These 11 muscle building tips can help beginner athletes get started with their muscle building journey. These muscle growth methods can also enable advanced athletes whose muscle growth has plateaued. Muscle building is a complex physiological process that takes significant time and commitment. At the same time, there is a lot of wrong information about building muscle best. Cut through the noise with these 11 muscle building tips to start building bigger muscles today!SummaryMuscle building tips from workout structure (like sets and reps) to how much protein to include in a muscle building diet. Clever ways to build muscle and reduce total workout time with muscle building tips on supersets and pushing to failure. Learn how to increase lean muscle mass ratio.Muscle Building Tip 1: How much weight is best for building muscle?Numerous studies have shown that a weight you can lift a maximum of 8-12 times produces the most significant gains in muscle size[1, 2]. Depending on the exercise and your fitness level, this is equivalent to 60-80% of your one-rep max (the maximum amount of weight you can lift in a single repetition).Many people mistakenly think that the only way to trigger muscle growth is by lifting heavy weights in a gym.You can build bigger butt muscles, a strong core, a massive chest and even a super strong back with bodyweight exercises (or resistance band exercises) you can do at home or wherever you are!Heavy weights are only necessary if you want to have a bodybuilder’s physique. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean having the type of strength athletes need to compete, which translates to everyday health and fitness.Fact:Muscle growth is mainly due to an increase in the size and not the number of muscle fibers.Muscle Building Tip 2: How many sets per exercise are right for you? Single vs. multiple set trainingA set is the number of times you complete a certain movement (reps) and its recovery period. For example, 3×8 push-ups would be 3 sets of 8 push-ups each. The rest interval is usually 1-3 minutes between sets (more on that below).The optimal number of sets is a hot topic in the strength training world.There are big differences here depending on your fitness level.In the first weeks, novices and beginners show the same gains with single set training as they do with multiple set training.More advanced athletes achieve significantly better results with multiple set training because the training stimulus with single set training is too low to stress the muscles to adapt. Therefore, multiple set training is recommended in this case.Beginners should stick to two or three sets, whereas more advanced strength trainers can do 3-5 or more sets.Good to knowPerform as many reps and sets as you can before your form or technique fails. Continuing to push even though your form has collapsed can lead to injury. Always be in control of your movements and respect the limits of your body and fitness level. One of the biggest challenges is knowing when enough is enough, and this comes with many years (decades) of practice. Skip straight to Muscle Building Tip 7 to learn more about pushing to failure.Muscle Building Tip 3: Reps Per SetHow many repetitions (reps) per set depends on the specific exercise and fitness goals. For example, it would be reasonable to do 30-60 jumping jacks; however, that would be far too many push-ups for most people.Stick to a rep range of 6-12 repetitions of the same exercise if the focus is on building muscle. Once that many reps of an exercise is possible with good form, go all the way to 20 reps for exercises like push-ups, rows, squats, etc. Once 20 reps with good technique are doable, add another set and drop the reps back down to 6-8 reps per set. Add more reps again once you can complete all sets with good form.Muscle Building Tip 4: Rest Between SetsRest between 90 seconds and 3 minutes between individual sets.Add an aerobic component to the workout or if short on time by doing circuit training or supersets. Circuit training means skipping the recovery intervals and going straight into the next exercise. This method of training works the cardiovascular system more than strength training alone.On the other hand, basic supersets involve doing exercises that oppose the same muscle or muscle group—for example, doing a set of push-ups and then going straight into a set of supermans. The two exercises oppose the same muscle group (think pushing versus pulling movements). This means skipping the recovery interval while still pushing hard in each exercise. Check out the below videos to see how push-ups and supermans work opposing muscle groups (known as an antagonist superset): Be careful with supersets because they can leave you with DOMS for days because they work muscles to the limit! Make sure you understand the benefits of super-compensation and the difference between overtraining.Important:Make sure you perform all the exercises at a steady pace and with proper form.Muscle Building Tip 5: How many times a week for you do strength training?Soreness related to strength training is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). It is vital to return or begin strength training very conservatively. Aim for the minimum amount of reps and sets if one hasn’t strength trained in a while (or ever). DOMS may occur one to two days after the initial strength training session. Even if soreness persists, another strength training session two to three days later can help alleviate DOMS and is a good idea for experienced athletes. Athletes who have never strength trained before should do one day of strength training their first week, then try adding a day the next week and see how their body reacts.RememberBuilding muscle is a long-term process. Rushing muscle building will lead to injury eventually, which will cause