Learn to Run Plus the Two Free Workout Apps I Use to Get Into Shape

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Workout Routine to Help you Get in Shape by Summer!

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The time is now ladies, time to get yo sweet selves in shape for summer. My weapon of choice? Running! I LOVE it. Actually, while I’m doing it, I kinda hate it, lol. I admit, I’ve never been one of those people who feels great while running. Runners high? I’m certain it’s a myth, cuz the only high I’ve ever experienced while running is the high of being finished. BUT, I still do it, and there is a love I’ve developed for it.

Even though it’s a challenge for me, with every step I take, I’m also amazed with what my body can do (shout-out to God!) and honestly, when I’m done, I really think I’m Super Woman. Problems are easier to solve, healthy choices are easier to make and life, in general, is just better. All by a few runs every week.

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Before I really started running, I used to tell myself I couldn’t. I couldn’t run a mile, but now by the end of summer, I’ll run between 5 and 6 at a time. I couldn’t run for 20 minutes, but now by August, I’ll be going around 60. I couldn’t actually enjoy running, but now, welllll it’s so HARD, and yet every spring, summer and fall, there I am running, making time to do it, because as hard as it is, there’s nothing that can take away how good I feel after I’m done or how strong I feel when I’m doing it.

So how did I get from there to here? Easy…I started! Below, I’m outlining exactly what I did, to get “here.” And it’s not nearly as hard as what you might think. When I first started, and now, in the spring (cuz ya girl ain’t outside running in the snow), I thought about it like algebra. Weird, right? But, a 5 year old doesn’t learn math by starting with algebra. They start with 1+1 and when get it, they feel like they accomplished something. That’s exactly how I start my runs each season: basic.

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Running Workout for Beginners

Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor, or an expert or a trainer…I’m just sharing what worked for me, and what works for me each and every year about this time.

Set an overall REALISTIC goal and pick a route that aligns with that goal. If your goal is to be able to run 1 mile, pick a route around 1.25 miles or 1.5 miles and decide how many times you can run each week. Schedule your runs. For me, it’s Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. I’ve found 4 times is really good for me. I’m able to build my endurance and tone my muscles. I used to say, “I’ll run everyday!” It wasn’t realistic. But when I realized I could run 4 times a week and still see and feel all the benefits, that became my norm.

Next, like I said above, just start. When I first started, I wanted to be able to run 2 miles. The first day, I think I went 5 minutes. But then every week after that, I’d add a couple of minutes. And I ALWAYS finished my route….even if I walked most of it. I also, even today, play the “just finish the…” game. Usually it’s “the song” but sometimes it’s “the 5 minutes” or “the mile.” So, if you’re like me, you’ll have your favorite running music in your ears. When I get to my stopping point, I’ll tell myself, “just finish this song,” to go a little further.

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My other biggest running tip is to mix it up a little. As my goals got bigger, I found that just getting out and running was becoming harder. I might have a great day one day, but running the same distance the next was super difficult. Through a program I found on my Runkeeper app (more on that later), I learned that by mixing up my runs in terms of time and distance, I was able to achieve my goals sooner. Now, my running schedule looks like this:

Monday: my “easy” run. Depending on the time of year, it will be anywhere from 1 to 3 miles and I’ll walk, or walk/run the rest of my route.

Wednesday: my speed interval day and my least favorite. However far I went on Monday, I’ll run that far again, but in speed intervals: 1:30 just my regular pace, and the next :30 I kick it up a notch.

Thursday: my run/walk day - run a minute, walk a minute for my entire route.

Saturday: my long run - I’ll run as far as I can and the only rule is it has to be further than my Monday run.

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You might think it’s a pain to figure out when to run, when to speed up, when to walk, etc, but it’s actually super easy. I’ve used Runkeeper since 2015 to track my runs and have “created” my own runs. Runkeeper lets you easily do this and as your music is playing, a little voice comes on telling you to switch to whatever it’s time to switch to.

You may have seen my recent sponsored posts on Instagram for Asics and Asics Runkeeper. Neither this blog post or this little blurb are sponsored. Runkeeper is just one of those things that I use all the time. While the Runkeeper app is free (and you can set up runs, just like I mentioned above, for free without ads), RunkeeperGo is their paid option that gets you a few more perks, including premium training plans. This spring, in lieu of the above I’m going through the “My First 5K” program. If you’d like to try this out for yourself, download Runkeeper and then “subscribe” to RunkeeperGo using code LAURAY which will get you three months free:)

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Although I’ve done a 5K before, I thought this was perfect for me to start spring with because I did get really out of shape this winter. This is starting at square 1, great for beginners or someone who wants to get themselves back into shape. If you’re interested, my code, LAURAY will get you 3 months free of Runkeeper Go, more than enough time to get through My First 5K:)

The other workout app I use regularly is Fitbit. My poor Fitbit Alta has seen better days - the band is falling apart after 2.5 years and I stepped on the charger and broke the clip, so I now have to hold it in place in order to charge it. I keep telling myself “this weekend I’m going to get replacements,” but 3 months later, I’m still wearing my taped together Fitbit with barely any charge. Ha!

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My Fitbit does keep me motivated throughout the day. For instance, on my non-run days when I see my step count is low, I’ll do something - go on a walk, clean, but something because I’m reminded that I need to move!

Get my exact Asics running shoes and Fitbit Alta below (click for alternate colors) plus similar leggings and cropped sweatshirt, the only hair ties I use to run in and the cutest Kate Spade water bottle!

What are your fitness goals this spring? Mine are to take a couple inches off the hips. I know, I know, baby got back and she ain’t lovin’ it!

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