Episode #46: Healthy Hormones and
The Benefits of Running
with Angie Brown
What you’ll learn in this episode
Running yields so many benefits for PCOS and healthy hormones! Actually getting out there and doing it, though, can feel a bit daunting. I love this episode with Guest Angie Brown because she makes getting started so easy and doable that it can actually be fun!
Meet Special Guest Dr. Angie Brown DPT
Dr. Angie Brown, DPT is a mom, wife, entrepreneur, coach, and physical therapist that is the founder of the Real Life Runners Training Academy and Real Life Runners podcast that she hosts alongside her husband, Kevin Brown.
She loves helping runners to run faster and longer without injury so they can have more energy, be strong, healthy, and fit, and have more freedom in their lives.
She holds her doctorate in physical therapy, specializing in runner-specific strength and conditioning, mobility, and injury prevention for runners, and also holds a certification in nutrition to help her clients integrate healthy eating to complement their training and overall health goals. She has a passion for health, wellness, food, fitness, and helping to educate people on the importance of healthy lifestyle changes, in order to live an active, vibrant life, both now and as we get older.
Let’s Continue The Conversation
Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.
So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com
Let’s Continue The Conversation
Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.
So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com
Resources & References Mentioned in this episode
Listen to Real-Life Runners With Angie And Kevin Brown on
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Email: [email protected]
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Read The Full Episode Transcript Here
Welcome back to the PCOS Repair podcast. I’m extremely excited to have Angie here with us today to talk about running. Running has been a huge part of my PCOS health journey, and she’s here to get rid of some of the myths and roadblocks in our way to make it fun and exciting, and accessible. Welcome, Angie. I’m really glad to have you here.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here.
Tell us a little bit about how you got interested in running and had it became something that was important in your life enough so that you’ve become a running coach.
Yeah. So it’s actually a fun story because it’s not like a lot of the running coaches out there, I don’t think. I mean, I don’t know all of them yet, of course, but I think a lot of times people think that to be a running coach, you have to be this hardcore runner that’s done it since you were in high school, across country, running in college, maybe even professional level because there are coaches out there that fit those qualifications, and I am not one of them. So I actually grew up hating running. I grew up playing volleyball, basketball, and softball in high school and so I was always athletic, I was always very much active and into sports and those kinds of things but running, for me, was always a form of punishment in those sports, like when you missed a serve in volleyball, you had to go do laps of the track and in basketball, we literally had to run things called suicides, they called them suicides so it’s like running always had this negative connotation in my brain and I just always assumed I was a slow runner, I wasn’t very good at running, like running was just something that I had to do in order for me to actually be able to play my other sports. That was just the stuff I had to get through, that was the conditioning portion of practice that I didn’t really like. Give me the ball, let’s actually play, let’s get better at that sport and so that was how I grew up with running, it’s just not liking it at all, and then after high school, I went to college, and did not choose to play in college athletics. So instead, I started living the college lifestyle and that weight started to creep on and I started running to try to lose weight, I started running to try because I wasn’t happy with my body, I wasn’t happy with what was happening so I went to the gym, I got on the treadmill and I started running and I still didn’t like it. I was just trying to do it right as a means to an end because I heard that running was the best way to lose weight, I saw all these runners and the runner’s body that I wanted. So I’m like, well, I should probably do that, and it still was not fun for me, and then my junior year of college, I met a guy who happened to be a runner and he actually ran for the division 1 program where we went to school and so he loved running, he is that person that we were talking about before that started running when he was in team.
I can relate to not loving running.
