Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Running to Increase Physical Endurance on the Ski Hill


http://runninggrannygreen.blogspot.com/p/running-motivation.html


Running increases physical endurance. This increased endurance will benefit many aspects of your life by improving your ability to maintain activity and delay fatigue. Think of your favorite pastimes. From water-skiing and snow skiing to baking with the grandkids and hiking a mountain trail, your favorite hobbies will benefit from regular running. Fatigue is an enemy to us all. It can stop our fun or stop us in our tracks. Increased physical endurance gained through running will manifest itself in your ability to walk farther, play longer, and enjoy everyday activities more fully.

My favorite ski buddy!
I run to ski. I belong to a family of skiers and it appears that we will be skiing for a long time. The grandkids are embracing the sport and I want to be able to enjoy it with them for a long time.


When performed well, snow skiing appears effortless. It is not. While it requires strength in the lower body, skiing isn’t all about the legs. In fact, much of skiing is about endurance and a lot about technique. When I get tired my technique worsens. Fatigue brings on bad habits. Bad ski habits bring on danger and the opportunity for injury. (Read about one such experience HERE.) I have discovered that the more I run, the longer I can ski without fatigue. The longer I ski, the more I improve my technique and the less likely I am to experience an injury. The longer I can remain injury free, the longer I will be able to enjoy skiing with my grandchildren.

My skiing family!

Snow skiing is just one of my motivators for running to increase physical endurance. It's only one, but I think it's a pretty good reason. On days when it seems too difficult to lace up my shoes and get out the door, I can remind myself that I run to ski with my family and that may be all the motivation I need.
How has running helped you increase physical endurance? I would like to hear about it in the comments below.

Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Running to Increase Physical Endurance


Running increases physical endurance. This increased endurance will benefit many aspects of your life by improving your ability to maintain activity and delay fatigue. Running may prove so enjoyable to some that it is motivation enough. However, many of us need more reasons to run than the satisfaction we feel during the run. I know I do! Whether you need to improve your endurance for everyday activities or a back packing trip with your family, running can help. Think of your favorite pastimes. From water-skiing and snow skiing to baking with the grandkids and hiking a mountain trail, your favorite hobbies will benefit from regular running. Fatigue is an enemy to us all. It can stop our fun or stop us in our tracks. Increased physical endurance gained through running will manifest itself in your ability to walk farther, play longer, and enjoy everyday activities more fully.

Benefits of Increased Physical Endurance in Daily Life

Housework? Yard work? Shopping? Laundry? Do you experience fatigue or exhaustion after a full day of any of these activities? Would they be more enjoyable if you did not feel worn out when completed? Would the anticipation of a full day of physical work be better received If it did not hold promise of the need for recovery?

Regular running, or any other sustained physical exertion, will result in an increase of stamina and physical endurance making everyday activities more achievable and more enjoyable. I have watched peers struggle to rise from a sofa and avoid a stroll through the park because they did not have the strength nor the stamina to perform the tasks.

Begin running now to increase your ability to enjoy daily life.

Benefits or Increased Physical Endurance in Leisure Pursuits

Think of your favorite pastimes. From water-skiing and snow skiing to baking with the grandkids and hiking a mountain trail, your favorite hobbies will benefit from regular running. The increased physical endurance will be most evident when engaging in physically taxing activities. I've experienced it myself and I've had reports from others who noticed improved strength and stamina, not during a run or workout, but while carving large S shapes in the water behind a ski boat or hiking with their family.

Whatever your favorite pastimes, they will benefit from increased physical endurance.
Running to Increase Physical Endurance on the Ski Hill

Benefits of Increased Physical Endurance for Longevity

Why do we stop doing things we love as we age? Do they become too difficult? Do they require more energy than we feel we can expend? Is it simply a mind set?

What if I said you don't have to stop doing what you love - at least not as soon as you might think? What if those things did not have to become too difficult and you could have enough energy to continue. What if it isn't just a mind set?

I'm not pitching a miracle diet or pill. What I am suggesting is that if you do something difficult on purpose, such as running regularly, you can enjoy life a little longer? Why is this important to me? I intend to be an octogenarian. I come from a long line of octogenarians. It's in my genes. I also have stroke, Type II Diabetes, and heart disease as hereditary risk factors. The way I see it, if I am going to be eighty-something, or even ninety-something I would like to keep my faculties as long as I can. And so ... I run.

What better motivation than to know you are doing something that may prolong your life and make it more enjoyable along the way? I'm a granny and its the best job I've ever had! I want to enjoy it for many years to come! And so ... I run.

Why do you run? Please share your motivation tips in the comments below.

Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How to Look and Feel Like a Runner




The best mental trick I can share to help you feel like a runner is, "Wear your running clothes." I have long said, “Looking good is half the battle.” When I look like a runner and my brain is convinced that I am a runner, it's much easier to begin. I will admit that I don’t feel like running every morning when I get out of bed. In fact, there are often times that I lie there thinking of ways to get out of running that day. It's too windy. I'm too tired. There are no running buddies today. My phone isn't charged and I need it for my running app.

