There´s no denying it – I am not a natural runner. I feel like some people were born to do running, and others, not so much (pounding the treadmills have never really been my “thing”). Until last summer, when I was going through quite a tough and mentally stressful period in my life, and completely on the spur of the moment, I jumped into my running trainers, and off I went. And I didn’t stop, I didn’t look back – and not only did it get me through that particularly difficult time in my life – it completely transformed the way I feel about running.
In the past, I was stressed out about not being a runner, as I knew it was such good fitness and it would keep me slim. That´s where I was going so wrong, or rather, I was creating unnecessary obstacles for myself by developing a negative mindset about running. I was complicating things. I knew I didn’t necessarily want to do interval training on the treadmill, or run outside when it was cold, and I should have just accepted that, and focused on all the things I did love to do. That´s what I have finally come to realise; a workout is never a chore, as long as you enjoy it.
So that´s what happened. As soon as I moved on, and mentally and physically accepted that I wasn’t a natural runner; I then started perceiving running as something not so scary, not so stressful, no longer a chore. I also didn’t start running for the wrong reasons (i.e being super skinny) – and for me, it become the most wonderful escapism. I didn’t even attempt the treadmills; it was all about me, the pavement or the park, and those running trainers. Complete freedom.
So, when NIKE and their Run Club challenged me to take part in a 5K winter running experience – I was so up for it. The cold weather no longer puts me off, and I was super excited to test out their latest collection, designed for all kinds of weather. One of their core hero pieces, is the epic LunarEpic Flyknit Shield Running Shoe – which is water-repellent with a mid-rise built-in-sock, which helps keep your feet dry – a precision-lasered midsole ensuring a smooth ride, and an updated traction pattern – enhancing the grip on those wet and slushy surfaces this winter (in other words, well worth the investment!).
Now, I am not saying I am a pro runner and run every week. I still go through phases, depending on my mood. I really try to follow my body, and what it craves (having learnt the hard way, never to create negativity around something by actively resisting it). For some people 5K sounds like a piece of cake; for others it may sound pretty scary. And rocking up last week, to the NIKE King’s Road store in torrential rain, and pretty baltic conditions – sure enough, my motivation wasn’t at it´s peak – but I was still excited to meet up with the NIKE coaches, who sure enough, lifted our spirits pretty swiftly.
As well as the LunarEpic Flyknit Shield Running Shoe – NIKE have launched an entire Winter Gear Guide – for Running in the Dark and Running in the Rain – so whatever the conditions, you’re sure enough kitted out. One of the main things the coaches suggested during our pre-run morning styling session, was the importance to layer up in breathable and water resistant pieces, to help support you during your run.
We could choose our pick for our 5K run, and I went for the NIKE Hypershield Flash Women´s Running Jacket with a large reflective print to help keep you dry (and visible). With a detachable hood, sealed seams, drop back hem and back and underarm vents – this is the only running jacket you’ll ever need. And true NIKE style, it looks pretty ace, too. I teamed it with a classic pair of NIKE Shield Running Tights – also wind and water resistant, with a soft Dri-FIT jersey, to help keep you dry and comfy – and reflective elements to help keep you visible during those early mornings, or nighttime runs. Underneath the jacket, I layered it with NIKE Therma Sphere Element Long-sleeve Running Top – in a super soft thermal fabric for an insulated and lightweight warmth, with a Dri-FIT Technology to help keep you dry and comfortable. This stretchy top also has a super feminine cowl neck, with thumbholes and mitten cuffs for even more coverage. Not to forget, I chose the LunarEpic Flyknit Shield Running Shoe in this bright turquoise, which in turn picked up some of the colours from the jacket. I mean, if you can look good and coordinated whilst running, why wouldn’t you!?
Now that the outfit was sorted, and the weather was actually pretty ideal to test out our new kit – we set out on our run. Crossing through Chelsea, onto Battersea Park and running along the river. It was not the easiest of conditions, but I was warm, my clothes were dry and teaming up the with NIKE coaches, really got me motivated. When it was done, I had this huge surge of adrenalin, a clear head and felt so much more motivated to really embrace running this winter! And no longer for all the wrong reasons; my running is all about keeping me fit, strong, healthy and stress-free.
…one of the coaches we ran with, was the super inspiring and positive Becs Gentry. Here she shares some of her personal insider tips and tricks to get you going too.
5 MOTIVATIONAL TIPS FOR RUNNING DURING WINTER
Dress to Run
Choose your kit wisely for keeping warm, dry and safe on your winter runs. The motivation to complete those training runs when it is cold, wet and dark can be amped up when you know that your clothing and shoes are going to support you no matter what the weather. Layer up so you can shed as you run too – start out warm and as your body acclimatises to the elements remove a layer to keep in a comfortable state.
Use the N+RC App
Motivate yourself by setting up little challenges with your friends. You can chase each other virtually if you cant literally run together, and motivate one another with cheers along the way.
Run to get things done
The weather in winter can deter us from doing a lot of things so why not incorporate your chores and your training. This way you can tick things off the list whilst getting fit. Run to meet friends for coffee or brunch, run to the gym, run everywhere.
Make it a date
Get your friends involved and get those diaries together, this way you can get your head into the just do it mantra no matter what the weather.
Think about Speed
While the air is cold, heading off for a long run can seem daunting, so why not focus on the element of training which is imperative to getting you closer to smashing your PB – speed intervals.