Me: "So they say Summer bodies are made in Winter, right? Ugh. Here we go! 5 weeks until Spring Break and the pressure is ON." 

That is how I used to work out. Counting down the days until I had to put a bikini on. Starving myself of anything yummy. Basically being a miserable woman till I fit into that size 6. But over the past 2 years, things have changed for me. Running has become apart of my lifestyle. I now run in the freezing temps, I run in the rain, I run in 98 degrees, I even run on the treadmill {which is total torture for me.} I run ALL YEAR LONG. I stopped making excuses and started making plans. This blog post could go on for hours talking about how running has changed my life, but I won't bore you all with that. Let's stick with the facts here. 

1. Running is the best sport ever. 

Ok, most people hate running, which I totally get. It hurts, it's long, it takes awhile to see any results. After running for only 4 weeks, I noticed ALL of these things happening to me.

  1. weight loss
  2. stress relief 
  3. strength
  4. awesome sleep
  5. clearer skin
  6. happiness
  7. healthy heart
  8. eased my anxiety 
  9. burn fat 
  10. better sex

Once I reaped all of these benefits from running, I never looked back. I never quit, I never stopped. Sure, some weeks during busy season with Photography I had to cut back a little because my editing was more important. During the holidays instead of running 5 miles, I would only run 2. But I have always practiced running. I'm not fast, I've never won a race, I'm a still a size 8 jeans..but who cares. I'm happy, I'm strong, and I'm healthy

Everyone is different, so I'm not saying this would work for you or even for her, but it worked for me, so I hope I can inspire someone to change their life, too. 

Running Plan for Beginners: 

  1. Run 3 days a week. Monday: 1 mile Wednesday: 3 Miles Friday: 1.5 Miles 
  2. Cross train 2 days a week. Tuesday: Spinning/Swimming Thursday: Hiking/Weights/Yoga
  3. Pick one weekend day to run/walk {1 hour long}
  4. Do NOT worry about your pace unless you are training for a race. Run at your own speed.
  5. Repeat for 2 weeks and then increase your mileage on MWF by 1 mile. 
  6. You will be on your way to becoming a Runner! I still use this same training after running for 3 years. It is consistent and helps my body get ready for whatever is next! 
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Favorite Running Trails in the ATL area:

  1. Big Creek Greenway {Alpharetta + Cumming entrances}
  2. Riverside Park {Roswell}
  3. Sweet Apple Park {Roswell} 
  4. Wills Park {Alpharetta} 
  5. Milton High School Cross Country Trail {Milton} 
  6. Amicalola State Park {Dawsonville} 
  7. Vickery Creek Trail {Roswell}
  8. Sawnee Mountain {Cumming}
  9. Wood Road {Milton}

Best Running Gear:

Running is proven to be one of the cheapest sports out there. All you need is a great pair of shoes and a kick ass playlist. Of course, you can get the most trendy equipment on the market, but it's not necessary. These are my top 5 picks that I use daily!

  1. Brooks Launch Running Shoe: Shop around for the best price! I order mine from Zappos. For any newbies out there, PLEASE go get sized at a local Running store! They will tell you what type of shoe you need based on how you run on their treadmill. This is SO important because so many runners are wearing the wrong shoe, which results in injuries. If you take any of this away today, take this piece of advice! 
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2. LuLu Lemon Running pants. They are exspenive, but will last forever. Quality over quantity, y'all. 

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3. Dry-fit tops. They keep me warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Best brands are Nike and Under Armour. 

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4. Nike Apple Watch. My pride and joy! This baby helps me keep track of my pace, calories burned, and has my favorite playlists on it! 

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5. Bang busters. Nothing is more distracting than your ponytail falling out on mile 3. My hair kept me so distracted on my runs that I always use these now! Also, ladies...If you wear your hair in a bun/top knot while running, it won't stay. Stick to the classic pony tail with a thicker hair tie. 

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I could never go for a run without my Apple Music playlists. I've been running to this one over the past few weeks!

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/just-run/pl.u-b3b8RKBuNvNj63

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