Yes. When you think of a runner, you think of someone like my husband, right? Well, spoiler alert, we got married. So met him and he started opening my eyes to what running could be he introduced me to my first pair of running shoes, which were a game changer because I just used to run in whatever was on sale, whatever looked cute, like a real pair of running shoes makes a huge difference and then he just started the way that he talked about running and the joy that he got from running. I was like, I want that, right? And so after college, like in college, I did a couple of little 5Ks, nothing big or anything like that, and then after college, I ended up going to physical therapy school to get my doctorate and when you’re in PT school, you’re just surrounded by a lot of people that are very into health and fitness. So it became very much a part of the culture there, after we would spend seven or eight hours in class every day, we would go to the gym and we would just work out, we would be on the treadmill, we’d lift weights, whatever it was and so a group of friends and I decided to start running some races and we did a triathlon. But it was still a means to an end, it was still just kind of like running to be fit, running to get in shape, and then after grad school when I… And I still had it in my head that I wasn’t a very good runner, I still called myself, Oh, I run, but I’m not really a runner and I hear that all the time and it’s one of the big things that I try to break people out of now, which is fun, but because I totally get it. I never identified myself as a runner, running was just still something that I just did, and then when my husband and I ended up getting married right after grad school and having babies and all the things. But it was then that I started just seeing the benefits of running both physically and mentally, I started to understand how to train in a way that was right for my body and incorporate a lot of what I learned in PT school to help my body get stronger, learned a lot about running and actually how to train so that running actually started feeling better, started to break down some of those ideas that I wasn’t a very good runner and started to just get curious about, well, what if I could get faster?, What if I could run longer? and it just all evolved from there. So that took me to where I am today, where I became a running coach because I skipped a decade there, but essentially did my first half marathon and just absolutely love the feeling of accomplishment and pride and that running was able to get me in freedom, too.
Well, I know I can relate to a lot of that. I know a lot of our listeners today can relate to a lot of the not necessarily loving to run or the idea of running. I will say that throughout my PCOS journey, I have found that the times where I am running and training, and like many people that you work with, would say I’m not necessarily a good or a fast runner, but I find it very therapeutic beyond the fitness aspects for myself when training. One of the best I’ve ever felt was when I was training for a half marathon between my second and third baby, And so with some of that background and knowledge that you have of running, as we get into the rest of it, what are some of the benefits of running that you’ve discovered?
Oh, my gosh, there’s so many. Where should we start? So a big part of what we do with the people that I work with is I like to look at running very holistically, I like thinking that running makes us stronger physically and also mentally because there are huge benefits both physically and mentally. So just to spout off some of the physical benefits because there are so many. One of the biggest ones is obviously improved cardiovascular health. So it strengthens our heart muscle because our heart is a muscle, so it strengthens that, it helps to decrease blood pressure, it helps decrease risk of heart disease, like there’s a ton of research on the benefits of running for cardiovascular health, it improves our circulation, there’s so many cardiovascular benefits, it improves our breathing, our lung capacity, all sorts of things there. It can actually improve insulin sensitivity, which I know is a big thing with PCOS, it improves bone density and bone health, it can improve joint health, there’s a big myth out there of like, running is bad for your knees, and it is not. I promise you it is not bad for your knees, it’s only bad if you do it incorrectly. So when you run…
My husband’s an orthopedic surgeon and he would 100 % agree with you there. There’s no That’s a very old outdated myth that running is harmful to your knees. If anything, it’s showing more and more that probably protective.
It’s beneficial. Yeah. There’s actually a lot of studies that have come out that have shown that runners, the joints, specifically the knee joints in runners, actually runners have a decreased incidence of knee osteoarthritis as they get older versus nonrunners. So it’s actually there is a protective effect of running.
But it’s the opposite of what we’ve been told for years.
Exactly. yeah, exactly. But we also know a lot more about running now and the proper way to train. Back a few decades ago, people would just run as hard as they can for as long as they can and now there’s a method, the more we learn about any topic, we get better as we go and that’s one of the beauties of research and of experience and so now we know that there are more effective ways to train with less wear and tear on the body. So maybe 50 years ago, if you were just running as far as you could and as fast as you could every single time you went out and run, yeah, that’s not so good for your joints, that’s not so good for you in general but now if you train in the right way, there’s a lot of really big benefits. So yeah, joint benefits, definitely good for your joints, not bad for your joints. It reduces cancer risk, it reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia like there’s been so many studies just about the physical benefits of running that you can find in the literature today. And so that is definitely it’s like every system of the body, whether it’s the neurological system, the cardiovascular system, the musculoskeletal system, all of those systems benefit from running, at least up to a certain point. There’s some research, once you go above a certain point, then maybe it’s a little bit different but moderate levels of running are really good for your physical health.