I have learned this one simple trick. If I get dressed and wear my running clothes, shoes included, something magical often happens. My brain recognizes that I am a runner. My clothes make me look and feel like a runner. I am a runner and runners run!

I liken it to muscle memory drills that hurdlers use to build proper form. The memory is in the brain, not the muscle. If the drill is done properly, when the race is on the hurdler will remember the drill and clear the hurdle with proper form.

What are those magical running clothes that convince the brain to make the body run?


Feet Shoes are the most important piece of equipment for any runner. You will find that runners spend more time talking about their shoes than their running playlists, favorite smoothie recipes, or even the weather. You can begin without a fancy new pair, but if you plan to continue running it would be wise to visit a running store and get a good fit. The right shoes may cost a little more than clearance gym shoes at an all-purpose shoe store, but they will be worth it and your feet will thank you!

The rest of your attire is up to you. There is no need to purchase a new wardrobe before beginning. Runners can wear anything that keeps them comfortable. Here are a few ideas …

Legs - I prefer spandex on my legs in hot or cold weather because it keeps me covered and prevents chafing! (Yes, we runners talk about things like that.) However, a pair of sweatpants or gym shorts will do just fine. Pockets come in handy for carrying car keys, phones, and Chapstick. I have found that my legs can weather the cold or hot better than the rest of me.
Torso - Winter running can be deceiving. Layer up and be prepared to shed some clothing.  The first few minutes may be frigid, but it’s called a “warm up” for a reason. Once you get your heart pumping the cold won’t be so bothersome. Wear a sweatshirt or other outer layer that can be easily removed and tied around your waist or tossed aside for later retrieval.  Ladies, you’re going to want a sports bra.

Head – I prefer a headband over a cap for this one reason. When I get warm, I can remove the headband, twist it in two and wear it on my wrist.  It doesn’t get lost and I don’t worry if it was tucked safely in a pocket. The hood of your sweatshirt can be pulled over the headband if the weather gets really nasty. Sunglasses are also a bonus and they will help you get over yourself.
Hands - I know one runner that wears socks on his hands during cold weather rather than gloves because he likes to keep his fingers snuggled up together. I like cheap knitted gloves, the kind you find at the checkout counter in groceries stores during the winter for about a dollar. They can be stashed in a pocket when my hands get warm and if I lose one I am not out much except for the guilt I have about littering.
Wear your running clothes and you'll find you want to go for a run because you look and feel like a runner. It doesn’t always happen immediately and I think that is why it works. I am still telling myself that I don’t have to run today as I lace up my shoes. While my lazier self is still rationalizing a non-run day, the feel of my running clothes is gently reminding me that I am a runner and I will feel better after I have logged a few miles. Sometimes it takes all day before I actually get out the door, but rarely do I miss a run if I have first chosen to wear my running clothes.


Do you have a mental trick that helps get you moving? Please share it in the comments below.

Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Motivation to Run for Physical Health



I often hear people say, "You love to run." Correction: I don't especially love to run, but I love how running makes me feel - stronger, younger, healthier, happier. Those are the things that motivate me.  I'll admit that sometimes I don't want to run. Sometimes I need a reminder to motivate me to lace up my running shoes and step out the door. Those are the times I need to be reminded why I run.
I intend to be an octogenarian. It isn't really a lofty goal. You see, I come from a long line of octogenarians. It's in my genes. I also have stroke, Type II Diabetes, and heart disease as hereditary risk factors. And so … I run.
If I am going to be eighty-something or even ninety-something, I would like to keep my faculties as long as I can. What good does it do to reach a goal if one can't enjoy it once she arrives? And so … I run.

Running for Heart Health

Fear is a strong motivator. One of my greatest fears is to become debilitated by a stroke. Heart attack follows close behind stroke. One of the greatest benefits of running is improved heart health. We will look at statistics on the cardiovascular effects of running, as well as ways to recognize improvement in your own heart health.
A healthy heart for years to come is good motivation to run!

Running for Weight Control

Beginning runners might be surprised and a little disappointed when the number on the bathroom scale does not drop drastically. While there are a number of reasons for this perceived lack of progress, rest assured that things are changing for the better. You can feel motivated because muscle mass is improving. Things that once were soft are becoming firm. Your risk for Type II Diabetes is lower than it was before you began running and that is fantastic!
Runners are hungry! Watch for tips and encouragement to avoid over fueling or justifying too many snacks.

Running for Physical Endurance

Think of your favorite pastimes. From water-skiing and snow skiing to baking with the grandkids and hiking a mountain trail, your favorite hobbies will benefit from regular running. Fatigue is an enemy to us all. It can stop our fun or stop us in our tracks. Increased endurance gained through running will manifest itself in your ability to walk farther, play longer, and enjoy everyday activities more fully.
Watch for real life stories of improved physical endurance.

