Ways to Enjoy Running Every Time

I have to be honest: while there are days when running is exhilarating and I get into “the zone”, there are other days when running feels like drudgery and just a chore I need to do. So how do you make sure you enjoy every mile of your run regardless of how fast you’re going or how good you’re feeling?

Running with Music

I find that running with someone always helps lighten the load. Whether with chatter or companionable silence, having a running buddy or a group makes the miles fly by. This also has the very positive effect of encouraging you to show up for a run session because someone’s counting on you to be there.

You can also try running with a dog. If you have a dog but have never run with them before, it’s best to get your vet’s go-signal, followed by a training period with your pet on a leash to build up the mileage and speed you run with them. Certain breeds are better built for running, especially those bred for extra stamina and agility like working dogs such as sheepdogs, retrievers, and collies. Just remember that dogs don’t sweat like humans do, so take frequent water breaks and work out in cooler temperatures such as early morning or evening to keep them from overheating.

When going solo, running with music helps! According to research done on the effects of music on exercise, music can distract you from the discomfort of exercise, increase your desire to move, and can make you move in time to the beat. Faster-tempo music has also been shown to motivate people to exercise harder. Even if they are training harder, people rate their level of exertion as lower than if they had trained without music. And of course, listening to music you like is pleasurable in itself.

Conversely, you can shut off the music, turn off the gadgets, and treat running as meditation, an exercise in mindfulness. Staying in the present moment listening to your breathing and letting thoughts positive or negative just pass through can be done whether you’re sitting quietly cross-legged or jogging through the city. Focusing on the sensations of your body moving, the smell of the air you’re breathing, the sights around you, and how your body is responding to exercise keeps your mind from wandering and worrying. Acceptance of what your body on that particular day is capable of performing, and not watching your speed or distance or time on your watch, is also very freeing. So forget about pace or distance when you do this kind of running.

You can vary the pace during your run to keep things from getting boring. A fartlek (“speedplay” in Swedish) is a continuous run that mixes slow-paced running with spurts of faster-paced running. This allows you to recover in between hard efforts and makes things interesting when done while incorporating urban terrain. You can try sprinting from one light pole to another, jog to the corner, then sprint again towards another pole, a mailbox, or a plant box. You can also do a version of a fartlek by playing songs and running faster during the chorus and slower during the verses. If you’re running in a place frequented by others, you can also try speeding up to overtake the nearest runner, then slow down to recover — although this can bait the other runner into doing the same thing and turn into a race!

Set simple and reasonable goals to achieve on every run. It’s important not to bite off more than you can chew; aiming for a 15-kilometer run on your first week of running will leave you feeling tired, achey, and if you’re unable to make up the distance you set yourself up for disappointment. Instead, aim for finishing a certain distance or time running all the way, or running up a particular hill feeling strong. When you can tick these off it gives you a feeling of accomplishment, which can fuel motivation for your future runs.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated. A run can quickly turn tortuous if your throat is parched and you start seeing mirages. Bringing a water bottle or a hydration belt can keep thirst at bay for shorter runs. For longer runs, keep some money on you to pay for refills at convenience stores you plan to pass along the way. A food stop can also do wonders for your mood and can act as a little body and brain break before you set off once again.

Lastly, run in places you enjoy. Treadmills are great at getting the job done, but nothing beats running outdoors where you can see the world go by. Find a new running route, or frequent your favorite one. When the sights on your route are something you look forward to, it makes getting out the door much easier. Maybe you love the loop in your neighborhood because it allows you to see your other friends out running. Maybe you can find that view of the sea another runner once raved to you about.

Every day out running is different, but what matters is the attitude you take towards your run. When you’re determined to enjoy yourself no matter what, you will definitely enjoy every step of every mile.

This blog post also appears on Thanyapura.com.

JBL-Harman Launches Active Lifestyle Audio

Music plays a big part in my active lifestyle. Many of you know how I love making Spotify playlists to accompany my training, and I usually have a song that becomes the theme of each of my races.

