Living the simpElle life: Lauren

Welcome Back. With the weather having gotten colder, it’s time to dig deep and motivate ourselves to keep training…especially outdoors. 

This fortnightly mini series – Living the simpElle life – is where I talk to someone who has been empowered to change.

I heard a great phrase last year –

“The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms”

 – so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and I hope that is what their story will do for the rest of us…

Meet: Lauren Rutter 

I met Lauren through the blogosphere – I follow her blog, Powered By Peanut Butter, because I too (kinda) love running and (pea)nut butter! Lauren lives in London whilst studying Nutrition – her blog is quite the resource for race recaps and recipes! Before you head over thee though…

…here’s Lauren’s story…

– {THEN} – 

Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? …What were your plans / goals?

Lauren: I had just finished University and felt like I wanted to improve my overall fitness and health. I had gone through a few years of treating my body pretty badly, and found myself underweight and constantly exhausted. I wanted to try and gain some weight and regain my health and although it sounds like it would be counter-intuitive, running actually really helped me with that. It taught me to respect my body and to trust it and taught me how to fuel my body properly. Initially I was just trying to go a little bit further each time I ran and I gradually increased it to where I targeted a 6 mile race as my first goal.

– {HOW} – 

Elle: What’s your favourite way to work out?

Lauren: Hands down, it is running. I am yet to experience anything else that gives me that high. I love being outdoors, and really enjoy the long distance stuff. I always look forward to long training runs or races, where I can just sort of get in the zone. I also really enjoy strength training which I’ve been doing for the last few years. Initially I was doing stuff in the gym but now I tend to follow weight workouts I can do at home.

Elle: What’s your typical weekly exercise schedule?

Lauren: This changes quite frequently, and it depends whether I am marathon training or not. When I am marathon training I like to run 5 times a week if possible as well as a gentle cycle or spin class and 2 strength workouts a week. Right now, I am not training for anything specific so I am doing 3-4 runs a week of whatever distance I fancy, a gentle cycle and 3-4 circuit style and weight sessions a week.

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

Lauren: I’ve always been inspired by people achieving amazing things, pushing themselves that extra mile to see where it takes them. I was really inspired by guys like Brendan Brazier and Scott Jurek who were plant based athletes, achieving great things. I also really like reading adventure or mountaineering books and taking inspiration from people who have really faced huge obstacles and overcome them.

Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited?

Lauren: When I first started running it was just going that little bit further each time, getting quicker and finding it getting a little easier, that’s always a nice feeling. Completing races is always great, especially when people come out to cheer you on, I love the post race high.

Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?

Lauren: I became Vegan about a year or so after I started running. I had been veggie for 6 years by then and never really ate much dairy or meat before that time so it was sort of a natural progression. Over time I read and watched a lot of things that really made me think about what I want to put in my body, and so I decided to try out being Vegan. It’s now 4 years on and my commitment to Veganism as a lifestyle is stronger than ever, for me it makes perfect sense in terms of health, ethics and the environment, and it’s something that really works for me. It opened my world to a whole array of new foods and cuisines, and I eat much more exciting and tasty food than I ever did before.

 – {NOW} – 

Elle: How do you track your progress?

Lauren: I am a bit of a stats geek. I started with Mapmyrun, and I use Dailymile, as well as my Garmin which I use during races. I’ve started using Strava as a way to track my runs over the last year, and prefer it to my Garmin as I can measure my runs without looking at time or pace constantly. I have a Jawbone Up which tracks activity and sleep. I love seeing that I’ve hit my step goal each day, and I do a lot of walking so I’m always keen to see how many steps I’ve hit. I like to look back and compare my running to previous weeks or months, I think it’s a good way to see your progress and keep motivated.

Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Lauren: I’m always looking for a new challenge. I think initially I was quite focused on time goals, like a sub 2 hour half. There are still some times I want to beat and I’d love to improve my marathon PB, but I’m a lot more focused on enjoyment now. If I’m not enjoying it, it’s not worth it. I got into longer distance running with 3 marathons and my first ultra this year (36 miles of London 2 Brighton) as well as plenty of trail races. I guess my goal is now to enjoy the running and the places it takes me, rather than put pressure on myself to beat a time.

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Lauren: This is not really something I’ve ever struggled with. I don’t find it a challenge to get up and workout, as I enjoy it so much. It’s also such a part of my routine, that I feel a little lost without it. I like to take regular rest weeks from training just to keep things fresh too. I think signing up for races is good for motivation as you can’t really avoid doing the training when you have a race looming. I also think about how much better I feel after a run and that usually gets me out the door.

Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the “before” you…or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle…what would you say?!

Lauren: Just don’t be afraid to start, everyone starts somewhere and it will get easier. Find something you enjoy doing as that is so important; for me running is my thing, but other people may hate it, just find something that you actually enjoy doing.

…so what d’ya think?! 

If you’d like to leave Lauren a comment below please do…and check out her blog, Powered By Peanut Butter

If you would like to share your own story please get in touch with me: {Contact Elle}

Until then, keep living that simpElle life 😉 

Elle 🙂 


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