Running to Increase Physical Endurance on the Ski Hill

Running to Strengthen Bones and Joints

Don't believe the naysayers! Running makes you stronger. Weight bearing exercise builds bone and weight loss relieves pressure on joints. There is research to prove it, so watch this page for articles that support bone and joint health through running.

What better motivation than to know you are doing something that may prolong your life and make it more enjoyable along the way? I'm a granny and its the best job I've ever had! I want to enjoy it for many years to come!

Why do you run? Please share your motivation tips in the comments below.

Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Motivation to Run for Mental Health


Who needs more motivation to run than to maintain her mental health? When I'm healthy, I'm happy. The reverse is also true - when I don't feel well, I am unhappy! Happiness, or mental health, is more complicated than being illness free. Running, or exercise, can improve the mental and emotional health of the runner. A runner may simply feel a sense of accomplishment or she may be happy because her clothing fits better, but studies show that enough strenuous exercise can also lessen the symptoms and effects of stress, anxiety and depression.
Some runners take up the sport for weight control or to increase stamina and endurance only to find that they are happier and less stressed in their day to day activities. Others take up running on the advice of a physician to reduce stress and control depression. Many find friendship and a support system along the way.

Running to Reduce Stress

Running is an effective stress reducer. If I have been spending too much time at the computer, perhaps attempting to create a content pyramid for this blog, I can begin to feel frustrated and discouraged. One of the quickest ways to reduce mental stress is to go for a run. While any physical activity can be of benefit, running is especially effective due to the focus required. It's an "all hands on deck" sort of activity. Everyone is engaged. The musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and neurological systems are all focused on the same goal - pushing you down the road. Worries? Which worries? Everything hurts and I have to keep moving!

Running to Reduce Depression and Anxiety

As running or exercise is maintained regulary it can have positive effects on sufferers of depression and anxiety. (I'll show you the research) Unfortunately, those fighting these conditions often have difficulty motivating themselves to exercise regulary. They may need running buddies to encourage them along the path.

Running to Build Relationships

Runners are some of the most encouraging, accepting, and friendly folks you will ever find and you will find them everywhere - in the grocery store, airport, along the race course and at the running shoe store! They are easy to spot because they wear the same clothes, watches, shoes and speak the same language you will begin to speak. They talk of PR's and long runs, recovery and training, Achillies and shoes - always shoes. They listen to your woes and they don't judge you. They don't care if you are fast or slow. Runners are just happy that there are other runners in the world! You'll make new friends and build relationships when you begin running. Who doesn't want more friends?

Running to Fight Dementia

We will look at the effects of physical activity on the brain and how it helps to ward off dementia. In Running for Physical Health I mentioned some of my greatest fears were Stroke, heart attack, and Type II Diabetes. Dementia is another dreaded condition that progresses over time. If it can be slowed are avoided, it is worth every running step.

What better motivation than to know you are doing something that may prolong your life and make it more enjoyable along the way? I'm a granny and its the best job I've ever had! I want to enjoy it for many years to come!

Why do you run? Please share your motivation tips in the comments below.

Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Motivation to Run for Fun



I have admitted I don't love running, but there are some things about running that are fun! Fun can be a great motivator. I love making friends and running buddies are great friends. Racing, even when you are slow, can be exhilarating especially at the end. Feeling accomplished after a long run or completing a training schedule in preparation for your first half marathon is especially fun. Even during a difficult run, there can be moments of fun. Focusing on the fun stuff can keep you going when the going gets tough, or in other words, when you don't feel the motivation to run.

Running Buddies are Fun Motivators

I cannot say enough about the value of a running buddy. Running buddies encourage us to run when we would rather sit, to keep going when we would rather stop and to laugh when the situation seems dire. They commiserate over lost toenails and worn out running shoes. Running buddies indulge our desire to talk about food - a lot! They join us for a three mile run during a blizzard and accompany us on big adventures like the Grand Teton Relay. They are our cheerleaders. As they share our misery they become our community - our family. Running buddies are fun and they make us smile.

Racing is a Training Motivator

Racing is fun and if you want to be committed to a regular running schedule simply register for a race. A paid race registration is second only to a running buddy when it comes to motivation. Download a training plan for a 5K, 10K, or half marathon and observe your satisfaction as you do the workouts then cross them off as completed. Don't forget to record your time! You may even find yourself looking forward to each training challenge.
Watch the t-shirts and finisher medals pile up as you find new challenges and races to test your endurance and fitness levels.

