Running can be a daunting sport. For many novices, getting from street post to street post is enough to leave you with a stitch. Yet once you get push past that point (gently and slowly) it opens up a world of exploration and endorphins.
Concrete Playground talks to one of the adidas RunClub ambassadors, Freina Sands, about what it takes to get past those initial hurdles in your training.
Concrete Playground: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Freina Sands: I'm a 35 year old mother of two boys, I run two businesses, I'm a competitive middle distance runner and a pacer/ambassador for adidas RunClub and in my spare time. I try to be a good person and professional athlete. It's fair to say my life pretty much runs to military precision, and I have been told I'm "positively annoying".
What are the benefits of running?
It keeps you alive - your body is filled with muscles and if you don't use them now and again they fade away. It's also fantastic for the brain and your mental health - pushing your self creates endorphins, and those endorphins help keep you happy.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in running?
Start slow, keep your goals achievable. Running should be something you do for fun, not torture. Try running two to three times a week, short distances no more that 20 to 30 minutes. As you start to feel more comfortable, start increasing your distance and then your frequency.
Give the body time to adjust to this new found hobby, allowing the body to build muscle that will support joints and decrease your risk of injury.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about runners?
That we eat really well - news flash: we're normal just like everyone else (except we get to run our bad food choices off).
Is there anything we should be careful of?
Don't be disappointed if you don't do well. When you're doing well you feel unstoppable but even at your very best you will still have days where you think you should give up.
What motivates you to carry on in a race when you feel tired?
I have to get to the end so I can either get there fast or slow (faster means you get to finish sooner).
How do you prepare yourself mentally and physically?
Physically if you put in the training the work is already there. Mentally I try to stay calm and composed, I get really excited before I race so I have to work on just chilling out and not planning my race too much.
What or who inspires you?
People doing well!!! Whether it is achieving their life goals, being promoted, winning their best race, or just being a really good person. Watching other people winning makes me want to win too.
Any other insider tips?
Just get out there, there is always gonna be a million possible reasons as to why you can't do something. Don't let anything stand in your way.