I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the things I learned from running. The thing is, even if you're not a runner, anytime you test yourself with something new, you learn from it. This is just a list of my personal experience with trying something new (which happens to be running).
1. Mind over matter. This has been a huge lesson for me. I've worked out my entire life from dancing since I was 3 all the way to aerobics in my teenage years to now being a personal trainer. I swore I was not a runner and never would be. I read others' experiences with running and was jealous of the experience (the high, if you will), but that never happened to me. What I learned though is that the main reason I didn't like running is because it wasn't easy for me. The stubborn girl in me, wanted to learn more and figure out how to enjoy it. So, I consistently kept trying it and have now fallen in love. Admittedly, after 8 months of running, last weekend was the first time that I looked at myself after my 5 mile run and I actually felt like a runner. I don't know when it happened, but I became a runner!
2. Pain is good, well to some extent. You see, if you don't experience a little bit of that muscle soreness, then you aren't changing. I was at the point where I wasn't really feeling my workouts anymore. When I started running, my legs really felt it. My hip flexors hated me! Go figure, with a new workout comes changing muscles. Adding a new exercise to my routine really was exciting even if a little on the painful side.
3. Breathing. WOW, I had no idea that my lungs would actually change from running. Well, yeah, this was a strange one for me. I have mild asthma (I do not have a regular inhaler, but seasonal changes can trigger shortness of breath for me). I would always give up when the breathing got hard, but after some research, I realized that this was actually good for me. My lungs had to learn to take on more work too! For me, this has actually been a good thing. My lung capacity has actually improved over the past 8 months! Don't get me wrong, I huff and puff during HIIT workouts, but the endurance side of changing my lungs really has changed for the better.
4. Being ok with just being you. No comparisons. Truth, I think one of the major reasons why I stayed away from running is because it seemed like an elitist sport. People are serious about their runs and me, learning how to run, next to a running superstar, made me feel inferior. Until I learned that my runs are mine and you can not compare yourself to the person next to you. Some people walk/run, some people jog, some people run like the wind...it doesn't matter what the person next to you (or a quarter mile in front of you) is doing. What matters is that you're doing this for you.
5. Running gear. People this is part of the addiction! Once you get started, you can't stop! Oh my gosh, why did no one warn me of this??? Shoes are a must and without a doubt, the most important. I wear Mizunos, and I love them. These are my shoes and they work for me. You NEED to get your stride checked at a running store and invest in shoes. They are worth it! The other stuff, well, that's the fun stuff! My suggestion is moisture wicking clothing though because nothing makes me sweat like running. Holy moly do I sweat when I run. Oh and inside or outside, I wear a hat. Otherwise, I have sweat poring in my eyes and that is no bueno! Compression socks are a huge thing for me too. I prefer to run in them, but some people only wear them for recovery (which I do too!). I have a list of things that I want to purchase, but I'm keeping things under control. This is a huge test to my self restraint! I would like a heart rate monitor with GPS and mileage information though. That's the next thing I'm gonna get.
7. Water, water, water...drink it up!
8. Sleep! I've started getting up at 4:30am Monday-Thursday to train clients before they head to work. Yes, I am the super crazy girl that LOVES mornings! However, this means I'm heading to bed to sleep by 9:00pm at the latest. I read or watch a little mindless tv until about 9:30pm some nights, but my body and brain are done by that time. Sleep is a major part of recovery and your body really needs the rest. I've been taking melatonin for awhile now and it really helps me relax and turn my brain off for some rest. This girl needs 7-8 hours of sleep or things get a little on the nasty side (and I don't mean that in the good way either ;)...
So tell me, in life or workouts, have you learned anything new lately? What is something new you've tried stepping out of your comfort zone? Please share a little inspiration!