends are important to keep you committed, why not use exercise to make some new ones?

Make Your Workout Work For You

Don’t waste time in the gym, make every second count! An effective warmup can make or break your workout. How you run can make your workout more efficient and let you get the distance or time which you are looking for. Sports drinks and water both have their benefits when working out, choose the best for you. Running in the heat of summer isn’t great, so find a way to keep up your programme without too much pain!

Activate Your Superpower

Why not switch on beast mode during exercise (or any other part of your life), and always succeed! Also, find your alter ego, the superhero inside, and channel their powers!

Weight Training

By increasing muscle density you can increase calorific burn. Read my guide over two parts for a quick how to!

Exercise Soundtrack

There are many places claiming to have the perfect soundtrack – build your own! Listen to some of my own tunes or find inspiration for your own.

Rewards

Earndit is a great place to earn rewards for exercise, pulling data from many different apps!

Workout Planning

Many ways to find the perfect workout! Get smart and figure out how your body works to get the most out of your workout. Find a way which you believe will help you reach your goal, and follow your own method, it will work!

Keep Your Chin Up

Remember why you want to succeed, and stick to it. Also realise that exercise helps you mentally! For those times that it seems that little bit too far, just find something which helps you out of the rut. Find the motivation to get up and out and exercise! Once you have that motivation, keep your eye on the prize and use those around you as even more stimulus to succeed. Find your own personal hero as a guide to success. Beat your own laziness, as it is easily found within all of us.

Healthy Eating

Changing the way you eat involves lots of steps, and also lots of slips. Find a way to make those changes work for you. Choose a plan and stick to it, whether it is paleo or just healthy eating, faddy diets do not work, so choose something sustainable!

Bling Hunters

Finishers medals are a huge point of contention in the running community, where do you stand?

I have posted on a few other topics, have a look around and see if there is anything which takes your fancy! If there is anything you would like me to blog on, let me know in the comments and I will do my best!