So when it comes to sound quality, I don’t settle for any old speaker or earphone. I’m an avid yurbuds fan, and when yurbuds was acquired by JBL-Harman I knew big things were going to happen for my favorite sports earphone. First it was yurbuds powered by JBL so you could enjoy the earphone that never hurts and never falls out with signature JBL sound. Just last month, JBL-Harman announced its latest product lines for the active lifestyle, and the earphone lines now incorporate yurbuds technology. Not only does JBL cater to endurance sports enthusiasts (in the case of yurbuds), but also to extreme sports aficionados, outdoor warriors, and people generally on the go. (more…)

7 Tips for Your First Marathon

Signing up for your first marathon? Awesome! Now its time to get you from here to the starting line. A marathon is very different from a short fun run and is a distance youve never tested your body at. You need to be smart about what you do from here on out.

34th Milo Marathon Finals: Stretch!

Here are seven tips to help you conquer your first marathon. (more…)

Heroes for Children Run with Anne Curtis

For all that’s been said about Anne Curtis as a multimedia celebrity (she acts, she dances, she sings a little), she is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met and is in earnest about everything she sets her hands to. Her latest project as a UNICEF celebrity advocate for children is a fundraising run for the benefit of UNICEF Philippines.

Heroes for Children Run with Anne Curtis
Anne Curtis for Heroes for Children Run

The Heroes for Children Run will be held on October 25, 2015 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds. Featuring 5K, 10K, and 21K categories as well as a 500-meter children’s category, this fun run aims to raise funds for UNICEF’s 1000 Days of Life campaign.

The first 1,000 days of a child’s life from conception to their second birthday are important in their development. UNICEF calls it a “window of opportunity”, and providing adequate nutrition, vitamins and minerals can prevent irreversible physical and cognitive developmental damage.

Stunted growth is associated with reduced school attendance and poor academic performance and stunted children are more vulnerable to infectious disease having an increased risk of dying from pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria.

Stunted children become adults who are more overweight and suffer from chronic disease including diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease and often have lower incomes. Women affected by stunting deliver babies who are likely to be afflicted by this preventable condition, perpetuating the cycle of malnutrition and poverty.

UNICEF country representative Lotta Sylwander said, “I accompanied Anne on her first field visit with us. She is committed not only to learn, but also to contribute in changing the lives of the Filipino children for the better. Her popularity and large fan base is an asset in drawing due attention to the needs of Filipino children.”

Heroes for Children Run with Anne Curtis
Anne Curtis and UNICEF country representative Lotta Sylwander

Heroes for Children Run with Anne Curtis
Anne addresses the media

Worldwide, running has had a charity component; I’ve personally gotten beyond the point where I run just for personal benefit. When you run for a purpose or an advocacy it makes every step more meaningful — Anne Curtis has signed up to do her first 21K at this race. While she is training for the distance, she knows what will drive her onward. “I think my passion for the children will help me finish my first half-marathon,” Anne said during the press conference.

Do your part by signing up for Heroes for Children Run! We running bloggers will be there.

Heroes for Children Run with Anne Curtis

Heroes for Children Run with Anne Curtis

Race: Heroes for Children Run
Date: October 25, 2015
Venue: SM Mall of Asia
Reg Fee: P650 (5K); P750 (10K); P950 (21K); P100 (500-meter dash for children 12 years old and below)
Registration Sites: Chris Sports (SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, SM BF Homes, Glorietta, Market! Market!)
Online Registration: takbo.ph/heroesforchildren (additional fees will apply)

10 Reasons You Need to Run NOW

For self-confessed run addicts like myself, running is like a food that nourishes our bodies and souls. It is something we can’t live without. But if you’re just starting out, the thought of slogging through miles on the road, rail, or treadmill may not be too appetizing.

To whet your appetite for running, here are 10 reasons you need to run, NOW.

Lacing Up for a Run