And I don't mean the kind of running where you rush to get to your kids' to school in time, while worrying about the grocery shopping and trying to figure out how you're going to fit hot, steamy sex with the hubby into your too short day. No, I mean the kind of running you do because it makes you feel good. The kind of running you do just for you. That's the right kind of women running.
Running because you wánt to? Come again?
Now some of you may be reaching for their mouse to click away thinking: 'Women running? I hate running!' And believe me, I was right there with you. When I saw a runner I used to shake my head, and I'ld say to my husband: 'Awww look at that poor deluded soul… She's out there running without a cause.' And then there were those runners who ran in place while waiting for the traffic to pass. Those runners were especially stupid, I thought. Why not take the legitimate opportunity to take a break from running! I just didn't get it. Women running was not for me!
Then I gave birth to my fourth child, and I had to take care of four children aged 0, 2, 4 and 6. I had to watch them like a hawk, to make sure they didn't get into trouble, while they spilled sippy cups and spit on my shoulders. It made me feel like doing a runner. Then someone told me she ran to calm herself, and my interested was peeked. I searched for a simple running couch to 5 Kprogramme, and started doing 20 minute walks three times a week. After two weeks I was allowed to run for one minute. Who knew a minute could last that long.. But by then I was so glad to be out of the house and on my own, I gritted my teeth and I stuck with it. And I became one of them: a Runner.
Women running the second wave
There are two so called 'runners waves'. The first one started with Jim Fixx's The Complete book about Running. Those were the days when running was all about speed and improving your pace. Not about improving your health. Running was a very sporty sport.
Nowadays women running has become much more than just a sport. It has become a way of life. Women are using running as time for themselves. A much needed break from their busy lives. And being fast is not what's most important anymore:
It is not about what you do for running, but it's about what running can do for you!
Women running: benefits
And running can do a lot for women. Women running:
- improves your health
- lowers your blood pressure
- lowers the 'bad' cholesterol
- makes your bones stronger
- improves sleep
- improves your sex drive
Women running: why so many women start to run
Women have never been so busy running around to get everything done, as they are now. In the fifties women running meant running the household. But nowadays women have to be everywhere, including the workplace. This means juggling housework, kids and work. And that can really take a toll on women. Isn't it interesting how all this busy running around makes women turn to running?!
Running is easy
It's not surprising once you think about it. First of all because running is simple and easy! It's just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, and off you go. Women running doesn't require expensive equipment, a membership to the gym, or lots of time for that matter. All you have to do is put on your running shoes, and run out of the front door. And you're doing it! You Are Running! You don't need intensive training, you don't need a coach, you can run any time, anywhere and any place. All you need is a good pair of running shoes.
Running is easily combined with taking care of the kids
Another perk of women running is that it's easily combined with taking care of your kids. There are great baby joggers available, which allow you to take your baby or toddler with you during your runs. And if the temperatures don't allow you to run outside, many women turn to a treadmill, so they can run inside. To take myself for an example: I do the school run running! Every day I take my kids to school running. They're on their bikes and I run alongside them. It's a great start of my day, and I know my kids are safely at school. I love being a running mom.
Running is efficient
Women running is a very efficient sport: in just half an hour it allows you to burn more calories than any other work out. When I'm out on my bike it takes me twice as long to get the same effect as running offers me.
Running clothes for women
Since so many women have taken up running, there's a lot of choice in running clothes especially for women. One of the best inventions is the Running Skirt. Running skirts hide all the bulges you don't want to show.
Other women running clothes items you need are
- Tights: either capri or footlong. I don't like the short ones, they make me look like a sausage...
- Tank top
- Running vest
- Running shirt with short sleeves
- Running shirt with long sleeves
- And most important of all: running shoes
There are lots of women running while have interesting thoughts, so they never get bored during their runs. Unfortunately I am not one of them. I'm like Joey in Friends who said: 'I thought it would be nice to be alone with my thoughts, but it turns out I don't have many thoughts.' For those of us who lack in the thoughts department gadgets are a great solution.
You can take your smart phone or an iPod with you during your runs, and listen to some music, a podcast or a coaching programme you downloaded earlier. I had great some great runs while being chased by zombies!
Other nice gadgets to have are the Nike chip, or the Garmin. I used to use the Nike chip to measure my miles, but I have now abandoned the chip and use my smart phone to track my distance. The Garmin is a runner's watch, which provided lots of info about your run. I haven't got one of those, because they're quite expensive.
When Oprah Winfrey ran a marathon it filled me with hope. Because isn't she 'every woman'? Oprah Winfrey isn't an athlete, she's a woman struggling with her weight. And she managed to run a marathon! Oprah Winfrey made running seem do-able.
Besides Oprah Winfrey there are of lots more women running. Take for example Paula Radcliffe, a very well know mother who runs and actually wins prizes. Or the Dutch housewife Fanny Blankers who was dubbed the 'flying housewife' and won 4 gold medals during the Olympics of 1948.
Ordinary women who run
My favourite running women are 'ordinary' women. Women who are also moms, and who are not necessarily athletes. Like me they run, because it makes them feel good. Even though it feels bad to put on their running shoes and running shoes, and everything inside them says: 'I don't wanna!' they still run.
They run because they know that even though it feels bad at first, soon that will change. All it takes is about 10 minutes, or sometimes even 30 minutes. But in the end there's that certaintly: running makes them feel good. Even if it is áfter their run, while lying on the couch. Personally the best runner's highs I've experienced, happened áfter my runs.
Interesting running websites
- We are women after all, and we wanna look good when we run. So read about running skirts!
- One of my biggest inspirations is John 'the penguin' Bingham. Read his stuff at waddle-on.com!
- And of course my own blog: Mom's Home Run, which is all about making running less scary and inviting you to become a woman who runs.
Interesting books about running
The Complete Book Of Running For Women
No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running
The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training