Motivation through Personal Satisfaction

Much of your running experience will be driven by personal satisfaction. Only your running buddies will understand what it means to cut ten seconds off your last six mile run. Remember, the entire running community is your friend. That's a lot of support, but your neighbor and even some family members may stare at you with glazed over eyes as you brag about your latest feat. Fortunately, you will feel enough satisfaction that it won't matter much who else doesn't understand. Besides, you can always reach out to another runner. You'll need to be prepared, however, to give them equal time to brag.
Enjoy comparing your workouts on your MapMyRun app, marking the workouts off on your training schedule, and rearranging your race medals by distance, year, size of medal, and so on. It feels good, even fun, to do something that challenges your physical and mental self. Personal satisfaction may be the only running motivation you need!
What better motivation than to know you are doing something that may prolong your life and make it more enjoyable along the way? I'm a granny and its the best job I've ever had! I want to enjoy it for many years to come!

Why do you run? Please share your motivation tips in the comments below.
Happy Running!- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

How Many Running Buddies do You Need?

Training for a half marathon
Running buddies are motivators who can save you from yourself and make your run more fun. Whether you are just starting out or you have been running for a while and need a little fresh motivation, a running buddy can help you stick to your training plan – even if that plan is simply to keep moving. Here are a few examples of ways the buddy system works for me.
Training Buddy – You and this buddy have committed to a race. You are following a training plan with regular and specific workouts, times, and distances. You can’t let each other down because you know your buddy is counting on you – and you are a little bit afraid she might get herself into better shape than you if she does the workout while you skip.

I Need a Run Buddy – This buddy is willing to go for a run at the drop of a hat. She is also a good ear, and that’s why you need her at the drop of a hat.  She can help you burn some steam and regroup when you are feeling stressed.

I Will if You Will Buddy – This buddy helps you talk yourself into going for a run. I might text her and ask, “Are you running today?” Her reply makes me commit. “Sure, what time do you want to go?”
I Miss My Buddy Buddy – This is the friend that you have grown to love over miles and miles. You haven’t seen her for a time and a run is the perfect way to catch up.

I've had these buddies for years!
I’m just a Runner Buddy – This buddy isn’t one of your regular workout partners, but she is a runner, so you are friends.  That’s how it works – runners feel kinship to runners.  You might only run together once or twice a year, but when the regular buddies are not available you can find a friend to tag along.
Lot's of shapes, sizes, and ages!
Running buddies come in many shapes, sizes, ages, and a couple of genders. Some of them never go for a run together – they just like to talk about running when they are together. This much I know … If you become a runner, your social circles will expand in ways you never anticipated. Running will enrich your social life – it did that for mine!

How does your running buddy motivate you? Sound off in the comments below!

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Recovery Tips for Beginning Runners



Running is going to hurt! It's no secret. That's why you need some good recovery plans. Pain can be the result of a good workout - your body telling you that your efforts were noticed - or it can be the result of an injury. Yes, sometimes runners get injured. There are also times when you need a mental recovery from running.
Identifying the source of your discomfort will help you find the best ways to recover. We will look at ways to use recovery as injury prevention, as well as ways to recover when an injury has occurred. Yes, running is going to hurt, but it's going to be worth it.

How to Recover from Running Fatigue and Soreness

You can expect some discomfort when you begin running. You can also expect some discomfort after you have been running for many months - or years. It's part of the plan. Discomfort, or pain, is not always an emergency alarm indicating you need to stop. Very often, it is a sign that something has changed. You are engaging in a new activity or taking that activity to a new level. You are building muscle and endurance. Although discomfort is normal, there are some things you can do to relieve the nuisance of running pains. Proper cool down after a run or workout, stretching, and even ice and pain relievers can help you stay injury free and logging more miles. An occasional rest day is good for your soul and your soles!

Recover with a Cool Down After a Run

How to Recover from Running Injuries

Injuries can sideline a runner - sometimes for months. Nobody likes to get hurt. Even the most careful runner with great running gear can step in a pothole, over train, or become ill. Following good preventive and recovery practices can help you avoid many injuries. In the event the unthinkable happens there are helps to get you recovered and logging more miles.
Some injuries can be handled with self care, while others may need the assistance of a medical professional. Online resources are available to help you determine when to be patient and when to seek help. Rest is often the best remedy. It's also one of the hardest. Ice packs and athletic tape may become your best running buddies! The good news is that most running injuries can be cured and you can be on your way.

Recover from a Running Injury with RICE

How to Recover from Runners' Mental Fatigue

Runners' Mental Fatigue (I coined this phrase) is different from the voice in your head that says, "I can't believe I have another mile to go!" or "I want to stop - NOW!" Mental Tricks for Beginning Runners suggests ways to deal with those voices. Runners' Mental Fatigue, as I have dubbed it, is the voice that says things like, "I've lost all desire to run. I can't make myself lace up my shoes and step out the door. I haven't run in six weeks and I don't know when I will run again."
When Runners' Mental Fatigue hits, and it may, you can find tools here to help you get over the discouragement, disinterest, or disconnect you are feeling about running. I've said it before, I am a cheerleader at heart and want to encourage you along your fitness path. You can do it!

