The Less & More of Running

If I’m free, it’s because I’m always running.

~ Jimi Hendrix

Ready to talk a little moving IPOM style?

When it comes to exercise, the preferred approach (in this girl’s humble corner of the world) is just this:

Moderately everyday instead of obsessively now and then

With all the pressure we face in life to be constantly awesome (mostly put on our own selves by our own selves) – it can be easy for some of us to fall into traps.

Traps of thinking if we aren’t 100% clean eating, we fail, or traps of thinking if we aren’t the best at something we shouldn’t do it.

Obsessing over perfection is just silly, and it’s always better to do something good than to not.

Since physical results are always cumulative (resulting from regular habits), I can’t stress enough how key adopting this philosophy has been for me personally in as many areas of my life as possible (and trust me it does not come naturally).

Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.

~ Nelson Mandela

With all the wonderful fitness choices available out there, I settled long ago on my one true fitness love.

Yes, it’s running!

And no, I am not hardcore like the crazy guys pictured here (really, not at all).

I don’t race (not to say I am against it). I don’t run with headphones, or even with a clock or a watch. It’s just me, my thoughts, the road ahead, and whatever time I have to get out there. So I try to make the most of it. The important thing is to do it as often as I can.

But enough about me.

All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.

~ James Thurber

Regardless of the time you have, or the day you’ve had, it’s really just about starting.

If you regularly have a tough time just getting out, try my girlfriends brilliant ‘5 minute rule': tell yourself you’ll do it for just 5 minutes – once you are out there all warmed up and breathing that fresh air – see where you go, it’s never back home :)

So if you are a seasoned runner, someone who’s never run, or someone who’s even just thinking about it, here is the less and more of running IPOM style – I’d love to see what you have to add to this!

The Less:

Less Time: Despite what anyone says (“I don’t have time!”)….you absolutely can get a good cardio workout in just 20 minutes. Seriously folks! 20 minutes! Where else do you get that kind of a return on your time? Factor in 3 minutes to change, 20 seconds to tie your shoes, and you are in business as soon as you cross your doorstep.

Less Money: A pair of decent running shoes costs about $60 and up. Add a pair of shorts, a sports bra (for us ladies), and an old rock t-shirt (I don’t run in one but I have always wanted to) and out the door you go! No membership fees, no classes. No driving, no gas. Less cost for more benefit. Less is oh so much more here.

Less Constraints: Go anytime. Anywhere. Go when you are traveling (a fabulous way to see a foreign city). You choose. No late starts, no classmates. No worries. Less dependence. Less pressure. Just lace up and go! It’s free to try, and best of all, if you like it, it’s free to keep going too!

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.

~ Og Mandino

The More:

More Cardio: Moving at your own pace means you set the tone. Climbing a hill while running is a real achievement, so work into it. Power walker? You are half way there already. It’s all good, so go slow, and don’t stop – just find your pace (even if you do feel like a turtle at first) and settle in.

More Meditation: Every runner’s got their reasons why they are hooked. Mine is in the meditation. Every step in the cold air is a sun salutation. Every thought processed, every step forward, I can work it all out. The ‘zone’ is the best zen feeling I’ve ever found, and it’s one that lasts throughout the rest of the day, and seeps into all areas of life. Namaste!

More Leanness: All good cardio promotes lean muscle development and the cardio burns lots of fuel.

Fresh air in your cells means more oxygen flowing so they can do more dirty work. Strong muscles means better efficiency.

More Strength: More strength means more power and more power means, well, more power to do the things you really love!

More Freedom: You can go wherever you feel moved. Wherever, whenever. Like walking (also a fave), all you need is you, a few minutes, and a will to go. Let your feet do the rest! No special gear, no vehicle. No company necessary (unless you want it).

More Scenery: See the world on foot! Anywhere you go, the world awaits.

More Confidence: This is the real deal. When you set your mind to running, there is no feeling like the finish. Knowing that you can, and you will, is (IMO) just about the best feeling in the world. It’s a gift you can give yourself every single day!

More fresh Air. More time just for you.

Gear is important, but not THAT important. I recently cleared out my ‘gear box’ and got rid of about 80% of what I had in there (part of my spring clean). But there are one or two very important essentials, starting with a good supportive sports bra (unless you are a dude in which case you are all good).

The greatest step is out the door

~ German Proverb

A good athletic top or two is nice. You want something light, that you can really sweat in.

Cotton is okay, but there is some great technical stuff out there, and really, one is all you need.

It’s worth it, no matter what sport you do in it.

