The Music Run 2016: Tips on your first 5K city run (for beginners like me!)

First thing's first: anything with confetti is bound to be a fun event and, well, The Music Run definitely did not disappoint
Last month, I went on my very first trail run and I had the time of my life. Although running usually bored me, the forest trail was a fun experience and I told myself I'd give running another chance. Fast forward to last week - I found myself at the Manila leg of The Music Run and I must admit that I was unclear as to what a 'music run' was but I figured, what the hell, it should be fun, right? 
Well, it was (because omg look at all that confetti!!!). Basically, the event was a marriage between two things I hold very important in my life right now - fitness and partying (#priorities, guys hahaha).

The run, which featured different music genres for different legs of the race, was held in McKinley. I don't know if it were the party vibe, or just the music blaring all throughout the run but I was pretty pumped and I ended up finishing the 5k in 35 minutes. 
Now I know, I know. To some a 5k does not seem like a big deal but for someone like me who swore off running at some point in her life, it's a pretty big achievement! Personally, I find it hard to reach my fitness goals (and this now involves running and maybe my dream of one day running a marathon! pero parang too much yun for me right now) because of nothing other than my own self doubt. It takes a little prodding (and a lot of self pep talks, but that's a story for another time) for me to get off my butt but here are some things that helped me finally get through this city run milestone:

Tip 1: Decide that you're finishing the race!

It all starts with your mindset. Once you decide you're going to finish the run, you will do it because IT'S WHAT YOU SAID YOU'D DO (okay, or not, but do not be that flaky person naman). Deciding on anything less than finishing is just giving yourself an excuse to reach only before that finish line. So motivate yourself, tell yourself you need to do it, tell yourself that magiging kayo nang crush mo if you finish the race, tell yourself what you need to tell yourself to get it done. And then, do it!

Tip 2: Make sure you get enough rest the night before

Of course, deciding on getting something done is one part, but physically preparing yourself is another. Make sure you get enough sleep or rest before the run. If you're young and your body is a well oiled machine, you can probably run 5k without any hitch even after a sleepless night, but let's not abuse our bodies that way. I tell you, even as I'm just in my late twenties, a good night's sleep is something that makes a world of difference. Your body will thank you eventually.

Tip 3: Go at your own pace

Going on your first ever run can be very daunting, especially if there are a lot of veteran runners who are part of the event. But remember, there is no shame in being a beginner! We all have to start somewhere and what's important is that you're trying. Push yourself but also make sure to listen to your body - if you need to slow down, take a rest, walk, take a short break. Remember that all those strong runners overtaking you also went through the first timer phase & it gets better from there.

Tip 4: Find ways to amuse yourself

Like I've mentioned before, my main issue with running is that I get bored - I keep focusing on how long I need to be running and how much time I've spent running and I just get impatient (I know, it's weird). During the forest trail, the beautiful view distracted me and helped me enjoy the time spent on the track. This time around, there was not much nature to enjoy but it was the music & the different displays throughout the track that helped me get through each kilometer.

Remember to enjoy the run. If you stop focusing on the time and/or distance you need to go, you'll actually realize that running, in itself, is a calming activity (yep, still working on this!).

Tip 5: Celebrate the victories, no matter how small

Okay, so you've finished the run, what now? Well, celebrate it! Hooray! This may be a small thing for for others but it is, nevertheless, an achievement. It is not just one small run, this is a victory against self doubt and a step towards bigger, grander fitness goals! Remember this moment and look back at it when you need motivation for loftier goals. 

Tip 6: Live a fitter, more active lifestyle

Okay, okay, I get it. This seems like such a tall order if the goal is just to run a 5k but trust me this will redound to your benefit in more ways than just being able to finish a run. If someone told me for years ago that I'd voluntarily be going to runs, I'd laugh at that person's face with fervid disbelief - also because I was so unfit, I probably wouldn't last ten minutes running. Fast forward to a few years and a conscious decision to live a fitter lifestyle later, I can now run without sensations of dying, and I even do so voluntarily! I can easily ascribe my not dying to having a gym/exercise habit. The more you make exercise part of your routine, the easier it will be for you to try different physical activities such as this. 

I know I still have a long way to go but, LET ME SAVOR THIS MOMENTOUS LIFE EVENT because guys, I really, really was unfit and this is a big deal for me. On to more fitness milestones! #PlsLordPahingiNgAbs


The Music Run culminated with DJ Sam Withers playing an awesome set to runners who, surprisingly, still had energy for the concert after doing the run.

And, of course, I found a way to get on the stage with the man meat DJ (see Tip 1&4 as hot international DJ also qualifies as motivation/amusement to finish run).
The whole run was worth it because I may have been tired and smelly but I met this cutie (and by 'met' I mean I asked him to take a photo with me #motivation #WIMHarot). Joke lang, worth it talaga to run because of #FitnessGoals and not just because of the DJ (hahaha #HalfJoke).
So yeah, I'm pretty much feeling all sorts of being a bad ass right now and am thinking of doing a longer run next time. 
Until then, we'll see where this burst of endorphins will take me next!




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