This blog post is a collaboration between Emilie and me. Emilie and I have been friends for a little while online now! We met over the lockdown period online and clicked ever since then. Emilie is a seasoned runner and inspiration. She has run 5k all the way to a full marathon and is full of enthusiasm for all different levels of running & keeping fit. She has a lovely social media platform that helps engage and inspire runners through her own running journey – she is soon to be running an ultra! Pretty cool I’d say! 😊
We are here to talk about not only running but the mentality that goes along side to help you with your running journey, whether you are completely new to the running scene or you are a seasoned racer. We hope this gives you a new take on running along with Emilie’s top tips!
Please feel free to share with all your friends and family! Here we go…
So Emilie, have you always been into running? What was it that kickstarted this journey for you?Absolutely not! Throughout my whole childhood my friends and family had never sporty and never did much exercise, I was super lazy and one of them children that would scream if they didn’t get piggyback every time they had to walk further than 2 metres! I just absolutely hated it and would always try and find excuses to get out of PE in secondary school. It wasn’t until I became really self conscious of my weight after been bullied when I was about 14, the lack of exercise resulted in me being severely overweight and I was fed up of the bullying so just thought to myself “hey, let’s prove them wrong” so that’s what I set out to do. Firstly, I just ran on the treadmill when I used to go to the gym after school. I would set particular distance goals with rewards at the end once I’d achieved them, for example- my first goal was 2 miles, so once I’d achieved a 2 mile non stop run I bought myself a new pair of trainers and just carried on doing this until I began to fall in love with running and how it was making me feel, I ended up losing about 3 stone and have managed to pretty much keep it off ever since! When I was about 16 that’s when I started to run outside and Ive never looked back!
What do you feel is good advice for people who have never run before?
I always think honesty is best when it comes to advising new runners, at the start it really isn’t easy and 100% you will have days where you just want to give up. It will take time and dedication but after a while you will gradually fall in love with how good it will make you feel and how you can always surprise yourself by pushing your boundaries and achieving things you never thought you could! Don’t give up too quickly, all things take time so don’t expect to be someone’s chapter 15 when you’ve only just started, you will get there. It’s a journey you will never regret!
How do you keep yourself motivated to keep running constantly?
Oooo this is a tricky one as I’m actually struggling with this at the moment but I’ve found the things that work best for me is having a goal, whether that be a distance I’m training for or a particular time I want to achieve! Booking a race to work towards is the thing that always keeps me focused and motivated! At the moment its hard as there aren’t many races happening and my ultra isn’t till April next year so I’m going to begin a 16 week marathon plan that I did for my last marathon that I LOVED to give me a sense of purpose to my runs until I begin my training for that!
What do you do when that niggle in your head is telling you to stop running?
I’m very much a person who tries to listen to my body as much as I can! So if somethings telling me to stop running (and it’s a valid reason not just me being lazy) I will always stop. There’s so many other ways you can still get out there to get the buzz in the meantime until the trainers can get back on! I love going out on my mountain bike instead or going climbing/bouldering! There no point in keeping going when your body is telling you not to – you’ll just do further damage and regret it in the long run, but believe me, I’m so stubborn and this is so hard! I hate aborting a run but sometimes its for the best and your body will thank you for it.
Do you notice a difference between the days you do and don’t run?
Physically I don’t see a difference, I think days where you don’t run, rest are so important – this is when your muscles rebuild and recover so we can get stronger for our next run. Rest is ESSENTIAL for progress, as much as us runners hate rest days they are vital if you want to prevent injury and become a stronger runner. However, mentally I see a massive difference! The days I run, my mood is lifted, I feel way more productive and somehow more energetic! That’s why I love morning runs over evening runs, it sets your day off on a good note!
How are you finding training for an ultra?
