5 great tips to start regular jogging – beginners edition – start today with me!

As I mentioned in my post about my long weekend trip I encountered astonishingly interesting book concerning jogging. It’s written by Sara Kirkham and entitled “Get into running”. Since my trip I spent several hours reading the book and decided to create a compendium of knowledge about how to start the entire process.

The book is great, If you have an apportunity you should definitely get it. Mine was discounted and I got it for literally less than 2$. Definitely a great investment. The author starts with all the information concerning benefits of jogging, which I’m not going to decribe in a great detail, since these are pretty obvious – you loose weight, you get healthier, sport is good. Obviously. Second chapter is a detailed description of all the fancy equipment joggers need for running – foot pads, meters, special clothes and all the other items, which I believe are not relevant for beginners. For me there is no point in investing all this money into something you might not stick to.

How to start?

Real content starts in chapter three, around page 43. The author needed this many pages just to tell us we should wear good shoes for running – sorry for the sarcasm in this post, but somehow I always get so annoyed when I read books with tips and the interesting part is literally 2 pages out of 300.

The concept is that you have to be frank with yourself and truthfully assess what level you are on. Have you jogged before and want to go back to it? You hate physical activity? or maybe you lack motivation to keep jogging? When you are the first type – you’re a quieter, if you’re the second type – you’re a newbie and if you are in the first group – you are an aspiring full-time jogger – in a nutshell a pro. In this post, mostly because I want to start jogging myself and I’ve never really done much sport in my life, I’m going to focus on the tips for beginners.

1. Plan ahead

Planning is great for everything really. When I was in IB my Business and Management teacher always said: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail“. Wise words that can be utilised for virtually every purpose. Since we start from the beginning it would be wise not to set the bar too high, you know what I mean? I am definitely not going to run 5k tonight, since I haven’t jogged since high-school. We have to be realistic, otherwise we might quit faster than anticipated. We have to start with… walking. Yeah, I know – sounds riveting. When we will be comfortable with walking chosen distance (I advise starting with chosen time period, rather than kilometers) we should implement very slow jogging in appropriate intervals. How often? According to “Get into running” we should jog every second day and every second Sunday. Below you can check my proposition of an initiatory plan (appreciate the Excel table):

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Because I might have a little extra kilograms from God-knows-what *excessive candy eating, fast-food, alcohol and tons of potato chips*, I decided to go easy on myself with this and hence my plan might be too basic for you. If so, you can simply start with any week you like and go up. You probably can see a pattern here – each week you have to decrease time of marching and substitute it with jogging – simple. With time going out for a walk is going to become a habit.

2. Prepare for doubts

What is obvious for me (from all these times I tried exercising anything and I always quit – hence the extra few kilograms, is that at the beginning it’s going to be hard. We just have to deal with it, my fancy reader, and move on from that. What I advise and am planning to do myself is to:

  • set jogging goals,
  • measure my achievements,
  • exercise for a jogging event.

My jogging goal (which covers also bullet point number 3) is that I would like to take part in a jogging event. I am a realist and I know I’m not going to run a marathon any time soon, but 5 km jogging event in Warsaw on 11th of November 2018 is within my reach. This is going to be a celebration of 100 years of independence in Poland and I wanted to join in, since each year all those brave people run just in front of my windows. Set your measuring goal (a one that you think objectively can be achieved) and let’s get to work.

Measuring achievements will definitely help you motivate to get off the couch and move further. I believe that each time I got better in something I was more prone to do it again. It’s the same with dieting – you see result, you will probably skip McDonald’s next time.

Remember to keep yourself focused on the goal and never let your sight off of it.

3. Find someone to join you

Jogging with someone else might not only improve your technique (apparently we should jog at a rate that allows normal conversation) but also make you more consistent with your schedule – there’s nothing better than someone waiting for you to make you go out. Running is healthy and the more people join in, the better it will be for all of us. Think about someone who might join you – your sister, boyfriend, friend and invite them in.

If it comes to me I think right now I am going to start alone – taking walks and jogging will not only be my activity, but also a way of quieting down and focusing on my thoughts. Ever since I was born I didn’t have much time alone (I have four siblings, I lived in boarding houses, never had my own room and now when I am an adult I live with my boyfriend. I work in an office full of people on a very busy construction site and I constantly have to talk to someone) and I think such activity might help me get my alone, relaxing time. What I planned is to find someone just like… well, YOU. Someone on the other side of the screen who is going to join me on this adventure and hopefully we might be able to help each other keep up with jogging.

4. Listen to music

I know it might be dangerous at times – don’t get ran over please! – but listening to music and focusing on music instead of how sweaty you are is something I believe is essential. Focusing on something else improved my swimming – I can now swim up to 32 length of the 25 m pool, and the only reason I am able to do that is by not thinking about what I’m currently doing. For obvious reasons I can’t listen to music while swimming, but for jogging it’s perfect. Get your phone or an mp3 player (ok, iPod can do as well) and let’s go out! If you have any nice songs that keep you pumped and energized, please let me know! I am currently looking for my jogging playlist to prepare for my start on Monday.

