A Moms Guide To Running For Non-Runners

A Moms Guide To Running For Non-Runners |theprimarilyinspired.com|

Most of us rank getting healthy as one of our top goals every January and it’s not a bad goal to have. Personal health and improvement should always be our number one priority no matter what individual goals we set for ourselves. These could include drinking more water throughout the day, packing lunch instead of eating out, skipping the alcohol during the week, or even get to bed at a reasonable time. No matter what your goal looks like, it’s important to take that first step in acknowledging there needs to be a daily change and to take the next few steps to working towards completing that goal.

I remember the days after ringing in the new year and seeing a huge interest in fitness whether it be gym memberships, the optimism of beginning new cleanses and detoxes, or changing up grocery lists to include healthier options. I’m not one for crazy diets or insane, and might I mention unrealistic, fitness regimens – it’s just not my style of fitness, especially since becoming a mom. Rather I look for ways to make simple lifestyle changes that can easily become habit.

But let’s be real for a moment: I am always looking at myself in the mirror wanting to change this or that about my appearance. I’ve found I’ve done this much more recently considering I’m still criticizing at my postpartum body wondering when I’d be able to slip into those pair of jeans or if my tummy will ever be semi-flat again. I see photos from years ago pop up on my Facebook newsfeed, which serves as a little reminder of my thinner (ahem, pre-mom) days. Regardless, my husband is really fantastic about telling me how beautiful I am (and I love him even more for it), but it’s about damn time I start to feel that same way about myself…again.

Which brings me to the topic of my post today.

Fitness goals can look different for different people. For me, fitness needs to be more than just going for a walk (even though it starts there), changing up my meals, or trying to get to the gym throughout the week. Lifting weights is important for strength, but I’m looking for more than just that; something that fits with my new SAHM schedule and responsibilities. It’s important to me to fit in a whole body workout that’s easy to do everyday and cardio is a great way to do just that. Now, I don’t consider myself to be a runner nor do I find that runners high or release from running that those people seem to feel, which makes me a bit jealous. I wish I fell in love with running but it can be described more as a love-hate relationship and here’s why…

What I Love About Running:

  • I can easily do it with my son in tow.
  • It makes my whole body feel good. Even when I’m sore all over the next day it’s a reminder that my body is working hard.
  • Training and then completing a running event makes me feel both challenged and accomplished.
  • Running with my husband pushes me to keep going.
  • The running community is so welcoming and nice to us non-runners.
  • It teaches you to care for your body by stressing the importance of nutrition, stretching, and wearing the correct shoes.
  • There’s a limitless amount of themed running events to keep you entertained and challenged at the same time.
  • The workout clothes are cute. Yeah I said it.

What I Hate About Running:

  • I hate that there’s a huge difference between running indoors at the gym versus outside.
  • It’s so hard to get back into my running groove after a hiatus (um…having a baby and such).
  • Quality running shoes can be super expensive.
  • Time that’s needed and the dedication required for good runs.
  • It’s easy to beat myself up for not trying enough or going the distance.

A Moms Guide To Running For Non-Runners |theprimarilyinspired.com|

With all of that being said, here are a few tips that I’ve been using to get my non-runner butt excited about running. Okay, maybe excited isn’t the right word, but you know what I mean. Keep in mind that this guide is solely based on my own running experience and I don’t claim to have the best approach (who am I really to be giving advice here??) – but it’s something that works for me and I hope those who feel the same way about running as I do can find some inspiration. So here we go!

Set the right goal and expectations for yourself.

This seems to be pretty standard and self-explanatory. The first step to beginning anything new or something you’re not particularly good at is setting the right goal for yourself and understand that running is something you build your body up to. So, don’t expect to run 5 miles your first day and not feel like complete crap or end up hurting something. It’s worth it to begin slow and steady!

For me as a new mom it’s just about putting my sneakers on, throwing the baby in the stroller, and going outside once a day. No excuses.