Whatever your fitness level, you can begin today to improve. If you think you can't run, chances are you are wrong. It may take a little longer (you have to walk before you can run) and it may hurt a little bit (life hurts) but as I like to inscribe my book, The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny, "Life is hard. Keep moving forward!"

Do you have a recovery tip that helps keep you healthy and on the move? Please share it in the comments below.


Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Recover with a Cool Down After Running



As a beginning runner it is often tempting to drop into a chair or lay on a cool bed of grass immediately following a run. You've just exhausted yourself and you deserve a rest, right? Wrong! You need a cool down BEFORE you get to rest. I know this from experience. (I tend to dive in and learn as I go.) Here is a little of my story.

When I began running I didn't want to take another step after a run. I still feel this way after a race or endurance event. Unfortunately, when I began running I also found that my calves hurt every single day! I asked my daughter how long before I wasn't sore all the time. Having competed in high school she surmised that as long as I was pushing myself, I would probably always be sore. I think she was trying to avoid saying, "Mom, you're just old and it might always hurt."

I live a little less than a half mile from the local high school track. Someone convinced me to meet them there for a run. I felt a bit silly driving that distance (I drive if I am running late) and decided to walk. This meant I would also need to walk home after the workout. I soon discovered that my legs were no longer as tired and achy the following day.

Latest research does not blame muscle soreness on lactic acid buildup, so I am not going to claim that cooling down reduces the buildup. Rather, a cool down walk seems to relax muscles that have been working hard for several miles - or several hundred meters if you are just beginning. It allows breathing to slow to normal rates and provides time for reflection and positive self talk.

Think for a minute about a stress headache or tension in your shoulder muscles from stress. If left alone there is a great opportunity for soreness the following day. Compare a cool down after your run to a shoulder or neck massage that works to relax those muscles. Relaxed muscles are less likely to become sore. Perhaps I should say, relaxed muscles are likely to become LESS sore. Like I said - running hurts!

A cool down after a run is only one of the many recovery practices that will lessen your fatigue or soreness, but it's one of the most important so take your time and bask in the beauty of accomplishment. Your calves will thank you!

Do you have a recovery tip that helps keep you healthy and on the move? Please share it in the comments below.

More recovery tips will follow. In the meantime ...

Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!


Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!









Monday, April 18, 2016

Mental Tricks to Running Farther for Beginners


I didn't do any research before I began running. I donned a pair of shoes I had been walking in for awhile (longer than awhile) and set out on my first run. After 200 meters I had to stop and walk.Then I ran some more.Then I walked. I wanted to quit. I have been running for a few years and there are still times when I want to quit. I have learned there are ways to make oneself run a little farther when the desire to stop is looming large. If you have read Mental Tricks to Running Farther for Beginners, then perhaps you've prepared to run by reading something to help you become determined. You've donned your running clothes so you feel like you are going to run. Now you are on the run ... and you want to quit ... because it is difficult. Inspiration and preparation got you running. Now you need to know how to keep running in the middle of the challenge.
We can talk ourselves into or out of almost anything. The fascinating thing about this is that we can do this talking and convincing consciously. We know we are deceiving ourselves and yet, it works! 

Here are a few ways to trick yourself into running farther:



Pick a stopping point and then run past it.

You may choose a telephone pole, a driveway, or a crossroad as a point for a rest. (Walking counts as a rest.) Just look ahead and decide, “I can run to that point. Then I get to take a break.” Determine to always run past the stopping point. You might turn the corner, run up the driveway, or run to the next telephone pole. Force yourself to run beyond the landmark – even if it’s only a few steps.  If I have chosen a crossroads or corner as my goal, I run around the corner.  Sometimes I only run ten steps around the corner or beyond the goal.  I often find, however, that I can keep going because I have endured through the difficult part of my run or the scenery has changed and I want to keep going. Going a little farther will help you grow confidence and endurance.

Mental Trick to Run Beyond Your Goal for Beginners

Add distance at the beginning of your route.

This is particularly helpful when you begin adding mileage to your normal workout. If you have a familiar course, be it a couple neighborhood blocks, the local high school track, or a trail through a park, adding distance at the beginning of this route is a powerful mental trick. If you usually run a mile before resting, or even a three mile loop, add some distance at the beginning of your route. Begin with a half mile. Your brain is used to running through the end of that “usual” route. If you add distance to the beginning, when you reach a familiar spot your mind will say, “Oh, I know how far this is. I can run that far.” The end of the course will be familiar and feel the same as it usually feels at the end of your workout.

Mental Trick to Add Distance to Your Running Workout

Run for time rather than distance.

Switch your focus from visual to digital. In other words, don't look at the additional half mile ahead of you and think, "I won't make it!" Try setting your watch and then running for time. If you typically run a 10 minute mile and you are used to running 2 miles before taking a break, set your watch for 25 minutes. Choose a different route and run until you hear the alarm. You just added a half mile to your workout!

Mental Trick to Add Time to Your Running Workout with Music

Brag about your run.