Moderate levels of running being?
Different research studies define that differently but most people would say anything from, I would say, 20 up to maybe 30 miles a week, maybe even a little bit higher than that would be considered that. But there are some experts that when you get into marathon training, ultra marathon training, super long distances that will argue that that is not good for you, that you’re actually going in the opposite direction. But most runners don’t fall into those categories because I think a lot of people think that, oh, in order to be a runner, I have to go run a marathon, which is absolutely ridiculous because only 1 % of runners are marathon runners, most runners don’t actually go that far. So there is some debate, like, once you start getting up into the higher distances about the physical benefits of running, but most people don’t fall into that category.
Well, thank you for clarifying that. Because I think sometimes we hear things about if you go too far, but then we assume that that too far is a lot less, or we have a hard time gaging, and then we get it in our minds that, oh, but if I do too much, it almost gives us an excuse not to do something today because I’m hitting that too much mark.
Yeah, I don’t think that most of us have to worry about that at all. That’s what we’re talking about when people take anything to the extremes, like when you’re extreme in any activity, there can be some negative consequences and so if you take running to the extremes as well, there can be some negative consequences, but that’s not the bucket that most people fall into.
And I think that my husband’s also a runner, a fairly similar background with you. I think too, watching people run at a more elite level, we are aware if we allow ourselves to listen to our bodies when we’re crossing that threshold. And so I think that as long as we’re keeping tabs on how we’re feeling, how we’re doing if we’re starting to experience injuries, things like that, we don’t have to worry about the overdoing as long as we’re staying in touch with how we’re doing.
A hundred %. And that’s one of the biggest things that we really help runners to do is to get back in touch with their bodies. Because I feel like in so many ways, not just runners, but just humans in general, we have been taught and conditioned to ignore our bodies, like ignore your hunger signals, ignore what you’re feeling, ignore some of the other things that are going on in your body. Just keep pushing through, keep going forward and we have been conditioned to ignore ourselves in so many ways, and the same thing goes with runners in general and it’s like, a lot of times we get runners that come into our coaching program, and we all have these watches now. We all have these smartwatches that give us all of the data, we know our heart rate, we know our cadence, we know how many steps we’re taking every single day and we can get so dependent on these external things to tell us that we’re doing a good job that we totally lose connection with our own body. So I agree with you 100 % that we need to be connected to our body and really learn how to listen and honor what our body is trying to tell us, because that is the way that we’re not going to overdo it and we’re not going to start crossing over into those dangerous zones because your body is different than every single person on the planet. What might be right for one person is not going to be the same thing that’s right for someone else. And I tell people this all the time because a lot of times runners will decide, Hey, I want to train for a half marathon, so they go and they try to find a training plan on the internet and they download that and they just start following it and I’m like, Oh, my gosh, you’re not ready for that, that’s not the right plan for you and that might be the right plan for somebody else, but with you, based on your history and your background and your experience and where you are right now, that plan is just going to lead you to injury and to burnout and not feeling good at all in the process.
A 100 % and can we continue on some of those myths that we have developed on running? So how would you recommend somebody who has not done a lot of running before as they’re listening to this and being like, Okay, this might be something that I want to try, but I’m not sure how to get started. How would you recommend someone get started with running since they shouldn’t just go download a half marathon training guide and get started?
