Why Aren't You Running? Oh, it's 4 Degrees Outside?
This blog is for you if it’s four degrees outside, you just biffed it at the end of your driveway, and you can hear your kids screaming from the garage.
This blog is for you if the sound of crunching snow and the smell of frost lights your fire. Total lies, but at least you’re still reading.
Lace up and let’s go.
Sweetie, remember the good old days of shorts, sun, and sweat?
When we aren’t busy running away from the standard vegan questions ("but what about cheeeeeese?!"), we are busy hitting the trails.
If running sounds about as appealing to you as beets sound to Jules, feel free to swap out ‘run’ with ‘walk’ (or other form of exercise) and you’ll get just as much out of this post!
WHAT ARE YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINES?
ROBIN: For me, I run, walk, shovel snow...
Oh. Good. I was hoping for another 23 inches today.
JULES: I’ve been really busy lately, so I’ve backed off of training for anything long distance, but I just LOVE my current routine, which is a mixture of trail running at a place ten minutes away, hill walks in my very hilly neighborhood, and weight lifting in my living room. I start going a little twerk-y if I don’t get outside for at least an hour a day.
And if you think *I* get twerk-y...
WHAT ARE YOUR METHODS?
ROBIN: I think by now most people have caught on I’m a ‘keep it simple’ person. Running or taking a walk feels so simple in that it doesn’t cost anything crazy, you can do it solo or with friends, kids, family, etc. You can listen to nature or your favorite podcast while you explore your neighborhood. I can count on one hand the number of times I have enjoyed running on a treadmill, it just isn’t my thing, but if that is what works for you - by all means! My favorite way to run is to wake up, have some coffee, a swig of water, lace up, earphones in, and just walk out the door and run down the street - not knowing for how far I am going, just setting out. There is a freedom, both mental and physical.
Coffee, check. Banana, check. Treadmill... NO F@^@% way.
The same goes if I'm working on a project, had a long day at work, or just have something on my mind - sometimes the best way for clarity is to get outside and cover some ground, let your mind wander, brainstorm, sort of a brain clean up!
Robin's brain: Before a run.
JULES: One of my mottos is: You can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want. And one of the many places that applies for me is with exercise. I like carbs. And it works for me to say to myself, “Okay, Jules, well, if you want french bread and cashew cheese and wine for dinner, ya gotta go for a run, otherwise, have a salad.”
Okay, so I think I'll head outside now...
I swear I’ve stuck consistently with an exercise routine since I was a teenager simply because of that model. I’m HUGELY motivated by a ‘dangling carrot’ (not literally, because as we just discussed, carrots aren’t that exciting to me), which means I can get myself to do just about anything if the carrot is appealing enough. A big sandwich, glass (*cough* bottle) of wine, a movie or TV show I’ve been dying to watch.... Along those lines, having a guilty pleasure podcast to listen to or YouTube video to watch while I run or weight lift often gets me excited and can distract from any temporary physical discomfort.
I want my mommy. (But I'll settle for wine.)
Even when Robin and I feel under the weather, we still go run and we ALWAYS feel better afterwards. So if you stick with a routine long enough, that constant positive feedback loop is sometimes all you need to stay motivated.
Did someone say nacho'clock?!
WHY DO YOU RUN?
ROBIN: I have always felt there was nothing more badass than walking out your door and going for a run (whatever distance you choose) and returning home. No gym membership, no special equipment, other than shoes - no real required gear. You can learn your neighborhood, explore trails, see parts of the city you live in while you trot along. In my old neighborhood, I feel like I learned more about the town just by running down a random cul-de-sac, or up a dead end. For me it's exploration and adventure. Watching the sun come up or see a flock of birds overhead, taking it all in while out breathing the air and exercising -- feels like an all around win.
Ooh, Claire got a new dogwood...
JULES: YES. Feeling that breeze on my skin and sunshine on my back is a must. I will gladly deal with the elements to avoid a sticky, stinky, sweaty gym. Plus, Mother Nature doesn’t charge a monthly fee! I’m also fascinated by the science behind flowing water and sunshine and their impact on our physical well-being. You’ve probably heard of ‘forest bathing’ as therapy - that is my favorite doctor, for sure!
It's bath time!
HOW DO YOU FUEL?
ROBIN: I have a pre-race ritual of a waffle with almond butter and a banana….and a cup of coffee. But on regular run days, as long as I have digested breakfast (usually a banana and a cup of coffee) I'm ready to rock and roll. In the summer, I like to eat a lot of fruit in the morning and drink tons of water so I am sort of “pre-hydrated” for a hot run.
Hey, Robin, this counts, right?
JULES: Almost the same for me! For better or worse, in the winter I really don’t drink any water while running, but in the summer, whew. I’m getting an extra work-out carrying all of those water bottles for Uncle Jesse and me! And my appetite goes up in direct correlation to how much I exercise, so I’m definitely one of those people who gains weight training for a marathon.
Marathon training breakfast 1 of 3.
Oh, and I should probably mention that I hate any of those pre-packaged gels and Gatorades - although if they work for you, a lot of them are vegan! I’m much happier with fruit and ooh, hot tip, after a really hard work-out (and this is the Jersey girl coming out): salt bagel with peanut butter.
We're mostly vegan, wheeee!
WHAT GEAR DO YOU USE?
DISCLAIMER: The below answers contain affiliate links (which means we might earn a commission if you follow the link and make a purchase) - in this case, links to all of our tried and true (and vegan) running gear that we can't live without! If you have any questions about gear, leave a comment and let us know!
ROBIN: My Hoka trail shoes and wireless earphones. I also love my On running shoes, Flip belt, and Nathan hydration vest. (Sometimes I'll use this Nathan handheld water bottle.) I have endless playlists and I create one for each run (a 5k list, half marathon list, etc.). I also listen to the same playlist for weeks at a time and that can make those runs easier: knowing what’s coming.
JULES: My Altra or Brooks shoes, high-waisted leggings, moisture-wicking socks, race belt, and moisture-wicking hat. If it's hot, my trusty Camelback holds water for Uncle Jesse and me, and if it's cold, I strap on Yak Trax! Robin and I are pretty chill about distance and time, but I do wear a Fitbit. I often leave the headphones behind and let my imagination run along with mah feet!
WHAT'S YOUR BEST ADVICE TO MOTIVATE SOMEONE?
ROBIN: This is one time where it pays to be stubborn, put things on the calendar (e.g., a race or milestone), and create a badass playlist for long runs if that’s your jam (...see what I did there?).
JULES: Robin and I enjoy our solo time while out running, but for some of you, having a buddy or accountability partner might make ALL the difference. And if you’re truly, consistently dreading your routine, find a new one! Running should only feel 50% miserable on average. ;)
And now, a pause to pay tribute to: Other People: Making Hard Things Less Hard Since Forever and Then Not Because Pandemic But Hopefully Again Soon.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL VEGAN CONSIDERATIONS?
ROBIN: All of my running shoes are vegan, and many brands carry a vegan shoe. I also avoid anything with leather or down for colder weather; there are so many alternatives, and sometimes, just layering up in the winter works best for me. Socks can be a bit more of a challenge, but I have found some warm socks without purchasing anything with wool.
Wool-d you wear me instead?
JULES: Same! I’ve had zero issue finding vegan running gear, including down-free winter gear. Everything I use is AWWWWESOME (all linked under 'what gear do you use' above) - and believe me, road-tested!
We just ran 26.6 miles and I can't feel my body, but this hat is GREAT!
Thanks so much for stopping by - leave a comment and let us know what routine and gear work for you!
No matter what your routine is, don't forget to stop and smell the roses.