Lauren ‘The Hoganator’ Hogan heads up F45 Training Shanghai, helps organize the That's Shanghai Sports Awards, runs insanely difficult marathons around the world, writes this column and eats 1,000 Duracell batteries for breakfast each morning.
The weather is heating up – prime time for running events in the first half of the year. With the Shanghai half marathon already ticked off, and more and more fun runs and local clubs sprouting events up around the city, if you’re considering starting, getting back into, or targeting a racing goal this year, now is the perfect time to lace up.
If you’ve always wanted to do a race, but just not sure where to start, there are several running groups in town that can help break down those barriers. Intersport, Runnershai, FitFam, Run Force, select lululemon stores and Run Hai Lane are just a few that offer weekly trainings and cater to all levels.
There are also plenty of fun runs popping up, like the Rooster or Charlies Burger weekly runs, or Trash Runners and Foodie Fun Runs regular events. The latter typically offer smaller distance options and usually some kind of ‘treat’ during or at the end.
If group running is too intimidating to start with, try choosing a running app to guide you or finding a running buddy. The latter will keep you accountable and also make those kilometers go faster when you have a friend to do them with.
Make sure to dress appropriately for your run with spring weather changes, and wear proper running shoes to avoid injury, such as shin splints. It’s also important to stretch afterwards, targeting the calves, hamstrings and quads.
You used to be a runner, but the 'Shanghai weather’/‘holiday parties’/‘disinterest in same route’ has gotten you out of your rhythm. How do we bring that runs-piration back?
Setting a weekly reward for covering a target distance (ie; massage, new outfit, etc.), or treating yourself to a coffee catch up (or ice cream catch up) after a run with your accountability buddy can do the trick. Also checking out the aforementioned list of running clubs to spark some new means of motivation - running with a group for a cheeky beer or burger afterwards will make both taste better.
You can also aim to hit a new goal or challenge. As the sport has grown enormously over the past few years, more and more trail and road runs have sprouted up throughout China. Finding a destination race to do with friends where you can make it an ‘active holiday’ together is great fuel to not only get back into running, but doing so with a partner. There are some beautiful parts of the world that are truly best explored on foot.
Setting a Goal
The motivation to get to the streets is there, but for what purpose? If it’s just to clear your head and stay healthy, that’s fantastic! You have your purpose. But if you’re looking for something more, or think perhaps you want to try something more, maybe it’s time to sign up for a race. The two biggest seasons are Spring and Fall, with numerous trails and road races during both times of the year, many not too far from Shanghai if you can’t afford to take time away from the city.
Decide what your goal is: trying a trail race for your first time, going for a faster distance during a road race or setting a longer distanced target. Find a race (many of the local clubs will be able to share race info with you, but there are many sources on WeChat and online as well), decide your goal and set your target.
Come up with a training plan (ie; XX number of km week) and tap into the local Shanghai running network to determine how you can stay motivated and reach those targets. Once you find your focus and connect with those to keep you in check, you’ll be flying down the streets in no time.
For those looking for run training or run motivation, click here or scan the QR code to check out an inspirational Running Camp:
[All photos courtesy of Lauren Hogan]