Yeah. The number one thing that you have to do is just choose to start. It’s really just a decision and I think that a lot of people think that they need more information or they need to be able to do X, Y, and Z before they even try running and the biggest thing is just choosing to start. It’s all about that decision and then the commitment that comes second. First, you decide and then you have to commit to that decision and I always tell people, think of the person that you want to be, if you had a magic wand and you could just wave this magic wand and you could just have the life, the body, whatever it is that you want, what would that person look like? And then what you have to do is start doing the things that that person would do today. Because that person is you, that person is a possibility just the fact of you imagining that person, that makes that a possibility for you. Think to yourself, Okay, who is that person? What does she look like? What is she doing? What does her week look like? And I just have to start doing some of those things today and obviously, if your goal is to run a half marathon, you’re not going to go out and run 13 miles today, that’s not right. But say that’s you in five years, what would that person be doing today? And so I think that it’s really important to just really recognize and start where we are because we all start somewhere and I think that a lot of times we put so much judgment on ourselves and we allow that judgment to stop us from taking action. So instead of judging ourselves, like, oh, I wish I could do that, and seeing it as some far-off dream that’s unattainable, we say, okay, well, this is where I am today and in order for me to get from here to there, I’ve got to start taking steps. So all I have to do today is commit to taking action and those actions need to be really small and so one of the first things I think is important after you make that decision and after you make that commitment is to get very clear on where you are right now and what you’re capable of doing. Because a lot of times we like to lie to ourselves, we think of ourselves as we were five years ago or 10 years ago, especially if you were a runner at some point and then just had a period of time where you became inconsistent and you weren’t really running, you’re like, Oh, well, I used to be able to do this and so I’m going to go out and do that same thing tomorrow. That’s a recipe for disaster, so get really clear on where you are right now and what you’re capable of doing right now and then start small. If right now the answer is zero, like, I’m not running at all, I’m not active at all, start really small, like commit to 5 to 10 minutes a day and I think that when I tell people that, they’re like, Well, that’s not enough to do anything and I’m like, Yes, it is, because you just have to start taking those small steps. Yes, it does do something, it starts to build a habit, are there immense physical benefits from five minutes a day? No. But are there huge mental benefits that allow you to start seeing yourself as that consistent person, seeing yourself as that active person? Yes. That’s where we start to transform, we start to develop a habit of exercise and develop a habit of going out for a walk or a short run or something like that and then we allow those big things, those small wins to build up and then that will lead us in the direction that we want to go.
I couldn’t agree more. I had said when I was between baby two and three, I started running, I was probably about two months postpartum with baby number two and it was just a mental, emotional, and physical accomplishment to get both babies in the double stroller and run, walk a half a mile.
But I did that consistently for about a month, and before I knew it, I was running two miles and then my husband’s like, hey, I’m going to train for this half and I was like, oh, maybe I’ll do the 5K or the 10K. But over the next month or two, I was running like six, seven miles once or twice a week and I’m like, oh, I’m just going to go for the half and it wasn’t anything super fast or anything super crazy, but it was one of my best half marathons ever and it literally started from hadn’t run in a year to just I’m just going to get out and do a little bit. I think it was the first time I’d ever taken the pressure off of it didn’t need to be three miles.
It took me the farthest that I had ever gone, it was probably the best training several months that I’d had running and so I completely agree with you. Just get out there, get as much as five, 10 minutes.
