5 weeks of staying in a different city makes it hard for anyone to keep to her exercise routine. I was fortunate enough to have spent an amazing 5 weeks in London and although there were so many temptations to just veg out while drinking a cup of flat white (I only learned about this in London, it's espresso + steamed milk), I had to remind myself that I was not on vacation. I actually had work to do, a business to run, and a training schedule to follow.
Some of you may know that I love running. In fact, if there's one thing I always pack with me when I travel, no matter how short or whatever purpose it may be, I always bring my pair of running shoes and a set of workout outfit. Running puts me in my comfort zone while I go see a new world.
While in London, I have ran a little over 330km in 30 runs - yes, that's running almost every single day. I only got into running about 2.5 years ago. It all started when my friend was diagnosed with a fatty liver. He knew I was somewhat active and he was looking for a companion because truth be told, it's always more comforting to do things with someone else.
We had an aggressive start by joining a half marathon (just because I refused to pay a fee if I were to "only" run for 10km). Then another one. Then further challenged ourselves by running 30km and then eventually, a full marathon in Toronto. We're doing another one in Chicago this coming October. Hence, the training schedule.
Anyway, enough of me. For those who want to get into running but just can't get out of the funk, here are some simple tips to learn how to love running.
- Do not start off too big // If you've never ran 5km, do not jump into doing a half marathon. Although my friend and I had an aggressive start, we've both been running 10km for a while and gradually increased it to 15-18km, to prepare us for the event.
- Get good music // Really, this has helped me a lot. I always have a playlist of 25 of my favourite songs, which I update every 2 months or so. If you like to feel like you're talking to someone (or vice versa), I would actually recommend, tuning your iPod or music player to your favourite radio station. It's never the same so you won't get bored.
- Take it outside // I find that running outside makes lose track of time. The trees, buildings, occasional human traffic, and random events are great distractions! Best distractions in London: Hyde Park (one cannot miss the beauty of this park), Royal Horse Parade, and my quest to cross every bridge by foot.
- Know the right form // I would actually recommend to join at least a session of running clinic to know how to run properly. Also, please try to get the right shoes. Never run on court shoes (I tried that and ended up in physio) or spikes (unless you're planning to run on grass the entire time).
- Know the benefits // More than just losing weight, running (or actually exercise) just gives me my dose of happy hormones for the day. It also helps me clear my mind. It's my perfect way to have my "me" time.
While you're at it, I would say, RUN WITH STYLE. I used to wear the baggiest and most worn out shirt/shorts when I exercise. I thought to myself, "I'm not going to spend on clothes that I'm just going to sweat on." A few years after, I had to eat my words. Exercising in style really changes your attitude. It makes you more excited to hit the gym or the pavement!
Here's a simple collage of how you can have a stylish workout. Enjoy!
-- Panda on duty, Gail (@natiloublanco)