There is nothing I love more than running. I began running when I was twelve to improve my ballet practice, and have never stopped. It is a fantastic workout, and the mental benefits are profound. It can be a hard habit to cultivate - so here are my tips for making it stick.
1. Go easy on yourself.
This was the hardest lesson for me to take on - I am competitive by nature and I am constantly striving to be better. However, just because you can run a half marathon, doesn’t mean you need to do it every second day. So many runners start, feel amazing and push it too hard, leading to injury. I did exactly that, and it resulted in not being able to walk properly for six months. These days I never let myself run for more than five miles, and if I am tired I stop. I am also not ashamed of walking if I need it.
2. Run outdoors at all times
Whenever I have run on a treadmill I find my old knee injury flares up, and I get so bored that it is hard to get my five miles in. Whenever I run outdoors I feel a surge of positive energy; nature and fresh air is so healing. It is one of my favorite things to do when in a new city, being in the streets gives you a very real perspective of the energy of a place. I like to run either early morning or late afternoon to avoid burning, but to still allow for the sun to hit your skin - allowing for that important Vitamin D synthesis.
3. Cross train
If you want to improve your running, do it less than you would think. I find alternating strength days and HIT workouts improves my stamina for my run days - and makes the runs a lot more enjoyable.
4. Never run two days in a row
This is to avoid overuse injuries - because that is so common for runners!
Every time after you run, stretch your calves, hamstrings, quads, hips and glutes. Then get on that foam roller for your IT bands - it is the most painful experience, but tight IT bands leads to knee and ankle injuries.