October 21, 2015

Build up to the Skechers Womens 6km

The Skechers Womens 6km kicks off at 8.00am on Sunday 15 November.  This annual event takes place along Auckland city's scenic waterfront.  Starting at The Cloud, the event follows an easy, virtually flat course (3kms out and 3kms back) which is an achievable distance, perfect for all ages and fitness abilities.  It's not a race or even a timed event but an opportunity for all women to get moving for this well organized, fun and motivating morning.  Whether you walk or run, saunter or scamper, you can do this!  With just under four weeks until the big event, Melissa from The Best Nest and I want to motivate you to get moving and join us!  This is my running story plus some of my best tips and tricks to making running more comfortable and enjoyable in the lead up to the Skechers Womens 6km.

I’ll stop right here and say that I am not a natural born runner.  I always looked at people running along the street and thought “I’d love to run” but, until recently, that was about as far as I got with that train of thought.  I always erred more towards group fitness classes until my husbands work schedule and my girls activities clashed with the gym timetable and I was no longer able to go.  I was itching to get moving again and running gave me the freedom to go whenever and wherever I wanted.  I don’t aspire to run marathons but I do want to be fit and healthy and going for a run in the fresh air is as good for the mind as it is for the body.
The hardest part is just getting started…

Most weeks I’ll do two, maybe three 5km runs (a fact that still surprises me!).  Some days I’m really looking forward to getting out, stretching my legs and clearing my head.  Other days those same legs and head don’t want to leave the house.  Sometimes the biggest hurdle is actually just stepping foot outside the door!  If you’re having an internal battle about whether to head out for a walk or run then one of the best pieces of advice that I once read was to put on your active wear BEFORE you decide you’re not going.  Often getting dressed is the nudge you need to get out that door.

I can't advise you on how to train (I probably need some advice in that area myself!) but if you're looking for info on how to get started then Skechers have two excellent training programs available for both walkers and runners.  Both programs start gently, gradually building on your fitness to help prepare for the main event.  Each workout is a step in the right direction and remember that...

I'm not going to lie and say that running is easy.  There are several points during a run where I wonder what on earth I am doing.  And the brain just loves to tell you that you can't do it, that you just can't possibly go any further.  But it's all in the mind!  Once you get started and those positive endorphins kick in, its amazing how a chain of healthy choices start falling in to place.  I do however have a couple of handy tips which help to keep me focused and motivated and keep those discouraging thoughts at bay.

GOOD MUSIC - Nothing is more off putting and makes you want to give up than the sound of your own heavy breathing while you struggle along.  Seriously!  Good music is absolute key to getting moving and keeping on going.  In fact "listening to music while exercising has been found in multiple studies to create an increased sense of motivation, distracting the mind while increasing the heart rate". (Source).  I've previously shared with you some of my favourite running songs here and here.  It won't be to everyone's taste.  You won't find any Beyonc√© or JT on my playlists but a stellar collection of 70's rock and 80's hair bands with a sprinkling of current day rock and a couple of upbeat 60's tunes as well.  See what you think.  On a side note, I always start running in time with the music and often think I must look like this... minus the unfortunate camel toe!

MAP MY RUN - There are heaps of running apps out there to monitor your route, distance, speed and time along with a whole other raft of data.  I’ve tried a few of them but found Map My Run to be the most user friendly and least fussy.  Best of all, the basic app (which is what I use) is free.  Simply turn the app on just as you set off and it talks to you at one kilometre intervals advising of your essential stats.  I’ve found it super handy at pushing myself to go that little bit further to reach just one more kilometre.  And while I’m not too interested in how fast I am going, it is great to see the stats slowly improving.

ROUTE - I find it boring to run the same route over and over again.  Right from the outset I have tried to run a slightly different way each time I head out.  It might only be the difference of going up a little side street or turning down a new walkway but I think it’s a great way to explore your neighbourhood and it’s interesting to see how small changes in route can make your run just a little bit longer.  I’ve found a really sweet wee playground, lake and reserve which I would have never known existed if I hadn’t gone exploring.

