This post is part of a pid collaboration with Arla Protein. Photos by Anna Jackson.
Last month as I walked out of my final lecture (ever) for my Masters degree my tutor asked “But you enjoyed it?!’. My response was simple – “I wake up every day and remind myself that this was a choice”.So when Arla Protein reached out to me about a collaboration and asked “what keeps me going?” …the answer for me was simple. The power of choice. …Then I realised that right now, especially when it comes to becoming a better runner, it isn’t choice alone that keeps me going and keeps me growing; it’s choice combined with consistency.
Knowing You Have Inner Strength
If there is one person I know inside out, it’s myself. I know that when it comes to running or training, although it’s my passion to teach classes and motivate others to sweat, I find it really, really hard, to stick to a training plan. I would sign up for races with weeks and weeks to prepare yet constantly find myself on the start line feeling less than ready. Just today I was clearing out some medals using the Marie Kondo method of asking myself if the medal sparks joy or not and one medal holds a whole host of memories – North London Half – and these are memories that I treasure as a reminder of how tough it can feel to run when you are untrained (or detrained in my case).
Just three weeks prior to this run, I ran my (still standing) half marathon personal best at Brighton Half Marathon. So I knew I had it in me, but the North London Half showed me that I had inner strength to stand up at that start line, to put one foot in front of the other and then cross the finish line.
What Part Did Arla Protein Play
A few weeks ago, I shared on Instagram about how I had said I would join Helen (of 1 Vision 2 Girls) at her local parkrun but when I woke up, I really wasn’t feeling it. I spent all the spare time I had in bed having a word with myself and reminding myself that I wanted to be consistent in doing what I say I’m gonna do, when I say I’m gonna do it. I’ve struggled over the past 18 months at University with sticking to plans when deadlines start to creep up and anxiety hits an all time high. But over time, and possibly too late, I’ve learnt (or remembered) that exercise is just as important as sticking my head in books and glueing myself to my laptop. Arla Protein were bang on with the timing for helping me to remember this!
So on this morning in question, with just a few minutes to spare I grabbed myself a pouch of Arla Protein yoghurt and headed out the door. Half of the pouch was for pre-run to give me the energy I needed to run the 5km and the other half post-run to start my recovery. The yoghurt pots and the pouches all contain 20g each of protein so its a great way to boost your protein intake naturally.
The range also includes flavoured milk drinks, milk shakes, plain cottage cheese and protein water. Check out the range here and find some great recipes to use the products in.
My Goal To Become A Better Runner
Running strong and becoming a better runner is only gonna happen when I make the choice to get out there and do the work, followed with consistency. I already decided at the start of the year I wouldn’t run any event over 5km; I chose to focus on attending as many parkruns as I could and although I started the year off on the right foot, January and February running miles were pretty much non existent.
My running in March wasn’t too bad though. I made parkrun two weeks in a row and it already felt a teeny tiny bit easier… as if it’s paying off towards making me a better runner! April started off with me running the Adidas One Hour City Run… so I’m not giving up.
5 Ways To Nail The 5km Distance
- Plan your runs like you do meetings. Parkrun is great to use as it’s happening almost everywhere, at the same time each week.
- Find yourself a running buddy. The accountability will do wonders for motivating you to get out of bed!
- Create a banging playlist for the runs you need to do on your own. Choose upbeat songs to help you find a rhythm and comfortable pace.
- Pace yourself. Last weekend I found myself going off too fast for the first 2km. After some run / walking I found a girl who was running the most consistent pace and literally hung onto her heels when it was tough, and even when I felt like I wanted to run past her!
- Keep track of your progress. Each week I have a reminder set on Wunderlist to record my parkrun time. I knocked about 2 mins off my time last week (probably due to my local event being as flat as a pancake!) 😉
This post is my accountability. And if anyone wants to join me at Roding Valley parkrun one Saturday you just have to drop me a DM on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!
Tell me, what is it that keeps you going?!