Marius Hordijk is a psychology student living in Utrecht, the Netherlands with his Italian wife Corinna. He is working as a model, and most people recognize him as the face of the Hugo Boss Bottled advertising among other high-end modeling gigs. Marius likes to do charity work, like for the Make a Wish foundation. He is freelance writer with his website www.mariusworld.nl a regular contributor for Runners World Nederland.These are Marius Hordijk’s 6 tips to start running.
“So, how do you stay fit for modeling work?” This question has been posed to me many times over the years, and now seemed like as good a time as any to answer it. Here it is: I don’t stay fit for modeling work. I stay fit because I enjoy it; I like breathing outside air, and I like having the private time to think for a while. Basically, I stay fit for me.
What I do to stay fit is simple: I run, and am currently training for my first triathlon. I have been a steady runner for about two years, and don’t worry, the triathlon is new for me too. In this first issue I will stick to expanding a bit more about running and, more importantly, how to get started with running.
Why would you run? In answering this, I will stick to why I run. Running is the ultimate way to get or stay in shape and be outside. Anyone can do it, and you can do it whenever you please. All you need are good shoes (I’ll get to that) and a bit of time. It doesn’t matter what shape you’re in, though this does decide on how much you’ll run in the beginning, and you don’t need a special set of skills to do it. A basic understanding of putting your left foot in front of your right, or your right foot in front of your left, whichever you prefer.
Starting running, just like starting anything new, can be difficult. A lack of understanding about the equipment, where to go, and how far to go can stop you from running for quite some time, so I thought I’d make a list for starters. Let me just say quickly that I am not a trainer, I am not a health professional, and I am basing everything on my own running experience. I am nothing more than a running model. If that didn’t scare you, please keep on reading.
If you have tried to go to the gym on a regular basis many times, but you can’t seem to get it right: get out of the gym. Do it now. Forget about the gym. It is costing you money, it gives you feelings of failure for not going enough, and it is not doing much for your health. Relieving, isn’t it? Now, hold this money that you’re saving in your hand and go to tip 2.
Buy good shoes! Go to a good store (personally, I have had pleasant experiences with Run2Day) and buy proper running shoes. There are many top brands for running such as Mizuno, Brooks, Asics, or Nike, and they can advise you what is good for you. If you just start running on old shoes, athletic shoes, or clogs, you increase your chances of getting injuries (especially on clogs). Don’t worry too much yet about having the rest of the running gear, that can be an investment you do gradually.
Get a running measuring system. Nike Plus, Garmin, whatever floats your boat. It is very stimulating to be able to see how your running is developing and to see the amount of kilometers increasing. Without a measuring system, it can feel like your running goes to waste and using one of these systems can give you a nice proof of hard work. I personally use Nike Plus, and some friends and family are using it too, which makes it even more fun.
Start slow. Go easy. Hardly anything is more important than curbing your enthusiasm in the beginning. There are two main reasons for this:
Health. Many people start full of excitement, but the problem is that their body might not be sharing this enthusiasm. Your legs and feet and the whole body actually need time to get used to this new terror that you are inflicting upon it. Start slow, and don’t push it.
Motivation. Think about it, if all of a sudden you have the goal of running four times a week, you will get tired really soon and it will become more difficult to put those shoes on really quick. Instead, if you pace yourself in the beginning, you might even feel upon return that you didn’t do much. What better way to stay motivated than to want to go running the moment that you return from your last run?
So go slow. Go easy. Start running two times a week and don’t run too far. Depending on your level of fitness, start with going for an extended walk or an easy run for a couple of kilometres.
To improve your running there are many things you can do without actually running. Sounds like a good idea, no? Here are some thoughts:
Stop smoking. No need to explain that one any further. Just knock it off.
Try to be careful with your alcohol intake. It is very tough and demotivating to go running with a hangover. Been there, done that, and I’ll probably do it again, and it sucks. It’s like running with concrete shoes on, while there is an angry rugby team punching you in the head and the gut.
Try to be careful with your eating. This is a point I am still trying to understand better, since it is quite complicated (please do remember I am a model, I get overwhelmed fast). I actually hope to get some advice from Lonneke and the rest of her crew.
Try to find a pleasant place to go running. For me, it is always important to not find any traffic lights along the way so I don’t have to stop somewhere. Secondly, I love being in a bit of nature, or at least the illusion of it (with this I mean city parks; It’s quite shocking to run in Central Park and feel like you’re in the jungle, then take one wrong turn and see 57,497 cars). Try to find a pleasant place for you.
So here they are, some tips to get started. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to start enjoying running. Even if it’s hard in the beginning, it will get easier, and it will become more enjoyable with time. You might even get to a point where you’ll feel like you’re missing something if you don’t run frequently. But for now, let’s just get started.
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This column first appeared on Organice Your Life in 2012.