Happy almost-Friday, friends! Today is Little Miss’s last day of school… I can hardly believe she’s a sophomore in high school now! We’re just three short years from sending her off. #gulp
Today we’re talking fitness (and darling workout wear, duh!). I don’t know about you, but last year changed absolutely everything about how I work out. When the gyms closed, we went several weeks with no exercise at all. Literally no movement except to walk from bed to desk to sofa, and back to bed. It didn’t take long to feel the sluggish effects of that!
So Mr. SP and I started taking long walks outside, and I eventually added in virtual strength training with my former college roommate and personal trainer, Angi. That definitely helped lift the fog, clear my mind, and reduce some of the stress! It was so much fun, we started the Sugarplum Fit Classes, a twice-a-week Zoom workout for all levels. I’ve come to rely on these virtual sessions as much for connecting with a girl gang as I do for the workout! (Join us HERE!)
Recently though I started craving my beloved Orange Theory classes, and I realized I was lacking the release I got from pushing myself mentally and physically on the treadmill. I missed running!
But here’s the deal… I’m not a runner. It’s one thing to run in small increments of time on a treadmill, with the machine setting your pace, and a coach motivating you through the final seconds. It’s another thing entirely to lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement all on your own!
But nothing clears my head and releases stress like a good run, so I turned to Google and read countless articles for beginning runners, and the pros all had the same advice…
Five Tips for Beginning Runners
1. Gear Matters //
Most of us think of running as the sport you can do anywhere, anytime, with any gear… but in fact, the correct clothes and sneakers could make or break your experience.
Running creates a lot of impact on your body, and boobs, ha! So having the right support, with quick-drying fabrics and seamless pieces are key to a successful run. lululemon is a great resource for all things running, with an incredible selection of shorts, leggings, and tops for both men and women, and all created specifically for running.
Mr. SP is always doing some form of exercise, whether it be running or biking, and you’ll usually find him in full lululemon gear!
He loves the quick-dry fabric and comfy fit of their performance tees and shorts, and the Fast and Free Windbreaker is his go-to for windy, chilly, or wet days.
The Hotty Hot Low Rise Shorts are my very favorite for running and warm weather workouts… I love the slightly longer inseam, with its comfortable waistband and hidden pocket. The built-in undies are really comfortable as well, and the leg opening is great for lots of movement without pulling.
2. Start Small //
I may have the desire to take off running for an hour, but my body would disagree. One of the biggest things coaches stress to brand-new runners is to simply focus on spending time on your feet and not get caught up in the numbers. Most would agree that you shouldn’t start out running more than a few minutes at a time, with walk-breaks in between.
I plan to start with three times a week, in which I run for two minutes and walk for two minutes, for a total of 20 minutes per session. From there, I hope to add one minute per week to each run segment. So it may take awhile to gain the stamina and strength to run like I want, but the experts agree this method is the best chance at success without injury. (If you’re starting from scratch with no other cardio conditioning, start with smaller time increments!)
3. Start Slow //
I’ve only ever run on a treadmill, so I don’t know how to determine or set my pace. It also takes time for the body to get used to the stresses and strains of running, so the best tip is simply to start slow. A moderate pace, where you can still carry on a conversation, is recommended. Even if you feel like really taking off, experts suggest maintaining the same pace for the entire distance. Only those who give their body time to gradually get used to the new demands will have long-term success!
It’s also important to give the body time to rest and recover, and prepare for the next run. So give yourself a day or two of rest between runs.
4. Strength Train //
Running is a full-body workout, relying on every muscle to power forward. To be a successful runner, and cut down on overuse and injuries, it’s important that our muscles (especially our abs!) be strong. So while it’s tempting to focus on just the cardio of running, don’t cut weights from your routine. Our Sugarplum Fit Class might be the most fun 45-minutes of strength training you’ve tried!
5. Be Patient //
It’s important for new runners to remember that it can take weeks (and weeks!) before they’re running without needing walk-breaks. And even longer before running actually feels more comfortable! Setting a realistic goal can help you stay motivated, and keep the bigger, long-term picture in mind. Tracking your runs in a journal is also helpful for seeing your progress.
And of course it’s always a good idea to have a running buddy… someone to motivate you and keep you accountable. I’d always rather run with Mr. SP than by myself, even if he leaves me in the dust!
But remember, just getting out there and starting is a huge success in itself! Being patient with yourself, and giving your body the time it needs to get used to this new sport will pay off. Are you a runner? If not, how are you moving your body these days?
lululemon is a great resource for running gear, and the fit and feel is unlike any other. Plus, their pieces last for years and years! And I can assure you the men and teens love all things lululemon, too!
*Photos by the darling and talented Audrie Dollins. This post is created in collaboration with lululemon and ShopStyle Collective, but all product selections, opinions, and shin splints are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors!*