Yeah. I mean, I couldn’t agree more. And it’s funny because your story is similar to mine in a lot of ways, I think, because like I told you before, I never considered myself a runner and when I did run, it was like 5Ks. That was kind of it, and then my husband decided he was going to train for his first half marathon and it was when I was pregnant, he started training. So he ran his first half when our baby, our first baby was three months old and it was then that I was watching this race happen and my husband, like I said, is a very talented runner. So he came across and see, this is part of it, too. It’s like, if you have a runner in your life and you’re comparing yourself to that person, that can get you in a lot of trouble. So watch out for that comparison. Because to me, it was like, oh, it was my husband, he’s such a good runner and this and that because he won second place in his very first half marathon like that’s who I’m dealing with here in my house on a daily basis. But after we cheered him through and he went through and finished the race, I was still standing there with our baby and I just kept watching all of the people crossing the line at this half marathon and it was like, every age, every gender, every culture, every background, there were people of all shapes and sizes and colors and all doing the same thing and it was then that I was like, Wow, I wonder if I could do this and it was that instant sense of curiosity, which curiosity is one of my favorite emotions. Whenever I’m feeling stuck or really anything, if I can tap into curiosity, that has led me down some amazing paths in my life and I was just like, Well, I wonder if I could and I’m like If all these people can do it, I’m sure I could do it. I’ve got this guy that can train me. He knows what he’s doing and obviously, I’m a physical therapist, so I know all the injury prevention stuff, and I bet I could do this and then I did. I ran my first half when our daughter was two but like you said, it took two years for me to do that, and that’s fine because my family was a priority to me. My babies were a priority to me and then I gave myself enough of a runway, enough of a timeline to accomplish that bigger goal for me and I think that a lot of times people get stuck because they want to achieve these huge goals on these really small timelines, they don’t give themselves a reasonable timeline to achieve those goals and so when they try to jump into something, they end up way above their head, they end up not feeling good in the process and then totally ditching the goal of saying, Oh, I guess it’s just not for me, I guess I’m just not a runner, or I guess my body is not able to do this and in most cases, they just didn’t go into it with the right timeline and allow themselves enough of the build up to actually get to the place where they want to go.
And it’s amazing how much health benefit they’ll get really early on, maybe more than five minutes. But fairly quickly on, you start to really build up pretty much all of those benefits, and then it gets more fun. You get more engaged in it, you get excited to see what you’re capable of and it’s a fun journey to be on when you’re…
It is. And we talked about the physical benefits of running before, but we didn’t even touch on the mental benefits, like the mental benefits of running are so huge as well, it helps us to better deal with stress in our life, the stress management is huge with running. It can help improve our self-confidence. I know that when I cross that line of my half marathon, and you don’t have to cross a half marathon line to get this, you can gain confidence in a lot of different ways. But I was so proud of myself, I was so confident and that is huge when it comes to our mental health. Being able to set goals and accomplish them and show ourselves that we can do this. Running is one of those things that I think helps us to build up mental strength and resilience like very few other things in life do, especially physical types of things like the ability to go out and just run a couple of miles when your brain is yelling at you like, I don’t want to do this and you’re like, Too bad, we’re going to do it anyway, like putting yourself first and learning how to override your brain in some ways. I know that we talked a little bit before about listening to our body, but you and I both know that there are times that we need to listen to our body and honor it and then there are times that our brain tells us that we shouldn’t be doing something because it’s just lazy and we’d rather sit on the couch.
Right. Yeah. That doesn’t sound like fun.
Exactly. So there are times that we need to override our brain as well because our brain just wants to sit and eat ice cream and we know that’s not actually what’s ultimately best for us. We can do what’s best for our future self as well to help create that person that we want to be in the future.
No, and definitely running helps mentally with that. It also creates that discipline to do that, and it carries over in all aspects of our life.
Yeah. And it can open up new possibilities for you, I never imagined that I’d be doing this right now with my life and running is one of the things that brought me here. Running is what helped me, I own my own business now, I coach runners and I would not have guessed that this is the path that I would have taken if you would have talked to 16-year-old Angie. Sixteen-year-old Angie still wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon, like your husband. But I quick, I learned that that’s not what I wanted to do with my life and so it’s amazing what just starting to believe in yourself and just starting to take some of those small steps, like where those paths can lead you.
It’s huge. So we talked about how to get started starting slow. How should people that are trying to get started running set themselves up to prevent injuries? Is there any advice you have there for them?
