7 step guide to running

Today’s blog post is all about running! My relationship with running is a little bit rocky to say the least… I would say we have a very love hate relationship. But recently I have regained my love for running which is probably due to the emergence of summer weather, especially the lighter nights. I never used to like running or even walking in fact but I first started to gain an avid interest in it when I began to lose weight properly. Now I didn’t just wake up one day and suddenly I was a pro, instead I started off small and ran short distances every other day, about 1-2 miles which isn’t much but it was a starting point to progress from. Then soon enough I started to extend my distances and became a lot quicker in doing so. I would say my running style is more of a long distance runners style as I tend to stick to a comfortable speed and run at a steady pace for a longer period of time instead of short quick bursts like a sprinter. Everyone’s running style is different and unique to them, but I’m going to share with you 7 steps that help me with running. 

1. Track your progress. Tracking your progress is essential if you want to improve your running or fitness as it enables you to monitor how far you are from your goals and serves as a benchmark for your exercise regime. In order to improve and see results you need to push yourself and go beyond your limits which requires knowledge of how you’re currently performing. I find the best way to achieve this is by tracking how far you’ve run, the total duration of running and your average pace. There are two running apps that I use to help me track these variables, one is Runtastic and the other is Nike+Run Club. They’re both excellent apps but I would say Runtastic is better if you want to sync the data with other apps such as Myfitnesspal and you can even plan your routes by drawing on a map.

2. Wear comfortable trainers. Wearing the right trainers is vital when running as you need the appropriate support and comfort levels. I actually went to a place where they get you to run on a treadmill and observe how you run in order to provide you with the best trainers to suit your running style. Something that I didn’t realise is that it is advised to go up a shoe size in trainers because when you run your feet get hot (obviously) and expand meaning that there is slightly more room needed. So I ended up getting a size UK 7 instead of my usual UK 6 in a pair of Sauconys which I would highly recommend to anyone as they are so comfortable and really cushion your feet. 

3. Music. I can’t stand running or exercising for that matter without any music on because when that workout gets tougher I thrive on motivation from my upbeat music. One of my favourite upbeat artists to listen to is Sigala especially his song Give me your love as there’s such a good beat in the background to run to. Also I tend to listen to music whilst I’m getting ready to go for a run as this gets me pumped up and in the mood to go and kick it!

4. Plan you route beforehand. Just like you would plan your exercises at the gym I would strongly advise planning your running route as well. For me, the worst thing is not knowing where I’m going or when the run is going to end as this serves as a definite demotivator and doesn’t end well. Just like in the film Run fat boy run when the guy is running the marathon and hits the ‘runners wall’, this is me half way through my run wanting to give up if I haven’t planned a route because I can’t see an end to this. You don’t have to physically write down the route, just have it roughly mapped out in your head to avoid the risk of runners block.

5. Stretch. If I’m being truthful I never saw the importance of stretching before or after exercising but oh have times changed and now I see what people mean. I used to just get up and go out for runs without stretching but that really isn’t good for your bones or your body in general. So to avoid clicky knees and ankles I spend roughly 5-10 mins stretching before and after my runs. It’s nothing too strenuous or difficult, just waking up my muscles ready for the high impact that comes with running. 

6. Mind over matter. Just like I mentioned with runners block, a lot of the time the key to succes with running or any exercise is maintaining a positive and motivated mental state. I went for a run the other day and throughout the whole run I was putting myself down, constantly worried about what people were thinking of me and how I looked, which then of course made me want to just give up. But this was wrong of me. If you allow yourself to think these negative thoughts then unfortunately you won’t progress or improve. You mustn’t give in when times get tough and you mustn’t feel paranoid when running. I know it’s hypocritical for me to say this as my run the other day was a classic example of all things negative but I’ve learnt from my mistakes and now embrace it as experience.  

7. Mix things up. It’s important not to get too comfortable in your running routine as you just get used the same route and end up not pushing yourself further. To tackle this I have about 5 different routes that I run and will just pick whichever one I feel like on the day, whether that be a scenic park route or running in the city, it usually depend on my mood. Plus for each of these routes I plan out ways to extend or shorten it, to add to the variety and offer alternatives for when I perhaps haven’t got much time or when I feel like running for longer. 

I hope these steps are useful. I just want to point out that I’m not a running pro but I’ve just found what works for me. This isn’t a rigid guide to running, it’s just a few steps that I’ve learnt along my journey with exercise and it’s always open to interpretation. 

Be True Be You. 

Booty workout outside

Today I’m going to share with you one of my booty workouts which is my fav area to train! You can do this workout anywhere you like as you don’t need any equipment. Since it was such a lovely day I decided to go to my local park and have a quick session outside as I didn’t feel like going to a stuffy gym, plus I have a cold so didn’t want to contaminate anyone but I needed to do some sort of exercise. I decided to biked there and back which acted as my warm up and cool down and then got straight into my workout. Also I discovered that biking on thick grass is quite challenging.