If you’re using a phone you can track how far you ran with Endomondo or any other tracking application. Do you know any I might find useful?

5. Let’s not forget about food!

Starving yourself is a terrible idea no matter what you’re doing – dieting or jogging. For running though (and burning all those calories) you need to eat properly – carbohydrates should consist of 60% of your diet, protein 15% and fat 25%. While we increase intensity of jogging your body will know what it needs and you might get some weird cravings. What I am planning to do is start my day with eggs or oatmeal, eat lunch prepared at home and light dinner. I will update you guys on my newly established eating habits on Instagram, so don’t forget to follow me there!

Food is important, but what is even more crucial and you already read it everywhere fifty times? WATER! Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate. I am currently drinking my favourite water which takes part in an interesting promotion since the company just turned 50 years old. Floret and I are trying to win a car, a bike or some other cool prizes, so keep your fingers crossed!

Summary

If you would like to join me on an adventure to start jogging write an e-mail or state in the comments. Jogging is going to improve our lives and no matter where you’re from we can all do it and help each other in the process!

Dorota

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Long weekend at a seaside – Baltic Sea trip – day 2

Hello world, it’s Dorota again!

Like I mentioned in the first part of my long weekend’s coverage here my trip was so eventful I simply couldn’t limit myself to writing a single post, hence I split the story into two separate chapters. Day 2 at the Baltic Sea was not nearly as fruitful as the first one, but my boyfriend Floret and I visited some great places which are definitely worth mentioning.

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After the bonfire the previous night, and following the green sightseeing route, we were exhausted. Frankly speaking most of my holidays are quite tiring. I don’t think I ever spent any holiday during which I simply tanned on a beach and relaxed. This time though I decided not to join my friends on a red route (23 kilometers through the beach) and instead to spent some leisure time simply visiting the city of Łeba.

We ate breakfast in the same exact place as the day before, packed our stuff and registered out of the camping site. We couldn’t stay for another night (even if it was from Friday to Saturday) because our best friends were getting married at 2 PM the next day, and I still didn’t have a dress.

The city of Łeba is not a very big one. Population is quite small, almost reaching 4000 inhabitants, but during the season in summer it is one of the most crowded places I’ve ever seen. It is located next to a beautiful lake Łebsko, which we had an opportunity to see the day before on our way to see moving dunes and a Baltic Sea.

Since, as I mentioned, the city is mostly focused on tourists it is swamped with shops, restaurants and stands selling various types of magnets and souvenirs. As you might now (if you read any of my previous posts) I called magnets from all the places I’ve been to, so we got some. I’m not a fan of coffee. I very rarely drink it, and even if I do it tastes nothing like coffee, more like milk of slight coffee flavour. We found a really cute coffee place in the middle of the city center, but since the season hasn’t started yet and we got diddly squat. We found another place, but it was definitely not that magical anymore.

Our walk through Łeba drifted from bookstores to shops. We stuck to the main road and it took us straight to the beach. I used to make fun of people using all these colorful screens to separate from others, but since this trip I know what they really want to isolate from is the wind. Even with such a beautiful weather it was still extremely windy!

Sun was very strong that day but I still felt chilly and instead of lying on the beach tanning for the upcoming wedding we decided to travel home with several stops on the way. Our first one was, and always will be if I’m around, Warmia Park. This is a water park with slides, pools and outdoor jacuzzi in the middle of the woods. It is a great place to relax and have loads of fun on slides. The facility is located in Pluski, at the lake of the same name, just in the middle of our road home.

As you can see, the weather started shifting slowly. We spent an hour in the park (just to cool down and relax in the water) and starving we decided to have lunch consisting of leftovers from our camping trip. We drove to the lake and ate all we had with great taste (even if we ate canned food which was not ideally healthy).

After lunch we took off to Warsaw. We were very happy to sleep in our beds again and not feel all the pinecones stabbing us in the back. The next day we woke up early. You remember how I said I didn’t have a dress for a wedding yet? My boyfriend Floret was making fun of me for the entire weekend that I knew six months I will be attending a wedding and didn’t prepare. You want to guess who couldn’t find his pants for the suit and had to buy a new one? You guessed right! That’s karma in the purest form.

Luckily we managed to buy both and had a lot of fun during the entire long weekend!

And how did you spend the weekend? You prefer do travel or rest at home? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in daily pictures, please check out my instagram!

Dorota

A trip to Slawinski National Park day 1

One of my friends texted me recently if I want to join her boyfriend and her on a trip to Slawinski National Park in Poland. Just by pure coincidence it’s the exact same friend who invited me to tag along for a trip to Bieszczady which I described here. I didn’t hesitate even for a second and immediately agreed.