Absolutely. So definitely starting where you are is the most important thing and starting out smaller than you think you need to do. You don’t need to go out and run for 30 minutes the first time you go out and run. Start small, 10, 15 minutes is totally good. The other big thing that is a really useful tool for people starting out is using a run-walk interval type of running. So you don’t have to go out and run the whole time, you can go out and just run for two minutes and then take a one-minute walking break and then run for two more minutes and then take a one-minute walking break and so when you have these set intervals, it makes the load on your body much less and it helps you recover more quickly in between your runs. So I always tell people when they’re like, Well, how long should my intervals be? I say, Go out and try to run and see how long you can last and then basically cut that in half. So if you can go out and run for four minutes before you feel like, I really need to take a walking break, start with two because you want to set yourself up again for those wins, especially at the beginning. So, Okay, I’m just going to run for two minutes and then I’m going to walk for a minute and I’m going to do that five times, that’ll take you to 15 minutes or I’m going to do that 10 times, that’ll take you to 30 minutes and when you do a run-walk program, you’re going to see very quickly that you’re going to be able to stay out there longer than if you were to just try to run the whole way through. So not only is that helping set you up for better success because it’s going to make running feel a lot better, it’s going to help to break down maybe some of those mental barriers that you have to getting started because you’re like, Oh, well, I only have to run for two minutes and then I get a break. It’s like this constant, like, yeah, it’s like a reward. You get a walking break reward for every two minutes you run or three minutes maybe. So that’s a really good way to start out and then the other thing that you want to do to help prevent injury is to make sure that you’re incorporating some strength training because when we talk about common myths, a lot of times people think, well, in order to be a better runner, I just have to go out and I have to run more. I just have to keep running, keep increasing my time, or keep increasing my mileage. When in reality, we need to have a balanced training plan. We need to do some days of running. We need to do most of our runs at an easy pace, which feels easy to us, and then a little bit of running at a little bit of a harder pace. And then we need to also incorporate strength training into the program as well. And it can be something very simple. Again, you don’t have to go to a gym and you don’t have to start lifting heavy weights on day one. You can if you want to, you can or you could just while you’re standing at the kitchen counter chopping up onions for dinner, you could throw in some calf raises where you lift up your heel, go up on your toes, and down. It’s a fantastic exercise for runners starting to just incorporate little things like a plank exercise at home. Also, fantastic exercise for runners, some squats, some lunges, something very basic, you don’t need a bunch of equipment to start out, you don’t need to go to a gym, but you do need to start training your body through these different movement patterns to help strengthen your joints and your muscles that will help support you better as a runner.
What do you feel like as far as rest and recovery along the way? Do you feel like that you need to have a certain amount of rest days or that you should do active recovery? What things do you find helpful to recover from the runs that you’re pushing yourself a little bit?
Yeah, that’s a great question. So it’s different for everyone. We believe in personalizing a plan for success because, like I said before, your body is different than my body, and that’s different than your husband and everybody else. So you need to figure out what works for you and if you’re someone that tends to need an extra rest day, that’s a very good thing to build in. So it really depends on what the goal is, if the goal is just general fitness and trying to get in shape versus trying to run a half marathon or marathon, those two training schedules are going to look very different. But as a general rule, I would suggest people start with a minimum of three days per week. Like, if you really want to see progress and again, that can start with 10 minutes, three times per week, and then you can start increasing 10 minutes to 15 to 20 to 30 and then build it up, and then you’d want to strength train twice per week. So you could have two rest days, you could have three rest days, it just depends and to answer your question on active versus passive recovery, again, also it depends.
