'How To Run If You're As Lazy As Me', Confessions Of A Reluctant Runner
The Debrief: In the words of Beyonce ; If I can do it, anyone can.
Illustration by Anna Sudit
If you’re struggling to keep this 'new year new you' thing going then please allow me to suggest you take up running full time.
It's at this point that roughly 70% of you go 'Oh but Jess I literally like, literally can't run. Literally'. Well, and trust me on this; you're wrong. And the way that I know that is because that's what I used to think, and then I ran, a lot, and now I can run. It's that simple. And it's great. It means I can not feel (too) bad that I got cheesy chips at three in the morning, it means I'm way less anxious than my bonkers neurotic self would like me to be and I'm not wasting a ton of money on the gym every month.
Here's how to fit running into your life.
Excuse: I don’t have time to run
Running aimlessly in circles around your neighbourhood is all well and good but other than the whole 'getting fit' thing it’s not exactly time effective and, as we all know, TIME IS MONEY. Combat the lack of cost effectiveness involved in running by running TO places. If you’re a morning person then A) I hate you and B) Congrats, you’ve found your time to run; run to work to save time (or get a train three quarters of the way and run the rest). Otherwise, run home (or wherever you're going) afterwards. Get used to having showers in weird places and figure out a way to transport your goods that isn’t annoying. I hate running backpacks so I’ve got a little bumbag (sexy) to transport my keys and phone in and I leave everything else at work. Sure, you end up with a huge piles of shoes and clothes under your desk at the end of the week but the more clothes, the more running you did, so good job.
Excuse: But I’m going out after work
I’ve worn my gym kit to after-work visits to the pub, to the cinema, to a friends’ birthday and out to dinner. Sure wearing leggings, battered trainers and a greying t-shirt in a 'nice place' might be frowned upon by certain people but when the time comes to head home afterwards your friends will all trudge to the nearest station while you’ll just do a few stretches and head off on your merry way. Maybe lay off the booze though yeah?
Excuse: My only time to run is in the morning and I’m not a morning person
Hey, if you’re not a morning person then I totally sympathise. There is nowhere I’d rather be than my bed at any give, time of the day. If I could, I’d marry my bed and sell all my friends so I could move to the Bahamas with it. Getting up is hard, getting up to run is nigh on impossible. UNLESS! Pack your running rucksack the night before and sleep in your running clothes so when the morning comes you can literally just get up and go. If you can't get up, guilt trip yourself with your alarm. This is legitimately what my phone alarm looks like.
Excuse: I always go for one run and then never again
If there’s one thing that can motivate you being the terrible person you are; it’s money. Splash out signing up for a 10k run, £50 might seem a bit steep but compare that to the £60 or so quid a MONTH you’d be spending on a gym membership and it seems positively frugal. Plus, once you’ve parted with money for something then you’re more likely to do it.
Excuse: I can’t run long distances
And neither could I a few years back, mainly because I hadn’t built up the muscles needed to do so. Download Nike’s running app and set yourself up a challenge of running 10k by a certain point. It builds you up SO gradually you’ll barely realise you’ve got better until one day you’re a champion runner. Plus, it clocks all the kilometres you run ever so you’ll be able to build on that and get obsessed with the numbers, which in turn spurs you on in a sort of sick competition with yourself.
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Illustration: Anna Sudit
At work? With your gran?