serious setbacks. Trust in the process, go slow and be patient. Always leave one or two reps “on the table.” When in doubt, leave it out.For beginners, two strength sessions a week is enough. An all-around program that works all the major muscle groups is best. These are often called “fully-body workouts.” Some examples of full-body workouts in adidas Training are: Full Body with Weights (use dumbbells or water bottles as weights), 8-Minute Fully Body Workout, 10-Minute Tabata HIIT, and so many more! More advanced strength trainers can work out three to four times per week.Split training is a good way to make sure there is enough time for muscle recovery. Each major muscle group will work twice a week if you do a two-body-part split four days a week. The most common types of split training are dividing your workout into upper and lower body or push and pull exercises.Advanced athletes can consider building their workouts with the adidas Training Workout Creator. This feature enables athletes to choose specific muscle groups, difficulty, workout duration and equipment. A common way to use this feature to split workouts would be to target legs and lower body one day of the week, then target arms and upper body the next day, then go back to lower body. This type of training is only for advanced athletes because it adds significant training stress, which is needed to promote further muscle growth due to the principle of progressive overload.Muscle Building Tip 6: How many weeks to see visible results?When starting strength training, strength increases, but your muscles won’t look any bigger.This is because the strength gains at the beginning are due to improved intra- and intermuscular coordination (improved activation and interaction between muscles). Training blocks should last between eight and twelve weeks, including a recovery week every third or fourth week depending on experience level and injury propensity.Muscle growth requires continuous additional training stimulus. Muscle Building Tip 7: Push Muscles to Failure Pushing to failure sounds dangerous (and it can be). Pushing muscles to failure is also a great way to induce muscle growth. Pushing to failure means one could not complete another rep with good technique. If one completes that final rep with poor technique, they have pushed past failure, which can quickly lead to injury at worst and is counterproductive at best.An excellent way to push to failure for bodyweight exercises is simply doing as many reps of an exercise until technique suffers. For example, do as many push-ups as possible and stop when hips and/or shoulders sag towards the ground. Rest for a minute, then do another set and note down how many reps are possible. Try to do more reps and/or sets in the next workout to build muscle. The key to this tip is to push just until it is almost too much and then stop. It’s never productive to get injured, so be very careful. Beginner athletes should focus on developing perfect technique before attempting this training tip.For example, here are 9 of the most common mistakes for the most common exercises to watch out for when pushing muscles to failure.Muscle Building Tip 8: Cut Cardio (If Muscle Building is the Only Goal)Cardio or aerobic exercise can impact the body’s ability to build muscle. If big muscles are a primary goal, cutting cardio is required. However, beginner athletes will likely realize significant gains fast if they do strength training and cardio workouts. Being able to climb stairs without getting winded is good for overall health! Plus, muscle growth will happen in a functionally natural way. For example, including running workouts will develop important leg muscles and work the cardiovascular system.The bottom lineUnless bodybuilding is a goal or muscle growth has plateaued, include cardio workouts in training.Muscle Building Tip 9: Muscle Building NutritionBuilding muscle requires fueling muscle growth. Cutting calories to lose weight is counterintuitive to building muscle. Additionally, calorie needs will increase as muscle mass increases.Protein Intake for Muscle BuildingProtein is essential for muscle building. Adequate protein intake doesn’t mean cutting out the other macronutrients of carbs and fat. It also doesn’t mean consuming more than 25g of protein an hour (the maximal protein absorption rate for humans). Supplements that have hundreds of grams of protein are a waste of money. Use this protein calculator to quickly and easily figure out how much protein is needed to build muscle. Carb Intake for Muscle BuildingMany people falsely believe that cutting carbs is an excellent way to promote muscle growth. The body prioritizes carbs as its primary fuel source during very intense exercise (like strength training or sprinting through the physiological process known as glycolysis). If the body doesn’t have enough carbs to fuel the exercise, it breaks down protein in muscles and converts protein into glucose to cover the energy expenditure of the training. This has the negative effect of breaking down the very muscles being built!Eat enough carbs to cover the energy cost of the exercise. Find that out using this carb intake calculator.The bottom lineInstead, eat a balanced diet of protein, carbs and fat. Get protein from the diet, not supplements.Muscle Building Tip 10: Lose Weight and Build Lean Muscle MassIt is possible to use strength training to increase the ratio of lean muscle mass while losing weight . Muscle mass may not increase (and may even decrease) during weight loss. However, increasing protein intake and maintaining strength training while cutting carbs and fat can help one maintain or increase their ratio of lean muscle mass. Think of it like this: if total bodyweight drops but muscle mass stays the same, the ratio of muscle to body weight has increased despite muscles not growing. In other words, lean muscle mass has increased.Muscle Building Tip 11: The Role of RestMuscle doesn’t get built during workouts: they break down. Muscle grows during rest because rest allows the body to repair broken muscle tissue stronger than before. Get eight to nine hours of sleep every night, especially during heavy training. Napping is also critical for serious muscle growth.ConclusionThe most important thing for effectively building muscle (as well as for every training goal in general) is that you continue to work out regularly.If you stay consistent, all the hard work will pay off and you are guaranteed to see visible results.Are you ready to get in shape and build strength? Get the adidas Training app and join a challenge!*** More
