Hey guys! Today's blog post is all about running! From what got me into running to tips that keep me going, I'm going to share everything that has helped me out lately. And a big thank you to HOKA ONE ONE Shoes for sponsoring this post. I've been wearing their shoes to run with and am really impressed with them. Keep reading to hear more about why I love mine! I hope you all enjoy the post!
If you were to tell me a few years ago...okay even one year ago that I'd be writing a blog post on running I'd think you were kidding. I used to hate cardio, running especially. I ran a little bit in high school when I played lacrosse to help with my endurance, but after that I ditched it for the most part. In college I was a fan of the elliptical (like all girls in college) and would go on that almost everyday for 30 minutes. I was also in the worst shape during that time. Mostly because I ate so poorly and thought I could just burn a ton of calories on the elliptical to cancel it out. A few years later I realized that's not really how it works. Before I was pregnant I did a lot of HIIT style work outs. High intensity interval training was my jam. I still think that is the best, most efficient way to work out, but having kids has forced me to adjust my workouts.
After I had our twin girls, I was nursing and started to lose the weight pretty quickly. I'd do little exercises here and there but nothing high impact because I was ultra cautious after having a c-section. Around the 11 month post partum mark I was noticing the skin around my belly button was still really loose and I felt like I should have been in better shape by then. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I had zero muscle and didn't feel all that great physically speaking.
Enter 2018...resolution time. Andrew really wanted to start running with me. He was wanting to get in better shape and needed my support to go on runs. The minute I heard the word run, I wrote it off but Andrew reminded me about how I wanted to tighten up my skin. He is a physical therapist and a certified personal trainer and had kept telling me how cardio was the only way to do that. Since I knew I had to change something (I was realizing that eating super healthy wasn't enough) I agreed to do it.
We started running together 2-3 times a week after he got off work and would push the girls in their stroller. In the beginning it was ROUGH. Our distance we'd run was a little over 2 miles and in the beginning it felt like the run was so long. I remember cramping up so much and feeling so fatigued. But with each run, it got slightly easier. And the way I felt after completing it was incredible. I started getting so much more energy and was in a great mood after. I started wanting to go more often and in the morning so it was cooler outside and I like getting my workouts done early so I don't have to worry about it the rest of the day. It got to the point where I wasn't even running with Andrew anymore. I'd go around 8 or 9 and push the girls in the stroller about 3 times a week. I started noticing that my stomach was starting to look so much better. I couldn't believe it. I was like "Andrew you were right!"
So here a few reasons that kept me wanting to go on runs.
The skin around my belly was tightening up.
It put me in a better mood.
I started to have more energy during the day.
I was able to get 30 minutes of quiet 'me' time, while the girls got to be outside.
I could listen to my music and get a break from nursery rhymes!
My skin was much more clear.
The list could go on!
Let's pause for a bit and talk about my shoes! So the brand is HOKA ONE ONE and they are incredibly lightweight. It's funny when you start to run a lot you really can notice a difference in the shoes you wear. I never thought workout shoes were a huge deal, but when you run they totally are. The brand was started by two life-long runners who wanted a lightweight shoe with extra thick midsoles. They originally appealed to just runners, but now they offer styles for all types of athletes. The style I have is the Cavu in Cherries/Hot Pink color. These are best for the road because they are soft in the heel to help with shock absorption. On the flipside, they are firmer in the forefront to help with propulsion and energy return. With all that said, they are truly comfortable. I like to even wear these to run errands because they are really cute.
If you guys are in need of some new running or just new workout shoes I would highly recommend checking these out. There are a ton of styles so you'll be able to find the right pair for you. I am usually an 8.5 in shoes (sometimes 9 in running shoes) but the size 8 fits me perfectly.
Okay let's talk about some tips I have to help make your runs more seamless.
1. Eliminate all distractions. The sun can be a distraction so I always bring sunglasses and now I'm all about hats. Of course I'm not wearing one in these photos, but if you follow me on instagram you can see I usually am wearing a hat for extra sun protection. Another distraction is hearing your breath. I turn up my music so that I can't hear myself breathing. You won't realize how tired you are and the music is such a great motivator.
2. Which brings me to my next tip. MUSIC. Guys, good music gets me through my runs. I'm working on a playlist to share with all of you. It'll include my top running songs that I'm obsessed with. If you don't have good music, then good luck! But if you are jamming out to The Greatest Showman than it makes your runs so much better!
3. Don't let the stroller scare you. When Andrew first suggested we start running I instantly made an excuse with our stroller. It isn't a specific 'running' stroller so I was like nope we can't go. But Andrew pointed out how the wheels are really big and it's really a durable stroller. He was right, like always and honestly the stroller works great! Recently I've noticed my arms are so much more toned than before. I owe that to pushing a double stroller while running. Now I don't even notice the extra weight because it's normal to me, and seeing such a difference in my arms is amazing!
3. Anyone can run. This is huge to me. When any of my friends used to suggest we do an upcoming race together it would terrify me. I hate being bad at things, and I knew I wasn't the best runner. But now I've switched my mindset. Of course if I never went on runs, I would be bad at running. But that doesn't mean that I could never improve upon that! I'm starting to see how with each run, it gets easier and more enjoyable. I'm not panting out of breath every time anymore. I still have to push myself but not as much as when I first started.
4. Make sure are hydrated. If I don't drink much water before my runs I always cramp up. I always try to drink a big glass of water before I allow myself to have coffee. And then after my coffee I try to drink another glass before going on a run. I end up drinking so much more water on the days I run because I'm always so thirsty when I get back home.
5. Don't forget about other types of workouts. I do yoga every morning before the girls get up and it is a game changer. I never made the connection until lately that it has really been a great compliment to my runs. It stretches out my body and tones my muscles at the same time. I am also trying to add in some workouts to target certain muscle groups. When you have more muscle you look so much better and feel much stronger from the inside out. And the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day.
Think of all the time you spend sitting on the ground playing with your kids. I'm sure there are 30 minutes of that time you could head outside and go on a run. When the girls start getting cranky, that's usually when I take them. Putting them in the stroller and going outside puts them at ease and makes us all happier! Now if you live somewhere that snows, obviously that's a factor, but hey I've gone on a run in the rain and it was kinda refreshing! Hah. After I started making these runs a habit, I started to think back on all the time spent watching kids shows or playing with toys that could have been spent outside on a quick run! 30 minutes is really not that much time, but all you need see and feel all the amazing benefits. So my goal is 3 runs a week. Sometimes it is 2, other times it's 4. It depends on the day and what we have going on, but usually I can always find 30 minutes to fit it in. I try to make that the priority because it affects the rest of my day in a huge way. It makes me more productive, a better mom and a happier person. I hope this post motivated you all to get your body moving. Even if it's not running, doing some type of physical activity will always make you feel better about yourself. I've never once regretted working out. I usually think, gosh why don't I do that more often, that wasn't so bad! Have a great day guys and thanks so much for reading!
Don't forget to check out HOKA shoes HERE!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of HOKA ONE ONE . The opinions and text are all mine.