Of course, if you want to be (just a little) bad-ass, wear a cool rock t-shirt. I’ve always wanted to do that ;)

There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.

~ Peter A. Cohen

Then there are the shoes. Yes – the shoes! There are lots of different philosophies on shoes. I am not an expert, so make sure to buy comfy ones from a decent brand.

There are even folks doing this completely barefoot these days..

What do you prefer?

Call me simple, but running is the reason I don’t get on skis (never mind I am not a fan of the cold snow)…give me a snowy trail, a good fleece jacket, and an hour and I am happy as a clam!

There are folks who have trouble running, whether it is hard on the knees or just not your thing. Thankfully, there is no end to the ways we can care for our bodies.

It just matters that we do.

  • Are you a runner?
  • Got any tips you’d like to share?
  • What is your favorite way to stay fit?

Whatever gets you there..

Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.

~ William James

I’d love to hear your thoughts on fitness and how you get outdoors. The best things in life really are free, and I can’t think of anything better than fresh, cool air. (Just a little) everyday is all takes!

Let us know your thoughts friends, and as always, much gratitude and thanks for reading!

I hope you all are having a fabulous day – our next post – a fabulous potato salad!

Yours in Less,

83 Comments

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83 Responses to The Less & More of Running

  1. Shira, I wish I could run. i can’t. My knees don’t handle it, and my shins and ankles hit the ‘dislike’ button. I’m a Bikram Yogi because of everything running gives you – meditation, (not so fresh) air, discipline, cardio. I love lululemon’s quote that I read somewhere: “Sweat once a day.” Sweating is so good for you! I do love a good walk – but I need to walk with a purpose. ie, photographing or exploring a new city. Great inspiring post! I took a break from yoga yesterday and it felt so good to just break the routine (and be a tourist in my city – I walked!)

    • Hey Marina – that is so common, and I am thankful that so far my body agrees with it! I figured since you are such a dedicated yogi (I really admire you for that!), and of course you know my love for Bikram’s..what I miss most is the cleansing and sweating – it’s such a heavenly feeling afterwards!! Lululemon is for sure on to something, hey?
      My second love (or maybe my first) is walking……if I had just a day a week to walk and explore I would be one happy girl! I bet that was sooo good! xo!

      • if you walk an hour a day, you’d have explored 7 hour’s worth a week!

        • How right you are! Awesome!
          I wish I had that time…instead I throw on the shoes and blaze around the park. I DO have to take time to walk on the weekends, it is so wonderful, and some of the BEST memories I have of having babies..
          Ah, yes. Seriously the best..
          xo!

      • Shira, I didn’t mention how much I liked the quotes in this post. A little but sure goes a long way…. it took me ages to figure that out :-)

        • Thanks Marina! It makes me happy that they get appreciated – wouldn’t it be awesome if we figured these things out sooner sometimes? (hehe) But alas it’s all a journey! :) xox

  2. As we always like to say…have never come back from a run and thought, damn, wish I hadn’t of done that…
    Your boy looks good in spandex, but its not for me either! look forward to having a run with you soon. xo

    • I know! I think this post is mostly for me….it IS that time of day! Imagine us all geared up like that? No, we wouldn’t be a match for those guys…!
      See you soon I hope!

  3. I’m not a runner either. I’m an open water swimmer, but that is only possible four or five months of the year. The rest of the year I walk, but like Marina above, I like to have a reason to walk — errands or visiting a garden or something.

    • Now that sounds incredible! Swimming is one of those things I just never got good at – that does sound truly amazing, especially in the salt water.
      I too love a good destination….usually a loaf of bread or an ingredient of some sort!
      Hope your day is going well! :)

  4. ‘The best things in life are free’ that is very true! While I am not a fan of running I love getting outdoors for walks. I think it’s the best way to explore a new place and love how it clears my mind! I really need to invest in some proper training gear though…I haven’t bought a new pair of shoes or sports bra in years haha What brand do you like? I’ve heard under armour is pretty good for bras

    • Ah yes! That’s a good question Sarah! I’ve used all kinds but these days I am really enjoying the basic bras by Lululemon (can you get Lulu in Australia?) – they are super affordable and give lots of support! No clasps either which I like :) Haven’t tried the under armour, but have seen them around for sure! Would love to know if there is Lulu there!
      I am with you on the walks….I simply love being outside! xo!