Break up running and walking during your runs.

Don’t expect to run a full 5K and run the whole time. It’s not going to happen at first. Or maybe you did on that really good day…but that good day was weeks ago. One of my favorite apps to use when building up my endurance and stamina is C25K (Couch To 5K). It’s a weekly running plan that prompts you during your run for a warm up, when you should switch from your run/walk, and a cool down. Run time is about 30 minutes and is meant to get you out there 3x a week. Each week trains you so that your walking time is shorter and you’re running longer distances. I personally love this app because it keeps me motivated and challenges me to push myself, just slightly, to meet that week’s goal.

Get outside!

One aspect to running that makes it more enjoyable is doing it outside and only training indoors minimally. I’ve found that I have much better runs when I’m outdoors and I have a scenery to look at and not just that sweaty man on the treadmill in front of you (you all know what I mean!). Besides, if you are training for a running event it’s best to do so outdoors where the conditions will be similar to race day. I like running either first thing in the morning or just as the sun is going down because here by the water in Ventura it keeps it cooler and I prefer the colder air.

It should be noted that I also hate running outdoors simply because of the little bumps in elevation when going over a bridge or small hill, the wind factor, or the extra weight due to pushing my son in his stroller (thanks 21 extra pounds!). But nonetheless, I would rather run where I can see the ocean and get outside everyday because it makes me feel productive while staying home with Greyson and it simply fits in my schedule. Who really has time to go to the gym as a SAHM?

Sign up for a running event to keep you motivated.

One thing that works for me personally is staying motivated by having a running goal to work towards. This could mean a local 5K or 10K, a fun run in your community or local elementary schools, training to complete your first half or full marathon, or even challenge events such as the Spartan Race or Tough Mudder (like my husband). I love that we both shared in the experience of running a half-marathon together back in 2014 and it being his first! He definitely helped me pull through to the end and it was great crossing the finish line with him!

A Moms Guide To Running For Non-Runners |theprimarilyinspired.com|

 I loved that my first half-marathon was the Princess Half-Marathon at Disney World with a girlfriend of mine a number of years ago. It was so much fun and you can’t get better than running through the Magic Kingdom and have Mickey and Minnie greet you at the finish line. Another great run was the Cosmic Run, which is a fun take on the popular Color Run series, which was at night and ended with beer and a mini-concert. I’ve also completed a mud run with my husband and another girlfriend, which was my first into the themed running events. In the end just signing up for something whether it’s for fun or meant to be a real challenge has helped guide me and keep me accountable.

A Moms Guide To Running For Non-Runners |theprimarilyinspired.com|

Tip: Check out your local running stores because they almost always have a community board full of local running events or clubs you can join in your area. 

Sleep and nutrition matter more than you think. Oh and so does stretching!

Look, we all probably struggle with getting our full 8 hours of sleep each night but it’s so important to get a good nights rest so the quality of your runs improve over time. So that means turning off the tube and cutting back on foods and drinks with caffeine or sugars before bed. Nutrition also plays a major role in the quality of your runs so be sure to get on a nutrition plan that fits your dietary needs and what works for you and/or your family. Also, HYDRATE! But, you knew that.

Stretching afterwards is huge in your ability to recover. I’ve definitely learned that the hard way by skipping this step! One cool down/stretching plan that I did while trying the 15 Day Mommy-Fit Challenge was their cool down video for after each workout. Even though I’m no longer doing the challenge, this video is still helpful in getting a full body stretch in after my runs.

These are the things that I’ve found that work for me considering running is not something I find enjoyable in the way others do. However, it is possible to make it fun and not feel like a chore. My hope is that you find this beginners guide helpful and I would love to hear your tips to running and works for you!

Are you an avid runner? What advice do you have for me and other non-runners out there? What tips have you found to be helpful in getting back into a fitness regimen?

