3. I don't have time.
We all do it, we pack our days full of things, putting ourselves and our self care last. Keep running clothes/shoes in your car for last minute runs! Run laps around the soccer field while your kid is at practice. Don't mindlessly scroll through social media while your kids are at practice/art lessons/music/after school activities. Use that 30 min, hour, whatever as a chance to get out for a few miles. If at all possible, get up really early. I have started many a run at 4:30 in the morning. There is something to be said about the early morning quiet and watching the sun rise.
4. I want to, but can't motivate myself!
This one is hard sometimes, and is often only alleviated by having very good running buddies who will encourage you to go out in the rain/snow/heat. Other ways are;
- Hire a coach. If you can afford this, it can be quite liberating to just wake up and look at some already planned mileage for the day. Also, you're paying for it, so might as well get your money's worth.
- join a gym. This can satisfy both the fear of running alone in the dark, and also accountability because, again, its something you're paying for. Also, many gyms have great daycare center, which also frees up some time when you have kids all day.
- Make a date on your calendar, or with a friend!
- Don't put pressure on yourself to use it as a weight loss tool. Running will make you healthier, but expecting to lose weight and checking your scale often will just turn it into a chore.
5. Its too hot/cold/rainy.
One of my favorite quotes I tell myself when the weather is just blah is; "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear." Invest in one good outer layer for each type of weather; rainy, cold, windy, hot. Also, there's always the treadmill.
6. For more advanced runners who are already trail running but want to go further but fear the unknown, take an wilderness first aid course and learn how to survive in all sorts of conditions to boost your outdoor confidence.
7. Chronic injury keeps me from running.
To this I would suggest a few things. Invest in a really good PT and figure out what it is that is causing your chronic injury. Are you lacking in strength? We, especially women, lose muscle faster as we age, so keeping basic strength training can be important to injury free running. Also after having children women's bodies change, a good PT can also help you address your body changes.
8. I might get lost.
Many watches now have features that allow you to pre-download a route into them. When I run in new places I have done things like carry my phone, or write a turn sheet. A turn sheet, for those who may be unfamiliar with the term, is basically what it sounds like. I go look at a map beforehand and write on a little piece of paper either RIGHT or LEFT turn onto each road, and sometimes I will write the distance between each turn. For trail running, learning to read a map is actually a pretty important skill.
One last comment, be prepared. When I go out for long trail runs in places I am unfamiliar with I always leave extra water in the car, I usually carry a small first aid kit and some sort of lightweight blanket, a map, maybe even a headlamp and usually more calories than I think. If there is a trail map at the start of the run, I will take a picture of it, keeping in mind those maps aren't always to scale, but it will at least help me orient myself on my own map.
I really love how I feel through running; it brings me peace and makes me feel grounded; connected to the world. It also has created and strengthened friendships I would not have otherwise made. I hope these suggestions can help entice other women to lace up their shoes and explore all that running has to offer.
Guest Blogger Rachel is an avid trail and mountain runner, she can often be found exploring trails with her dog and friends. When she's not out running, she's often dreaming of mountain adventures from her art studio where she relives her adventures on canvas. Check her out on Instagram @wisp_kelly