Accountability is powerful! Whether you choose to share your recorded MapMyRun workout on social media, text a running buddy that you completed your first four mile run, or blog about your running experiences, you will be motivated to go a little farther down the road if you plan to share. I invite you to message me! Remember, I am a cheerleader. I don't care how fast or slow you go and I will gladly celebrate your accomplishments.

Do you have a mental trick that helps keep you moving? Please share it in the comments below.

Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!



Mental Tricks for Beginning Runners



Beginning any new undertaking can be daunting. Running is no different. Have you heard that half of running is all in your head? Well, I don't know the exact percentages, but my lungs play a major role in running success, too. I do know that when your brain isn't ready to run, neither is your body. Fortunately, many beginning runners have gone before you and they have left a wealth of information to assist you in transforming from a non-runner into a runner.
I'm a cheerleader at heart. I want to encourage you along your fitness path. These articles will offer advice on mental tricks to help you keep going when you want to stop, run when you don't feel like running, and make running something you crave rather than dread.

Read Something Inspiring for Runners

That’s right, I said READ something inspiring. I’m not talking about a fortune cookie, or a subway print found on Pinterest, or even this blog – although I am grateful you are here!  I’m talking about reading a book that inspires you and leaves you wanting to do and be more. It may be a book about running or fitness, yet it might be a book about survival or triumph over tragedy. Your inspiration for the day may come from a 600 page biography or from a single verse of scripture. It may come in the form or a quote posted on social media.
Reading something that inspires, uplifts, or encourages doing ones best helps her stay on the path both mentally and physically. Sometimes we need a mental or emotional boost to keep doing things that are hard, and running is hard, but it’s worth it!


Look Like a Runner

Wear your running clothes. I will admit that I don’t feel like running every morning when I get out of bed. In fact, there are often times that I lie there thinking of ways to get out of running that day. It's too windy. I'm too tired. There are no running buddies today. My phone isn't charged. I could go on.
I have learned this one simple trick. If I get dressed and wear my running clothes, shoes included, something magical often happens. My brain recognizes that I am a runner. My clothes make me look and feel like a runner. I have long said, “Looking good is half the battle.” When I look like a runner and my brain is convinced that I am a runner, it's much easier to begin.


Mental Tricks to Running Farther for Beginners

You've prepared to run by reading something to help you become determined. You've donned your running clothes so you feel like you are going to run. Now you are on the run ... and you want to quit ... because it is difficult. Inspiration and preparation got you running. Now you need to know how to keep running in the middle of the challenge.
Our brains are incredible things. We can talk ourselves into or out of almost anything. The fascinating thing about this is that we can do this talking and convincing consciously. We know we are deceiving ourselves and yet, it works! Dr. Norman Vincent Peale explores this in The Power of Positive Thinking.
Here are a few ways to trick yourself into running farther: Pick a stopping point and then run past it. Add distance at the beginning of your route. Brag about your run by letting others know that your ran farther today than last week.




Whatever your fitness level, you can begin today to improve. If you think you can't run, chances are you are wrong. It may take a little longer (you have to walk before you can run) and it may hurt a little bit (life hurts) but as I like to inscribe my book, The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny, "Life is hard. Keep moving forward!"

Do you have a mental trick that helps keep you moving? Please share it in the comments below.


Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Training Programs for Beginning Runners



Beginning any new undertaking can be daunting, especially if you don't have a plan, teacher, or guide. Running is no different. Fortunately, many beginning runners have gone before you and they have left a wealth of information to assist you in transforming from a non-runner into a runner. Training programs abound. The challenge is finding the right training program(s) for you. From apps and eBooks to printed books and downloads there is something out there that will fit your personality, fitness level, and lifestyle. I would like to help you find it.

Unless you are running from a bear, running as fast as you can as far as you can is NOT the best practice for a beginner. While it may sound logical to run as much as you can one day and then push yourself past that point the next, you want to be able to walk the day after your first run - and the next. Let's take a look at some of the training programs available to help you become the best beginning runner you can.

MapMyRun App for Beginning Runners

When I began running, I didn't even wear a watch. I didn't want to know how slow I was, nor did I want anyone else to know! However, I always carried my phone, just in case I collapsed and had to call for help or died and someone needed to locate my body. I began using MapMyRun on my computer to determine how long my run was and to map out courses when I was following training plans for races. (We will look at those later.) I discovered that I could log a workout to learn how many calories I had burned, how my speed compared to a previous workout, etc.

Enter my first Smart Phone. MapMyRun was available on my phone! I could simply start the app and let it map and log my workout. I could save the workout date with a simple tap of my thumb. No more following roads on a map with my cursor. No more entering my time by hand. It was all there - even my running music. The MapMyRun app changed my life!

If you are new to running and own a Smart Phone, I would suggest finding an app that suits you and put it into use now! MayMyRun works for me, but it isn't the only app out there. Watch for information from guest bloggers regarding their apps of preference.