The first thing I did was making sure I packed everything I could possibly need. I used my sports bag for clothes and cosmetics (I never really got mature enough to buy a suitcase) and the rest of things was packed like I robbed a store and just threw it inside a car.

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My trip started at around 3 pm. I met my boyfriend Floret on a Wilson Square in Warsaw. Our car broke down recently and we don’t have air-conditioning, so in this temperature it was going to be a long ride. The place we were trying to reach is around 5-6 hours from Warsaw and believe it or not we travelled for almost 7!

As you can imagine we got to the city of Łeba at around 9 PM and after some short shopping we were all set. It got dark and all the living bugs around tried to eat us alive, but we managed to set our camp, eat dinner in a tent (like I said here saving money is a priority for me recently) and relax. Floret went to the shop to get some anti-bug spray so I was a big girl and I assembled the entire tent by myself. Here is the result:

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As you can see I chose a secluded spot far away from all other campers. It was very quiet and all of our neighbours were really nice. The showers were very clean so I can highly recommend this camping – if you are by any chance interested its site is right here.

Afterwards, since our camp was just 200 meters away from the beach we headed there to check how it looks like. Most of the beaches in Poland are sandy so it was a soft relief to our feet to take a short walk with a great view. Unfortunately, it was a little windy, so soon we headed back. We went to sleep at around midnight and I have to say that sleeping to the sound of waves hitting the beach is amazingly soothing.

The camping doesn’t arrange breakfasts but they did give us directions to a nearby restaurant, where for a price of coffee in Warsaw, we ate delicious food with a great view.

After breakfast we decided to take a walk and finally visit the park. We packed towels, flip-flops, water and SPF-50 cream and headed towards the park.

Slowinski National Park is a part of Natura 2000 programme which is a network of nature protection areas in European Union – that means that it cannot be in any way altered nor anything can be built on these areas without special permissions. We had a variety of choices in terms of touristic routes, but we picked a green one (of middle-length) and after around 40 minutes we encountered a Museum of Missile Launcher. It was built in 1940 as an experimental German polygon for testing missiles and explosives during Second World War. Germans destroyed almost the entire facility while retreating, but all that got saved can be seen there, including glass walls (of 5 cm thickness) and other missiles.

Floret really enjoyed the place, especially that the Museum also provided quite a lot of information about a certain scientist whose work was a great contribution to Polish military (especially missiles during the 60s) Mr. Jacek Walczewski who also happened to graduate from Floret’s University in Cracow.

Later on we ventured further to the moving dunes. We encountered many interesting boards with information concerning nature, birds and snakes which live in the park. We also learned how Baltic sea was formed and how it used to be a lake. What is I think the most interesting information is that the salinity of the sea is of 0.5% to 0.8% which makes it a freshwater really. Apparently drinking it for survival reasons would hydrate the body and not dehydrate it as is the case with ocean water. So if you are lost on a deserted island somewhere on a Baltic Sea don’t hesitate to take a sip 😉

The route in the woods ended abruptly and we finally saw the moving dunes, which turned out to be absolutely stunning!

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The contrast between bright blue sky and whitish sand was truly captivating.

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The rope limits the route so it was nice to take pictures of dunes without any sign of human existence.

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Hypnotizing, isn’t it?

The dunes are, according to the Park’s website:

a real sandy desert which lies on a narrow spit between the Baltic Sea and Lebsko Lake. Wind causes the dunes to move and rise to several dozens of meters. The downside is that they cover with sand coastal forests, marshes, and even inhabited areas. The greatest changes in the landscape occurs in autumn and in spring, during storms on the Baltic Sea. The dunes and quicksands in its precincts from the most beautiful desert landscape, unique in Europe, often dubbed the Polish Sahara. The moving of dunes happens because of the lack of vegetation, which normally limits the influence of winds.

After we marvelled at how amazingly beautiful the dunes are we had to head back through around 3 kilometres of a beach with very loose sand and I don’t get why but I got blisters on my toes. Anyone care to explain? After the trip we went for lunch and finally met my friends (who were running very late, because one of them got sick the other night) and we could finally eat. I was so hungry I didn’t even bother taking a picture to show you guys, but what I can say is that my fish was very tasty. After lunch, we went shopping for food and we bought all the things we needed for making a bonfire. I wanted to make one (ah the smell!) for a long time now, especially that Floret is very much in love with grilling and he suffers each minute of us living in the big city where we can only use electronic grill.

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When we were packing for a trip it was so hot that Floret didn’t even think to take something to protect against blasts of cold wind. It got quite cold in the evening and he had to rescue himself with a work-jacket that we get to work on a construction site. He looked like a security guy, but hey, at least he was warm!

The bonfire was a great success and we had a lot of fun. Many people from the camp joined us and it was a nice time for all of us.

Since the trip was full of events I decided to split this post into two, so stay tuned!

Check o

Dorota