This post is also a part of a series called NaBloPoMo 2016 hosted by BlogHer. NaBloPoMo is short for National Blog Posting Month and it challenges writers and creatives to post on their blogs once a day (at least) for the month of November.

Feel free to join in and share your post either here or on my Facebook comment thread for each day’s post! I’d love to see my fellow blogger friends join in!

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Slim Down Saturday + Linkup {6.20}

Where did time fly to?? Seriously. It’s Saturday and it’s absolutely gorgeous outside here in Ventura even though we’re right in the full swing of June Gloom. Luckily it hasn’t been too foggy these last few days and I am soaking up the sunshine for as long as I possibly can.
Sorry I was a bit absent with the linkup last week. If you’re not familiar, I was in Hawaii with the husband celebrating our first wedding anniversary! I tried my best to keep up with my points and continue to make healthy choices even while vacationing. But, alas I managed to gain back everything I lost in the weeks prior.
Even though that’s a super bummer and it means I have to essentially start all over, I am picking myself back up and trying again. Let’s check in and see how week 6 went…
The Results Week Six

Ultimate Goal
My ultimate goal is to reach my goal weight, which is to lose about 40 lbs.

Gain/Loss From the Week
-2 lbs

Total Loss Since Starting
– 2.4 lbs

Positives From the Week
This week I returned from Hawaii and began working the summer program at my school. It’s allowed me to get back on track with a routine everyday. I am packing healthy snacks and upping how much water I drink. What are your favorite healthy snacks for on the go? Any pins you want to share?!
Things to Work On
I love my wine but I also know it’s a killer to my weight loss goals. I drank a lot in Hawaii and told myself, “I’m on vacation.” Well, I’m no longer on vacation so it’s time I start finding healthier alternatives to my favorite alcoholic beverages. Any recommendations or recipes?!
One Goal For Next Week
I still haven’t made it to the gym this week and being active is something I really need to get back into the routine with. Why is going to the gym so hard?!

Motivator
via

I know this is a bit graphic but it sends such a powerful message. Each pound lost is worth something and even though I gained last week and lost only 2 lbs this week….I tell myself that it’s something.

Tip or Trick
via

Creating a visual that you can see every single day helps you stay on track in whatever weight loss program or goal you have. I found this idea from The Bloated Bride blog. To scratch off every number is a great feeling and makes you realize that even if it’s one pound it’s meaningful.

What is Slim Down Saturday?
This linkup series started as a way for me to share my weight loss journey through Weight Watchers with my readers (see original post). Since fitness and overall health is important to me, I wanted to open it up for fellow bloggers and readers to join in and, in essence, create a community around healthy living and supporting one another in their goals.
Are you on a new fitness regimen or have a weight loss goal you’re working towards? Do you blog about fitness or health and want to share? Feel free to link up with me every Saturday!

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Slim Down Saturday {6.6}

Today is not such a happy post. I managed to gain back the two pounds I was able to lose from last week. Although it’s tough to see the scale inch back up, it’s taught me that regardless of what weight I’m at each week at least I’m active about my health. Weight is always going to fluctuate and this week it did just that. However, there was a lot going on this past week with the end of the school year (i.e. catered BBQ lunch at the celebration party), packing up the classroom, and not to mention National Donut Day.
Next week I will be vacationing in Hawaii with my husband, which I’m super excited about! I’ve never been and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us during our stay on the island of Kauai. As you’ll read below, staying healthy and active is my goal throughout my vacation…so if anyone has any helpful tips and tricks for doing this I’m all ears!
 Let’s see what this week brought me…

The Results Week Four

Ultimate Goal
My ultimate goal is to reach my goal weight, which is to lose about 40 lbs.