Smart Coach Training Plan for Beginning Runners

If you have a few miles under your belt and you've been brave enough to time some of those miles, the Smart Coach feature at Runners World can help you prepare for a race or simply increase your miles while lowering your pace. It is custom designed with your current statistics such as average miles per week, recent fastest pace, desired training effort, goal or race date, and day of the week for your long run. Unfortunately for us running grannies, it doesn't calculate age, so we don't get a break just because we are old. Plug in your information and Smart Coach will download a printable program that indicates what days to run, how far and how fast to run, and a goal time when you've completed the plan. It's personalized and its personal - nobody has to see it but you.

Smart Coach isn't the only personalized training plan out there. We will examine others, as well.

Run Your Butt Off! Book for Beginning Runners

For those beginning runners that are focused on losing weight and want to do a little research before they dive in, Runners World has published Run Your Butt Off! A breakthrough Plan to Lose Weight and Start Running. If you prefer a hard copy that you can pack around, turn down the pages, scribble in the margins and log goals, food, and exercise stats by hand, this book may fit your needs. 

Run Your Butt Off! is just one of many running guides available. We will also take a look at other books and handbooks to help you reach your goals.

Whatever your fitness level, you can begin today to improve. If you think you can't run, chances are you are wrong. It may take a little longer (you have to walk before you can run) and it may hurt a little bit (life hurts) but as I like to inscribe my book, The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny, "Life is hard. Keep moving forward!"

Happy Running!

- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

MapMyRun App for Beginning Runners


When I began running, I didn't even wear a watch. I didn't want to know how slow I was, nor did I want anyone else to know! However, I always carried my phone, just in case I collapsed and had to call for help or died and someone needed to locate my body. I began using MapMyRun on my computer to determine how long my run was and to map out courses when I was following training plans for races. (We will look at those later.) I discovered that I could log a workout to learn how many calories I had burned, how my speed compared to a previous workout, etc.

Enter my first Smart Phone. MapMyRun was available on my phone! I could simply start the app and let it map and log my workout. I could save the workout date with a simple tap of my thumb. No more following roads on a map with my cursor. No more entering my time by hand. It was all there - even my running music. The MapMyRun app changed my life!

If you are new to running and own a Smart Phone, I would suggest finding an app that suits you and put it into use now! MayMyRun works for me, but it isn't the only app out there. Let's take a look at MapMyRun to get you started.

Create an Account

Go to MapMyRun on your PC or Smart Phone and create an account. You will then be able to fill out your Profile information and About Me. Enter as much or as little information as you would like. The more info, the more accurate your data feedback will be. Always hit SAVE before moving to the next category.

Membership: Choose FREE. You may want to upgrade later, but that will cost you. Let's stick with the free version until you are familiar with the app. Hit SAVE.

Display Units: Choose your settings miles vs. kilometers, Fahrenheit vs. Centigrade, time zone, etc. Hit SAVE.

Privacy: Choose wisely! I like to keep my sleep habits and body mass index to myself! You may choose Public, Private, or Friends which will allow you to share your info with friends on social media. Hit SAVE. You can change these settings at any time.

Connect: Choose which social media accounts you want to use to share your MapMyRun info. Hit SAVE:

Email: Choose what notifications you would like to receive by email. Hit SAVE.

Log a Workout

After creating an account you are ready to log your first workout. Hover your cursor over the Home tab. Create a Workout, Log a Workout, and Import Workout will appear in the drop down box.  Choose Log a Workout. Fill in as much information as you have available. Activity Type, Duration, and Distance are the most important pieces of information to include. You can then calculate your calories burned - always a good bit of info!

Choose whether to share on social media and then hit SAVE!

You have just created your first workout. You are beginning to generate data that will keep you informed and excited about running!

MapMyRun App for iPhone

If you have an iPhone, logging a workout is as easy as listening to your running tunes! Search the App Store for a FREE MapMyRun app. Do this AFTER you have set up an account and your info will be uploaded to your phone. Log into MapMyRun on your downloaded app.

Music: We can't run without music! Your iTunes should auto sync. From the menu at the top of your screen choose Music. Your iTunes options will open. Find something to keep you company on your run. Then hit the Record arrow at the top left of your screen.

Activity: You can track activities such as walking, crunches, yard work, swimming, and of course, running. Choose one. Now go do it! When you are ready to begin hit Start Workout.

Pause and Record:When you take a break or when you are done with your workout hit the Pause Workout button at the bottom of the screen. You will be prompted to Slide to Finish or Resume Workout. If you choose Slide to Finish you will then be prompted to Discard or Save Workout. Choose Save Workout. A summary of your workout will shortly pop up on your screen. You can also view it later in more detail by logging into MapMyRun on your computer.

Congratulations! You are well on your way to becoming a runner!

Whatever your fitness level, you can begin today to improve. If you think you can't run, chances are you are wrong. It may take a little longer (you have to walk before you can run) and it may hurt a little bit (life hurts) but as I like to inscribe my book, The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny, "Life is hard. Keep moving forward!"