So I actually haven’t got a clue what I’m doing! Since this is my first one I have no idea when to start training or what to do for training! Ive still got 7 months yet so I’m hoping that plenty enough time to kick myself in the butt and do some research and begin my training! In the small amount of research I have done, there are some plans to follow which are typically 16-20 weeks! So my plan is to do a marathon training plan to get me marathon fit again and then begin my ultra plan to get me to that 50 mile fitness! This is my first ultra so its all a learning curve, I have absolutely no time goals, just to finish and have fun!
Is an ultra as scary as it sounds?
I’m absolutely petrified! Well, excited but also scared! April will be my first ultra of 50 miles, the furthest I’ve ever run is 27 miles and I could barely walk at the end of that so to double that is a very daunting idea but after some training who knows where ill be at and maybe 40 miles will be my limit so I just need to push for that last 10 miles on race day! I’m excited to see how far I can really push my body, it’s crazy! I’d never have thought I could have run a mile 6 years ago, it just shows what you can do if you challenge and push yourself, our bodies are incredible!
What would be your 3 top tips to help with a running journey?
1-Focus on enjoyment before improvement – so many of us get so wrapped up and frustrated that were not improving but the truth is we all have plateaus where our times are staying the same and it doesn’t seem to be feeling any easier! This makes it so easy to give up, but sometimes we just need to focus on the small things like just getting out there and loving every moment! 10 miles is still 10 miles whether it took you an hour and a half or 3 hours, if you had fun and enjoyed yourself, it doesn’t matter how fast you did it!
2-Invest in decent trainers! So, any other clothing I wear is usually the cheap stuff, I love H&M for running clothes and the basic running clothing you can get from sports direct but when it comes to trainers it’s a whole other story! Running is a cheap sport, its free to go out for a run so use the money to get yourself a pair of trainers suited to your feet and running style! I never did this until I realised it was the number 1 cause of why I kept getting injured and having aches and pains! Just because Mo Farah wears that shoe it doesn’t mean it’s the best one for you. Get yourself to a running shop where they do your gait analysis and invest in the trainers/insoles! You can tell the difference and you’ll never look back!
3-Realise that running is not a one size fits all. Like I was saying with the trainers, just because one person wears/does something it doesn’t mean it’s going to suit you. It’s a personal journey of discovering what works best for you through trial and error! For example, nutrition techniques – some people love gels and swear by them during their long runs however they don’t work for everyone! I can’t do gels so I’ve had to find something else that works for me which is jelly babies and electrolyte drinks but I tried hundreds of different fuelling products before finding what works best!
WOW, thank you Emilie. There is some really great advice here. I think you are so right having the right footwear for running is so key and reduces injury likelihood. Having a plan is also great and helps you keep on track for sure, I agree with that! You really need to have something to keep you motivated. Trial and error and one size doesn’t fit all is the take home for me, I need to focus on my goals and achievements rather than someone else’s.
Enjoy the running journey and please comment below if this helped.
Want to know more about Emilie?
Heyaaaaa! So I’m Emilie, known as @emilie.runs on instagram, I’m 20 years old and I live just outside of Brighton in a countryside village on the South East coast of England! I’m absolutely obsessed with trail running and aim to make my life as adventurous as possible firstly by trying to make every run an adventure by finding new routes, going on crazy long runs and discovering new places to explore… oh and climbing lots of trees! I love travelling to all sorts of places (especially if it has a mountain to run up) to do awesome runs, my heart is in the mountains and one day would love to live amongst them! Aside from running, I work for a small business and make personalised Lego figures! So I make people into Lego form, it’s the coolest job ever and I absolutely love it! In 2021, I aim to go to university to train to do my dream job, rehabilitation (sports and general), and one day would love to work in a hospital to help people to learn how to walk again after injuries and illnesses! I’d also love to become a mechanic (random I know) and a fitness instructor teaching classes etc as a side hustle! I love doing a variety of things rather than sticking to one thing! And that’s where I’m at now, there’s a little bit of who I am and what I love and do!