Run, rabbit, run: my running rituals

I am not really a runner. As Stuart Heritage wrote in The Guardian a couple of weeks ago, I am really a jogger. And quite an unenthusiastic one at that. I decided that, after embarrassingly causing myself to get runner’s knee (oh, the shame. The IRONY), I’d give up on Couch to 5k and just do my own thing- so now, I measure my progress in minutes and Britney Spears songs. On Saturday, I managed seven minutes running without a break and then another four after a 90 second break (also known as ‘I’ll walk to the chalet cafe while I listen to the first bit of Locked Out of Heaven’.) I must admit that my confidence was knocked a bit last Sunday when two fourteen-year-old girls laughed openly at me. I consoled myself with the knowledge that they too will one day be thirty and a love of pizza and cake may lead them to run around a park in a vain attempt to fit into their skinny jeans. ONE DAY.

Anyway, as there are a lot of beginner runners out there, I thought I’d talk you through my kit and, more importantly, how I reward myself after a hard-ish jog.

First of all, you should definitely read Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley. It gives all kinds of decent advice, as well as being inspirational.

Running Like a Girl (Feb)

Next, I needed some decent trainers- I drove Benn mad by asking him lots of questions (he’s a bit of a running guru.) As much as I wanted some OMGSUPERBRIGHTTRAINERS, I ended up with a good, solid workhorse type of shoe- I got the absurdly named Brooks Lady Adrenaline GTS12 shoe. Since wearing them, I haven’t had any problems with my knees.

Image: sportsshoes.com

Image: sportsshoes.com

One of the most important things for me to think about as I run is the reward at the end of it. I am totally fickle, with absolutely no willpower, so I definitely need a carrot (nice shower, good cup of tea) to go with the stick (IF YOU DON’T EXERCISE YOU WILL DIE). I like to have a shower with luxurious products; at the moment I am really loving Rituals. I’m currently using the Fortune Scrub and it does wonders for my skin.

 

Image: Rituals

Image: Rituals

I prefer to run in the morning, especially on an empty stomach- otherwise I’m less likely to do as much or feel as enthusiastic about running. Just before I set out, I like to set the kettle to boil so that I can make a cup of white tea when I get back. My current favourite is Whittards’ White Tea with White Chocolate. It is light, so I feel virtuous and healthy, but the white chocolate gives it a touch of decadence and makes it just the right side of creamy. It is heavenly and I can honestly say that it’s probably the bit of my post-run ritual that I look forward to the most. If I’m really tired after my exertions, I may add a touch of matcha.

It's more delicious than it looks, honest. This is the tea with a bit of matcha added.

It’s more delicious than it looks, honest. This is the tea with a bit of matcha added.

Any tips of your own? I’m debating putting my running/jogging playlist on here next week. What do you reckon?

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