      • We do have lulu here!!! There stuff is amazing, but I have to be careful not to spend too much money there haha. I will definitely check their bras out. Thanks for all the info lovely xox

        • Ha! I figured they would HAVE to be there by now! I try to stay diverse in my purchases, but can’t deny I’ve lived in their bras since about a year ago :) Keep me posted! xo! :)

  5. Oh I’m now so excited about getting up tomorrow and running! I love everything you’ve said: running is free, it’s meditative, it energizes, it’s healthful, joyful, empowering and yes, it can be hard ass work! But that’s why it feels so darn good! I do my best thinking on a run. Wonderful!

  6. So hard to exercise consistently, but I keep on trying!

  7. I enjoy running because it challenges both my body and my mind. I love the way it makes me feel, and I love your 5 minute rule! SO true!

    • Thanks Brit! Isn’t it crazy that rule? It’s true with anything you might procrastinate on too….just starting is always the hard part! Love to share in the love of running! :)

  8. Great post – thanks for sharing:)

  9. I go in and out of running phases…currently off! Haha. But, I am motivated to get back into it after reading this post! I also love a good, long hike or walk!! Current fav is playing tag at recess! :) hehe. Cheers!

  10. I too love to run! The best feeling in the world is being energized yet tired after a good run when you can clear your head and get outside to enjoy the fresh air! I’ve been on a running hiatus since I moved to Montana because I’m fearful of slipping on icy roads and re-injuring my knee (I’m a baby when it comes to taking chances with my joints and my body since knee surgery) but now that the weather is nicer out, I can’t wait to get back into it!!!!!!! Just another good and healthy excuse to get some new running shoes! :)

    • Yes, totally! I hope your knee heals well (or has already?) and you can get back on the road alright! I couldn’t agree more with you Nora – and yes – be extra careful on those icy roads..I’m with you on waiting for spring :) xo!

  11. This is awesome, Shira. Exercise is my sanity, and usually I prefer it by myself. Unless it’s interval day in which case I sure need the extra motivation ;) Love the less and more of this post particularly, and your inspiring quotes. Well written :D

    • Thanks Deb! I’m with you on the solo runs – my sanity too!! Impressive on the intervals – tougher to do those on your own for sure :) Love to share this with you! xo!

  12. ‘The greatest step is out the door’… Love that! I am running vicariously with you because, like Marina, I hate running!!! Truly. Walking? – yes please. Cycling? – no problem (especially when travelling). Rowing? – great fun. Skiing? – my absolute favourite thing. Running? – not on your life, girlfriend! :-)

    • Most of my favorite people are pretty darned good skiers too, so I think we are okay there, J! :)
      It’s totally not for everyone – and I absolutely adore walking (YES! Especially when traveling!) and cycling (that’s actually my hubby in that shot – I’ll let you guess which one!) runs in our family! ;)

  13. Alexiasana

    I am a big running fan. I somehow dont like paying for the gym just to run on the treadmill. thats not me. “the best things are free” we just need to value and appreciate them. one of the best workouts for me is a 30mins run+10 rounds of sun salutations, breath exercise, 10min meditation. try it! you will love it!

  14. Awesome post, Shira! Your line about your philosophy towards a little fitness everyday versus obsessive exercise occasionally couldn’t be more dead on! I too, am a lover of running ‘naked’…no watch, no music, just me and the pavement. I’m currently living in Seoul, South Korea in dorm-style living with THREE other girls in one room and that daily run, walk or fitness alone has been my saving grace!

    • Thanks so much! So awesome to share this philosophy – these are the very best parts of the day, aren’t they?! Love how described it…..it is totally ‘naked’! :) Thanks for stopping by all the way from Seoul!

  15. Oh Shira, I wish I could find peace with running like ou have! ALthought Maybe I’ll use a couple of your tips and finally get going. The part where you said each step is like a sun salutation spoke to me and now I really want to get out there and find my meditation and peace with it! You are so right about being outside using running as a means for exploring! I loved this post. Even though I am not a runner, never have been, I am inspired to try!

    Thanks for the lovely post Shira :)

    Happy Thursday!

    • Morning Gabby! Truth be told I struggled to ‘learn’ the meditation of this activity back when I started (almost 20 years ago!)….it’s a slog at first but given time…patience, and, consistency – it happens! All of a sudden you are a runner…it only takes a few weeks – I wish you all the best with this (you can soooooo do it!)! Let us know how you make out!! xo! :)

  16. oops spelling mistakes! I guess that’s what happens when you comment at 5 am lol

  17. Awesome post! Love the quotes (as usual) :) I’m a big fan of running – usually run in the mornings before work (love that peaceful half hour at 7am!!) but I’ve been fighting a nasty head cold (the joys of living in humid Ontario lol) so I’ve been taking it easy. I’ve been working my way up to running 5k (signed up for a race to motivate me). Otherwise, I’m into spinning (great compliment to running – works opposite muscles and improves endurance, IMO) and yoga – any kind! Just finished hot hatha yoga and about to start Bikram. Good point – you don’t have to be an expert at something but just do something!