Happy Running!

- Carol aka Running Granny Green
Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Conquering Obstacles to Self-improvement - Lesson #1



The first challenge to creating change can be summed up in this statement. “You are going to have to get over yourself.” Before you decide to be offended, please read on. I think you will agree.

While it is true that the first step to creating change is recognizing the need for, or having a desire to, change, that’s not the first obstacle. Obstacles or challenges occur once the decision to change has been made. If there is no need or desire for change, then there can be no hurdles to clear.

Why would I state something so harsh as, “You are going to have to get over yourself?” Isn’t a desire for self-improvement the very thing that pushes us to set goals, step out of our comfort zones, and learn new skills? I would argue, “Yes.” I am not suggesting that one abandon his or her desire for improvement. Rather, I would submit that he must abandon those things, usually thinking habits, that are keeping him from moving forward. Let me illustrate with a running story. (I know. I use these stories a lot. Hey, life is hard. So is running. That’s why running is such a good teacher.)

I was once a non-runner. At the tender age of 47 (you read that right) I became a runner. Runners run.  That’s all there is to it. Non-runners who wish they were runners tend to come up with all kinds of excuses why they can’t, shouldn’t, or won’t run. I know. I found several of my own.

“I’m too old to start.”  Yep, I said that.

“I don’t like to run.”  I said that one a lot!

“It hurts to run.”  Uh-huh.

And then there is this one …

“I don’t want anybody to see me trying to run.”

Well, for those of you who are hanging onto this excuse, I have some news for you. NOBODY is looking at a runner and thinking this …

“Boy, that runner sure does look stupid.”

Nor this …

“That runner shouldn’t be running. She’s too big, old, fat, short, weak …”

In fact, those non-runners driving by in their cars with their car snacks by their side are most surely thinking something like this …

“I wish I were a runner. I wish I was strong enough, brave enough, in shape enough … to run.”

I know this to be true. I was once one of those non-runners.  And the runners that happen to be in a car while you are running are thinking …

“Look! There is a runner!  Maybe we could be running buddies!”

“I’m jealous. I wish I was running right now.”

“Wow. I hope I can still run when I’m as old as that guy!”

“I am so proud of that runner out there getting in shape!  Way to go, Runner!”

Early in our running quest my running buddy and I would search for the most hidden routes we could find to avoid being seen, but I got over that. I have learned that if I admire other runners when I am inside a car then surely others are not judging me while I am on the run. This applies to runners and non-runners alike.

It doesn’t matter if you have great running form or a cute outfit. The car riders cannot tell what your pace is and they don’t care. They only know that you are out there putting one foot in front of the other. They respect that, especially if they, too, are a runner. So get over yourself and just run!

Let’s take a look at those same excuses as they apply to other lifestyle changes.

“I’m too old to start a new job, write a book, lose weight, and so forth.” For every “too old” argument you can find, there is someone older than you making those changes today.

“I don’t like change.” Most folks don’t, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthy pursuit.

“It hurts to change.” Yes, this new venture is probably going to be a bit uncomfortable.

“I don’t want anybody to see me trying …” Because you might fail? Not trying is failing.

NOBODY is looking at you and thinking this …

“Boy, she sure is stupid to try to change!”

Nor this …

“She shouldn’t be going back to school or making a job change. She’s too dumb, old, fat, short, weak, tired, poor …”

In fact, most people watching you strive for self-improvement are going to be cheering you on thinking something like this …

“I wish I were doing something new and interesting. I wish I was strong enough, brave enough, in shape enough, hopeful enough … to change.”

I know this to be true. I’ve been one of those wishing for change. We’ve all been there, hesitant to strive. The others that are well on the road to their goal? They are your best cheerleaders …

“Look! There is a striver, a goal setter!  Maybe we could help each other!”

“I’m jealous. I wish I was working on my goal right now.”

“Wow. I hope I can still learn new things when I’m as old as that guy!”

“I am so proud of that person out there making improvement!  Way to go, Person!”

I have been guilty of keeping my goals to myself, much like my running buddy and I tried to avoid being seen. I have learned that if I admire others for their attempts to achieve, then surely they are not especially critical of me while I am striving for self-improvement. In fact, they are most likely cheering me on.

It doesn’t matter if you have it all figured out. The passersby do not know how far you have come or how quickly you are improving and they don’t care. They only know that you are out there putting one foot in front of the other. They respect that, especially if they are striving to better themselves. So get over yourself and just work towards your goal!

Achievement  Exercise #1:
Begin by making a list of all your excuses - all the reasons you can't. 
Then address each excuse. Is it actual or perceived? Can it be overcome? Is the goal greater than the obstacle?
Clear those hurdles, cross them off, and move forward!


Are you still feeling offended? Tell me what is keeping you from beginning your quest for self-improvement?
Happy Running!
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