Top 7 Tips to get fit, do more exercise, train more

On my run this afternoon I ended up planning this as a fb post for Vegan Fit UK – a few tips I’ve found helpful in my general fitness journey…it’s ended up considerably longer than intended so thought it better to post here!

1. Find a sport/activity you actually enjoy. It was a rocky road, took me about 25 years! At school I really hated PE, didn’t mind the gym – then I used to like the idea of climbing a lot more than actually doing it…then I discovered running and I have a massive smile on my face every time I go out – so it doesn’t feel like training.

Enjoying it more might involve going with friends, going new places, taking pictures, wearing funky leggings…

2. Music and swearing have been scientifically proven to relieve pain [citation needed]. I run faster with my ipod…watch the tempo though!

3. Be accountable. For me, this means recording evvvverything – I have Strava, a training diary, a blog and a spreadsheet (the last one is just for geeking out over long runs). It works two ways: it motivates me to want to write something on each day (that’s probably why I started my yoga streak), and when I’m freaking out that I’m unprepared, I can flick back through and see I actually have trained. It’s, erm, colour-coded too, with cheesy motivational quotes everywhere, and I highlight where I felt really strong.

Another thing you can do is tell someone if you’re planning on going for a run, or plan to do one with a friend. I find it discourages me from bailing!

4. Keep tabs on your progress. If you can run/walk for 60+ minutes, the podcast Science of Ultra (podcasts are great for long solo runs and research) recommends doing a 1 hour time trial every so often, to see how far you go. I always do mine in the same place – I did it today as I’m training to get faster, and I didn’t get a PB but did better than I thought I would, so that’s encouraging.

5. Have concrete goals – little and big. Some achievable, some near-impossible. Write em down, talk about em and figure out steps towards em.

6. You won’t always be motivated, but if you build it into a habit, it’ll become a regular consistent thing. They say it takes 22-30 days to build a habit. Suggestions include sleeping in your workout gear, laying it out next to your bed, and putting the clothes on before you decide against going out. For those of you who are vegan, remember how ridiculous and impossible veganism seemed before you tried it – it’s now second nature…

7. Do your research. Talk to people, listen to podcasts, read blogs (ahem), read books, join facebook groups, recce races you’re interested in/nervous about, join a club… And remember, we’re all learning!

In lots of pain, trying really hard even though my funky leggings are falling down

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