We typically encourage our runners, especially when they’re training for something, to have one full rest day where they’re not doing anything. They can go out and do some active recovery as long as it feels easy, like going out for a walk. Or if they really like swimming and they feel really good in the water, swimming can be an active recovery type of activity. But for some people, swimming is really, really difficult. For them, that’s not active recovery then. My husband and I always joke because I love yoga. So to me, yoga is a great way to do active recovery. My husband, when he does yoga, he’s like, I’m so tight, he goes, that’s a workout, he goes, I am sore. I am tired. Yoga is not active recovery for me. So it’s like you have to know your body and know yourself well but the big thing and this goes back to some of the other common myths, and one of the biggest mistakes that I see people making with running is thinking that every run should feel hard to be effective, and it doesn’t. People, if they naturally go out and just go for a run, most people… We teach our runners effort-based training, so the rating of perceived exertion. So on a scale of 1 to 10, how hard does it feel to you? And a lot of people, when they just naturally go out and run, they tend to fall in that 5 or 6 range. It’s medium to moderate difficulty. Some are a little bit higher, but most are in that 5 to 7 range, I would say. And what we tell people is that you really need to be like 2 out of 10. Like 2 to 3 out of 10 is the majority of your running and then maybe one day a week, you do one that’s 5, 6, 7, 8, a little bit harder, and by mixing up easy days with just a little bit of hard days, you make a lot more progress and you just feel so much better in the process and you enjoy running a lot more because you’re not killing yourself after every run. After every run, if you feel like you need to come and lay down in the grass because you’re just completely out of breath and you’re gassed, that’s not how you should be ending every single run and that’s one of the things that kills people’s motivation and commitment, too, because they’re like, Oh, I don’t want to go out and do it. I don’t want to feel like that. But if you can end a run feeling energized and if you can end a run feeling good and feeling like, Okay, time to get on with the day now, because you allowed that run to feel easy for you, that’s a totally different experience.
Well, I think between that concept of it doesn’t need to feel hard and the fact that it’s okay to go out and get started at 5, 10, 15 minute intervals with interval walking, I think that makes running sound so much more accessible to our listeners that are hesitant to get started, maybe have never run before or have tried to get back. Like you said, they used to run, haven’t for a while, try to get back into it, and feel really frustrated with where they’re currently at with it. So I think that’s really great. You mentioned the mistake of thinking everything needs to be super hard. What other mistakes do you… Are there any other mistakes that you feel people make when getting started running?
That’s really the biggest one. There are a lot of mistakes people make. We’re being totally honest, but it’s that real mindset shift to me of it has to be hard to be effective because I think that if people are trying to get into running to get in shape or to lose weight, we have this idea that the more calories I burn, the more effective this is going to be. And so they try to go out and they try to push themselves harder so that they get more calorie burn on their watch. It needs to be a certain length of time. I need to be able to burn a certain amount of calories for this to be “worth it”. And go ahead.
Well, just on that topic, I know I know I could go on for this for a while. Does running fitness, health, weight loss, do you really think that any of it comes down to calories burned while you’re running? Is that the goal?
Absolutely not. And I don’t think running is the best way to lose weight either and I think that a lot of people have it in their head that running is the best way to lose weight. And so I’m just going to suffer through it and just because I want to lose weight and there are so many better ways to lose weight. There are so many more less painful, more effective ways to do this, right? Let’s just be honest.
This is something that gives you different benefits and I think that it plays so nicely with hormonal and metabolic health and just health of your body, health of your muscles and your tendons and your bones. But it’s not a calorie-for-calorie weight loss technique.
Not at all. Not at all. Because as runners, you have to fuel your body in order for you to be able to perform and to not feel like crap. You have to give yourself food, this is one of the huge mistakes people make is that they think, Okay, well, running is just a way for me to burn calories. So they choose, you know what? Okay, I’m going to start cutting my calories, and then I’m also going to start increasing my running and you’re just creating a hormonal nightmare for yourself, right? And PCOS is a hormonal issue. So you don’t want to be messing with your hormones even more, right? So they’re under-fueling, they’re not eating enough, they’re over-exerting themselves, they’re trying to increase their mileage, or they even sign up for a race to try to keep themselves motivated, and they’re like trying to train for a marathon and cutting calories at the same time is a total recipe for disaster because you have to be able to fuel your body for you to be able to perform in the way that you want to.
Well, I feel like, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this with the women that you work with, but I feel like if you’re just focusing on running to be healthier and a stronger version of yourself and you’re eating to nourish your body and care for your body, your body’s equilibrium of weight will actually improve in the direction that you want because it’s feeling healthy and cared for more than needing to actually focus on that calorie in, calories out, depriving yourself, punishing yourself.