With every exercise I do in this routine I do 3 sets of 10 reps with a 30 second rest in-between. The amount of reps and sets are completely up to you, this is just what works for me. If I’m feeling up to the challenge I will sometimes complete these exercises with no rest in-between to create a sort of circuit routine. Click HERE for the video of my workout (I had to upload it to Youtube as I can’t upload videos on here… apologies)

  1. Sumo squats. Sumo squats are slightly different to normal squats as your legs should be just past your shoulders and your feet pointing outwards slightly, just like a sumo wrestlers position.
  2.  Jumping lunges. I find these rather difficult to do as you can really feel the burn but I feel so good after completing these. Sort of a love hate relationship.
  3. Jumping squats. By the end of this exercise you’ll really feel it in your legs. Remember to squeeze those gluteus and jump as high as you can.
  4. Curtsy lunges. These are similar to normal lunges but you place your foot back in a sort of diagonal position instead of straight, like you would if you were to curtsy.
  5. Hip ups/bridges. Simply lie on the floor with your legs should width apart and lift your bum up squeezing those gluteus each time you lift.
  6. Donkey Kicks. Get down on your hands and knees and lift your leg up to the sky until you reach a right angle position, then push your foot up whilst squeezing those gluteus.
  7. Fire Hydrants. Get down on your hands and knees and lift your leg up to the side until you reach a right angle position then bring your leg back down again. Repeat this whilst always squeezing your gluteus.

My many sizes 

So today I’m going to be sharing with you my size/ weight journey. It’s been a bit up and down to say the least but that’s what growing up is all about, its never easy. 

I was always a chubby little kid even from a baby. You might as well have called me michelin man Molly. Though there was less of a worry if I fell as that chub would definitely soften the blow.

So from a child it was evident that I wasn’t a skinny build. This chubbiness/ puppy fat ( which my mum liked to call it) continued right the way up until probably around my early teens which then I suppose the puppy fat is no longer classed as puppy fat and instead it’s just being plain ole fat. I suppose some of my chubbiness is down to my general build but it’s most likely due to my uncontrollable eating. I used to be an avid baker yet I must admit most of it was eaten by me that day, aka the fatness! 

So that was that and I just decided that one day I was going to do something about it finally. I was sick of being the ‘fat’ friend and my breaking point was probably when someone shouted “Molly hatch is FAT!” down the street. I didn’t diet as such, definitely not at the start as I found it really difficult but exercise was the thing that really worked for me, especially running. I used to run to the gym then workout/ do a class and then run back around 4-5 times a week! Exercising was and still is my therapy and a way to generally feel better about myself. Nothing like the release of those happy endorphins. In terms of eating it took me a while to grasp what I should be eating but in the end I mastered it and the solution was healthy eating. I say healthy because I used to and still do eat chocolate, as a girl can’t live without chocolate especially when that time of the month comes around, you know what I’m saying girls! So yeah healthy eating and exercise, what you’ve probably heard a million times before but there’s a reason for that because it really works. 

Now I would say that my body has plateaued, reached its happy place. I no longer gain or lose weight but my body has definitely changed in shape. Now I have hips, a booty and boobs. Oh and of course the booty comes with those mermaid thighs as it’s gotta be supported. For me this drastic change in shape from being a size 8/10 to a 12/14 was quite hard to deal with. I know I’m not massive but when you’ve experienced being a smaller size it’s hard to gain weight and be slightly fuller. Though I don’t see it as a bad thing anymore, I embrace my fullerness/ more womanly figure. It only took me about a year and a half but I’ve managed to love myself like every orher girl and boy should do no matter what they’re age or size. 

My ultimate goal now is to be healthy and fit. I’m sick and tired of trying to fit in with what society deems to be the most beautiful or glamorous. We are all beautiful and glamorous in our own way. Why should society’s opinion influence and more importantly dictate our lives. I am a massive culprit of worrying about what others think of me but now I give up. I’m not going to let society win. I’d say one of my biggest pet peeves due to society’s influence is when people buy clothes that don’t fit them or aren’t comfortable because that’s the size they usually are/ the size they want to be. Sizes don’t mean anything nowadays. You can be a size 10 in one shop and a size 14 in another. A recent experience of mine in Topshop trying on mom jeans proves this. Usually I’m a size 14 in jeans due to my wide hips, booty and mermaid thighs but I couldn’t even get the size 14 mom jeans over my thighs. Now this may be because mom jeans are made from rather stiff denim so don’t have much give in them but I have a pair of H&M mom jeans in a size 14 and they fit perfectly. So if there’s anything you take away from this blog is to definitely not trust sizing and go with the size that feels comfortable and fits you. If the size really bothers you then just cut the label out, that’s what I do and anyway who’s going to know what size it is, it’s not like it’s stitched on the front of your clothes like look at me I’m a size 14!! Anyway I’ll stop rambling… as you can see I’ve been many shapes and sizes and finally found my happy medium. I’m not embarrassed or afraid to say that I’m a size 12/14 and I have thick thighs and a bum anymore because that’s who I am. My ultimate goal is to be happy and feel confident. Be True Be You