Gain/Loss From the Week
+2 lbs

Total Loss Since Starting
– 3.6 lbs

Positives From the Week
Not too many positives from this past week due to the craziness of my schedule at work and the fact that I got off my routine both with food and going to the gym. I would also like to note that it being the time of the month for me has added some extra poundage…or at least that’s what I tell myself 😉
+ I am using my Fitbit every day!
Things to Work On
+ make it to the gym! Gah! I hate that I haven’t been this week but I’m just so darn tired from all of the events at work for the end of the year….and my commute doesn’t help either. 
+ drink water
+ don’t skip breakfast!
+ make good food choices when traveling
One Goal For Next Week
Make the gym, yoga, or other activity be a priority over laziness. Being active, especially when traveling, is something I would like to work on. Luckily in Hawaii there are a lot of hiking opportunities with the best views!

Motivator
via

This fun and flirty one piece bathing suit is my motivator for this week since we’ll be on vacation. I’m in need of a new one and I love Target’s styles and prices. Maybe one day I’ll get into a two-piece but for now I’m happy that they have some cute one piece selections and I’m not left with potato sacks!

Tip or Trick
via

This was such a helpful article to read and there was some pretty great advice on how to stay healthy even when vacationing! My takeaways are:

+ packing healthy snacks for the plane
+ drink plenty of water and skip caffeinated drinks
+ hike, walk, etc. during our stay
+ split meals (especially desserts)
+ go shopping for healthy foods to stock our room with instead of ordering out or room service

Thanks so much for stopping by for week four! I can’t wait to read about your progress or any fitness/health tips and tricks you may have for this week!

What is Slim Down Saturday?
This linkup series started as a way for me to share my weight loss journey through Weight Watchers with my readers (see original post). Since fitness and overall health is important to me, I wanted to open it up for fellow bloggers and readers to join in and, in essence, create a community around healthy living and supporting one another in their goals.
Are you on a new fitness regimen or have a weight loss goal you’re working towards? Do you blog about fitness or health and want to share? Feel free to link up with me every Saturday!
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Slim Down Saturday + Linkup {5.23}

It’s Saturday and it’s time to join me and other bloggers for week two of Slim Down Saturday! This week I saw some results from snacking on more fruits and veggies and even noticed that I’m feeling fuller faster! I’m trying to average about losing two pounds a week in order to make my goal weight within the three month time frame and I’m happy to have almost done that!
Let’s get rolling on week two…

The Results Week Two

Ultimate Goal
My ultimate goal is to reach my goal weight, which is to lose about 40 lbs.

Gain/Loss From the Week
– 1.6 lbs

Total Loss Since Starting
– 4.4 lbs

Positives From the Week
My first cheat day was a spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a and I have no shame whatsoever. Like I said before, it’s important to have cheat meals during your week because it reminds you that food is satisfying and should be something you love. And boy do I love me some chicken sandwiches. And that sauce…I could drink it. #realtalk
Another positive is when I do dine out I am drinking more water and limiting my wine consumption to one glass (I know, what’s the fun in that?!). I find myself making more health conscious choices which dining out, which is a major improvement.

Things to Work On
I did skip one of my workout days due to being tired from work and commuting. This is something I need to be sure I stick to throughout the week no matter how tired I feel. Being active has definitely helped me burn some extra calories and allows me to enjoy my cheat meals.
One Goal For Next Week
Not to eat out as much. Although we meal planned for the week, we ended up eating some of the meals for lunch over the weekend. This left holes in our menu and was left open for dining out (we did eat sushi one night which was a low-point meal). Week 3 I want to limit our dining out nights to once a week or not at all if possible.

Motivator
One motivation from this week has been being able to notice my clothes beginning to fit a little looser. There’s no greater feeling than your jeans feeling a little less snug and being able to feel confidant in your clothes.

Tip or Trick
via
Grapefruit juice has been proven to aide in burning fat around your midsection and is great for your overall health. I’ve been drinking one 8 oz. glass a day and have seen a difference in my waist even after a week! Just be careful of fruit juices and their sugar content. I love Trader Joe’s grapefruit juice because it’s 100% grapefruit.

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