100 %. Yeah. I always tell people, let’s focus on how you want to feel and what you want to be able to do, and then we’ll make our decisions based on that, and most likely the weight loss will come in the process. I like the word that you use there, the weight equilibrium, your body is going to find the weight that is going to be best suited for it in order to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish, and I always tell people the number on the scale is just a number, it’s what we believe that number on the scale is going to give to us. So tell me, if your goal is to weigh 130 pounds, how do you think you’re going to feel when you get to 130 pounds? Oh, I’ll feel more confident, I’ll be able to wear a bathing suit. I’ll be able to do this or do that. I said, Okay, what if you could feel that way, but the scale said a different number? Would it matter to you? And they’re like, Well, no, I just care about how I feel. But the number is the easy thing to focus on so they think that achieving that number is going to make them feel a certain way. I said, Okay, but in reality, that number is just a number. Let’s focus on the way you want to feel and let’s do the things that are going to get us to that point and then we’ll just let the number be a number. We’ll let that number be whatever it needs to be.
Exactly. And over time, our bodies, we can adjust things if we need to meet certain goals. But I think when we’re getting started, especially, that should not be our focus at all. Yeah.
But it’s a hard thing for people to let go of because we’ve been so conditioned to care about that.
Yes, we have. Any other tips, tricks, things that you would want to leave our listeners with today in regards to running?
I think that one of the biggest things is that being a runner is a choice and there are no qualifying standards to be a runner. You don’t have to run a certain pace, you don’t have to run a certain distance, if you choose to be a runner, then you are a runner, plain and simple. It’s not that you have to earn the title of a runner.
I like that a lot.
It’s just what you choose to call yourself. So if you choose to call yourself a runner, then go out and do the things that runners do. Go out and run, go out and strength train, go out and make sure that you’re eating enough food to help support your body and help your hormones balance better and get all the physical and mental benefits of running and just be open to possibility and be curious about what your journey might have in store for you.
I love that. I know people that are interested in running are going to want to learn more about what you do and how you help women to tailor programs and learn more about what their body needs as far as running goes. Where is the best place for people to connect with you or to learn more about what you do? And where do you hang out on social media or online?
Yeah, I definitely… Well, our company is called Real Life Runners, and that’s where we are on all the platforms. So the biggest thing I would say would be to check out our podcast when you’re not listening to this amazing podcast. We do have a podcast as well called Real Life Runners and then the place that I’m the most active would be on Instagram at Real Life Runners over there as well. If people are curious where they are right now, we have a resource called the running snapshot. So it’s a free download on our website. You can head over to realliferunners.com. and if you just scroll down the page, or you could go to realliferunners.com/snapshot, that’ll actually get you to it as well. And it’s just a one-page download to help you get clear on where you are right now, how many days per week you’re currently running, how you feel about running, there’s a bunch of different questions that you can answer, but it’s a very quick and easy way to see where you are right now so that you can have a place to… It’s a jump-off point of where you want to go with it next.
Awesome. Thank you for providing that resource for the listeners today. I’ll just link to it so they can go right to the resource. I’ll get that link from you so that makes it really easy for them to go and grab that.
Awesome. I’ll link to both of those in the show notes and on the episode web page. Other than that, Angie, thank you so much for taking the time today to share all of this amazing goodness with my listeners. It’s really, really exciting to think about how you can get started running and it doesn’t have to be this huge, big deal and all the benefits that it can give your body, your hormones, your health, your mental health, all of those great things.
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me, this has been so fun.
Awesome. Well, I will add all the links to the show notes below, so be sure to check those out and until next time, thank you all for joining us.
Did you know that studies of PCOS epigenetics have shown that our environment can either worsen or completely reverse our PCOS symptoms? I believe that although PCOS makes us sensitive to our environment, it also makes us powerful. When we learn what our body needs and commit to providing those needs, not only do we gain back our health, but we grow in power just by showing up for ourselves. This is why I’ve created a guide for you to get started. My PCOS fertility meal guide can be found in the show notes below. I want to show you how to create an environment that promotes healing while still being able to live a life that you enjoy. This guide is completely free, so go get your copy now so that you can step into the vision that you have for your life and for your health.
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