    • Wonderful Beverly! Yoga is something I will do as a compliment one day when I have the time (got into Bikram pretty heavily at one point) – it’s awesome! Best of luck with the 5k – way to go!! Very impressive….let us know how you make out! Thanks!! :)

      • Thanks Shira, will do! I don’t blame you…Bikram is very time consuming. I just signed up for 40 class package to mix things up. Keep up the running :)

  18. Now you can’t be doing this. After feeding Peaches and bananas you cannot be asking us to run! Inspired – will let you know how far i went!

  19. great post shira!

    i am a sprinter at heart, so i love running, but am having a hard time setting a new pace for myself. eventually i’d love to do a 1/2 marathon, but i seem to be lacking motivation to get up and out every day. but truly, 20 mins is all you need, and that is motivation to get my butt moving!

  20. Running is my all time favorite way to keep in shape. I love running outdoors the most…and truthfully, running in the rain is the most fun! My mother told me she knew I would be a runner when I was a little girl and I just had started walking — I would basically do laps around the house throughout the day. I’m not much of a sprinter though, but I love long distances! The most important advice I can give to any runner is a good warm-up based on stretching.

    • Excellent tip Frances – and so cute about you doing laps!!! Totally share the love of running in the rain…it’s the most freeing feeling in the entire world! Awesome comment!! xo!

  21. Running is for sure not my thing, partly because I get bored with it long before I have run far enough to do much good (I don’t do the running and meditating part too well), and partly because I miss the scenery as I stare at the ground in front of me (I’m terribly sure that I’m going to trip – I do this with hiking too…kind of a bummer.) I have discovered that I love biking though. I live fairly close to my work, and have taken up bike commuting. I also live in a town that has bike trails that run near my house and then to both of the supermarkets in town, so as soon as I get some good baskets I’ll be doing more of my shopping by bike. I love it because I feel so free when I’m on my bike, and I can actually look at the (beautiful) scenery around me. Plus, the time is not really an issue, because it only takes a few minutes more to bike instead of drive, so I’m using time I would have otherwise been wasting. I’m also loving how it is affecting my fuel bill!

    • Wonderful! Biking is wonderful, yes! I hear about folks getting bored running a lot actually :) I think it is quite common! Love it – thanks for stopping by! :)

  22. Whenever I try running, I end up with lower back pain, so I think I will stick to biking. The Lake Michigan bike path runs right behind my apartment building it is gorgeous! Unfortunately, I cannot use it to get to work and Chicago drivers are a bit crazy, but I will try to bike to work and see if I can do it without being “almost run over” multiple times every morning!

  23. Funky bra – mine’s a little like that, only larger and lined with excessive amount of wire – I need all the support I can get… I assure you, that was a joke. You know, I wasn’t going to go for a jog today – I’ve just finished an 8 and a half hour shift which was entirely spent on my feet. However, despite the fact I have to be in work tomorrow at half 7 which means a half hour walk up a steep hill and another 8 hours on my feet, I am off for a jog once I’ve done a spot of blog stalking. Thanks!

  24. Pingback: The Art of Living, & my Bill Nighy encounter « Just the Messenger.

  25. Loved this post, Shira! I’ve been an avid distance runner since my high school track days, and now I do marathons, and can’t get enough! I love the ways you described the benefits of running. It can be so amazing for you, in many ways. I see running as a great way to show kindness to your body and spirit, and it has taught me, through metaphors, a lot about perserverence, strength, and more. I guess my best advice for someone that’s looking to get into running is to really find YOUR reason to run. That, and invest in a good pair of shoes. :) I’m so glad you like to run! Keep being awesome!

    • Thanks Becca – that is very good advice – everyone should find their own way with it, and thus, get out of it what they want! I love your views on running and clearly you are right there in your passion for it! One day I say I’ll run marathons when I have time to train – never say never! YOU keep being awesome! xo! :)

  26. tammyheff

    Shira, I totally agree with you. I am not a runner (in the true sense of the word) but I do try and even though my escapades are both running and walking, it feels so GOOD. I alternate between going out with my ipod and headphones and without — depends on what’s on my mind because I agree that meditation is one of the best things about it. Here in Vermont where I live, we are in the mountains and dirt roads and woods are a wonderful way to figure things out — no matter what that might be.
    Happy running to you!
    Tammy

  27. So true–every word you wrote. I’m a runner too–like you, it’s my meditation. When I get stuck with something I’m working on, I just strap on my shoes and get moving.