The beauty of running is that you don’t need any special equipment.  Just pop your shoes on and go.  That said, I do think a good pair of running shoes fitted by a professional is an excellent investment.  I was recently fitted for a pair of Skechers Go Run 4 at my local Skechers store and I am seriously impressed by them!  They are so amazingly lightweight that you forget you have anything on your feet.  Yet they are really well cushioned, almost to the point of being springy, to help absorb the impact of pounding the pavement.  They are extremely comfortable and an absolute pleasure to wear.  The Skechers Go Run 4 retail for $169.90 which I think is a very reasonable price for such a comfortable running shoe.

Melissa chose a slightly different style - the Skechers Go Run Ride 4.  You can check out what she thought of them over on The Best Nest.

The active wear you workout in is a very personal choice.  There are a huge range of options out there to meet all price brackets.  It doesn't have to be fancy.  The most important thing is that you are comfortable.  You don’t want to be fussing about clothes that ride up, slip down or chafe.  Melissa and I were really lucky to have lululemon athletica come on board who know a thing or two about active wear and were keen to show us just how comfortable running is good active wear can be.

Personally, I like to wear as little as possible when I exercise.  Once I heat up I can’t stand to have too much on.  Lululemon took that on board and came up with this amazing training outfit for me which was perfect.

The lululemon athletica Swiftly Racerback Singlet is pretty much the "wear it for everything" tank.  It's seamless fit is engineered to reduce chafing, the moisture wick construction pulls sweat away from the body and the racerback cut allows to you to twist and move with ease.  Plus it is so soft and comes in a range of brilliant fashion colours.  It's perfect!

The lululemon athletica *4way Stretch Speed Shorts are a dream to run in!  The lightweight, sweat wicking, four-way stretch fabric is revolutionary.  All I need to do is focus on putting one foot in front of the other and both of these garments take care of keeping me comfortable and cool.

Melissa on the other hand is more of a leggings and loose tank kind of runner.  Check out The Best Nest to see what see what she thought of her Lululemon attire.  She chose a pair of compression leggings with a really pretty scallop trim which look amazing on her!

So there you have it.  All my tips and tricks that help make running (and walking) a more comfortable experience.  I hope you found something of interest that will getting you moving and help make your journey to the Skeckers Womens 6km a pleasant one.  So all of that said, the Skechers Womens 6km is a little under four weeks away.  If you were ever thinking of getting up and moving and wanted a goal to work towards then this is it and the time is now!  You can register for the Skechers Womens 6km at www.skechers6km.co.nz.  All entries receive a free goody bag filled with sponsors products (I did this run last year and it's a great goody bag!).  Plus the first 3000 entrants will receive a free Skechers Womens 6km event cap!

There are also some fabulous prizes up for grabs including a trip to Hawaii for the Best Dressed Trio.  Grab two friends and get creative!  Last years winners were amazing and totally deserved to win.  They ran the whole way in Barbie boxes!

I did this event last year and it really was awesome!  The energy that comes from a whole big group of people setting off to run together is really quite electric and extremely motivating!  You’ll go that little bit further or that little bit faster buoyed by the energy of everyone.  Come on!  You can do it!

Are you still with me?  If so we have an amazing giveaway for one lucky reader!  You could win a Skechers Women’s 6k prize pack filled with sporty goodies and tickets for you and a friend to attend on the event on 15th November!

The pack is valued at over $250 and includes a pair of Skechers GOwalk 3 shoes, a Skechers Performance towel, sports-bag and drink bottle, a range of Sculpt product and a shaker, and tickets for you and a friend to attend Skechers 6k – the perfect pack to provide you with everything you need to get up and on your feet!

You can enter via the Little Housewife Facebook page or Little Housewife Instagram page (or both for two chances!)  Simply look for the original posts on both Facebook and Instagram with the prize image above and follow the simple instructions.  Entries close on Wednesday 28 October at 8.00pm and the giveaway is open to New Zealand addresses only.  The winner will be announced on our Facebook page.

Let me leave you with this one parting thought -

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