    • Ah, Bob, you speak my favorite language – so happy to share in this! It’s a gift to have and keep close to our hearts :) Have a fab evening! xo!

  28. Somer

    I would love to run with you! I can run without an Ipod, but it’s really hard for me so I admire you for being able to lace up all the time without. And how cute are your running clothes!?! I ditto you on the rock t-shirt. I can’t stand running in cotton though, maybe I will just have to do an iron on print of the clash or something on one of my tech tees ;)

    • Same here! Maybe a race in Vancity one day? Or…a Marathon far far away! Cotton is no good for running in, but I just always imagine looking bad ass when I work out :)! Never mind how, I imagine music makes it super fun, I just like the calm I get – it’s the only quiet time in my day! xo!

      • Somer

        Yes, lets keep our fingers crossed for marathon in the distant future! One that is mostly downhill ;) I get wanting that quiet time, it’s just that my feet don’t want to move without a beat!

        • YES! One day…I’ve just never found time for such dedicated training! :) Hence, why you amaze me ;)

          • Somer

            My sister does four or five marathons a year and my brother does a marathon nearly every weekend as training for his ultra races. I am NOT like them. Running is actually super hard for me. But yes, I don’t imagine doing the full 26.2 until kids are fully in school, but then again, they are my day job, so I will have lots more spare time then ;)

          • For sure – I am like you – surrounded by amazing and inspiring athletes (we are a cycling, running, skiing bunch here in Van too – but not me!)..I work full time so my runs are squeezed in around everyone else’s busy lives! It works, though which is why running is the BEST!

          • Somer

            True Dat!!!

  29. Reblogged this on Healthy Lifestyle and commented:
    Excellent blog about the importance of exercise + eating healthy. We’ve been taught to eat all the good stuff but they forgot to put a disclaimer that overdosing, even on the healthiest stuff, can become bad for your body. Don’t overwork your body and don’t abuse your digestive system. Less is More.

  30. Just discovered your blog and am so, so excited to be following you!
    I wrote a mediation on running and writing for The Nervous Breakdown — would love to share: http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/cwarncke/2011/12/soul-work/

    • Thank you so much! I briefly took a few moments (that was all I have had this week!) to check out your site as well – I will be visiting some more as I am very interested to connect with you, and thanks for the follow as well! I’ll be checking out your article! :) Thanks again – appreciate it!

  31. Pingback: Somer Saturday, a Guest Post from Shira at IPOM and another Lululemon Giveaway! « Good Clean Food

  32. I’ll go running, maybe, but not yet. We’re still too busy nursing and keeping that going. But soon. And with Somer.

  33. I resisted running for so long, but once I finally started, almost 10 years ago, I was addicted! I don’t run races because I’m just not that competitive, but there is nothing better than running 8-10 miles on the beach before the sun rises. Such peace. The perfect meditation. And a good sports bra is vital to that! ;-) The best part is that I got Chris, a severe asthmatic, to start running with me, and now he can totally keep up with a good 10 mile (or more) run!

    • Impressive Kristy! 1. You are a distance girl (I love that) and 2. You are a morning runner (I am not but have always wanted to be). And that your husband can do it with you, amazing! You two are awesome, and for more reasons than just your (amazing) talent with food & photography! xo

  34. I am a runner. I am in love with the way my feet fit themselves to the pavement, the way I breathe off the stress of the day, they way my brain clicks into receptivity for it all while I am on my legs and moving. The consistency I bring to running is married to the joy it brings to me. I am a better happier runner than I was a decade ago, because I get it. Every single ounce of sweat and push that I put in comes back to me tenfold in a fit, firm, enduring self. I do a 20 minute weight routine in the morning which keeps me really strong. And that’s the whole, evolving fifty something me. The most real tip I would give is find your bliss…the thing you love… and pursue it consistently and wholeheartedly. You will find yourself immersed.

  35. I do run but only took it up a few years ago and am slow, no matter how hard I try to get faster (which is probably not actually that hard). I do tend to obsess about needing to be faster which can be quite depressing. Your post is a great reminder that I need to remember why I’m doing it and enjoy it for what it is, rather than worrying about why all my friends are so much better than me!

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