You want to get off to a flying start and hit the road full of energy and motivation. But right from the start you feel pain running up the inside of your lower leg. Most of the time, the pain goes away while you are running. But frequently the pain lasts for several days and makes it difficult to keep training. “These symptoms are a sign of medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), or what is known as shin splints. Nearly a quarter of all interruptions in training can be traced back to this overloading syndrome. The pain usually builds up for weeks and in severe cases, can make running virtually impossible,” explains running expert and coach Sascha Wingenfeld.The following three exercises help prevent shin splintsThese exercises and stretches will help heal shin splints and decrease the likelihood of them happening to you again. 1. Heel-to-toe raise:3×30 repetitions per dayInstructions: Rock back on your heels and pull your toes up. Bend your knees and roll forward up onto the tips of your toes. Focus on a smooth transition from heel to toe.Benefits:Stretching and strengthening the shin muscles will help prevent shin splints from keeping you from exercising.About 2-3 minutes per dayInstructions:Raise your heel and rest your forefoot and toes on the ball in a relaxed position. Try to slowly stretch your joints as you roll the ball of your foot from left to right starting from your big toe.Instructions:Slowly roll the sole of your foot down the ball and increase the pressure on sensitive spots for about 60 seconds.Benefits: Reduces tension in foot muscles to relieve pain from shin splints. Foot rolling for a few minutes every day is an excellent exercise to keep shin splints from reoccurring. Plus, it feels amazing on your feet—bonus!3. Foot and lower leg strengthening:3×30 repetitions per dayInstructions: Wrap a resistance band around your forefoot and push your ankle down as far as you can. Make sure to extend your foot all the way through your big toe and try to get as much power out of your foot muscles as possible. Benefits:Strong foot and shinbone muscles are less likely to be injured. They will also help you run further and more often without pain in your shins. 5 tips to recover from shin splintsAct quick once you start to feel pain. Ignoring shin splints will make them worse. They can even limit or even stop your running training for months. This kind of overuse injury is often the result of a combination of different factors in your training program and running technique.The following five tips can help you identify the source of the problem and get you running pain-free again:Tip 1: Recovery from shin splints means restPain is a sign that your body needs rest. Short and very easy runs are fine if your shin pain is not severe. The only thing that can help stop severe pain is to take a few days off from running. You must give the affected muscles time to recover since this is an overuse injury.Tip 2: Use your break for something newJust because shin splints have forced you to interrupt your training doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising. Low-impact sports are a great way to not only recover from injury, but come back stronger than ever. Swimming, aqua jogging, cycling or inline skating offer a welcome change of pace. The Runtastic Training app has workouts to help you build muscle in neglected areas too, which is good when you can’t run anyway.Tip 3: Focus on running techniqueShin splints are a sign that you should work on improving your running technique. Maintaining ground contact too long under the full weight of your body can overload your foot and lower leg. Likewise, if your foot lands too far in front of your body (overstriding). These specific running drills can help you avoid shin splints when you are healed enough to get back to exercising.Tip 4: Strengthen your feetShin splints often affect people that lack foot stability. Overpronation (excessive inward roll of your foot after landing) puts tremendous stress on the muscles of your feet. Choose running shoes with the proper support for your foot to compensate for any potential weak spots.Tip 5: Take care of your bodyAfter the pain from shin splints subsides, calf and foot stretching and strengthening exercises can help you stay pain-free. You should perform these before and after your run. These exercises help to warm up the muscles that keep your foot stable when you run. Running barefoot is also an excellent way to improve foot strength, but be careful.Where does the pain come from?Your leg hurts where your calf muscles connect to your shinbone. In technical terms, the pain occurs at the insertion point where the tibialis posterior and soleus muscles attach to the shinbone via the periosteum, or outer surface of the bone. These muscles are responsible for maintaining proper tension in the arch of the foot—essential for running. The muscle cells around your shins can harden if they become irritated and overworked. This causes radiating pain in your lower leg. This is why it so difficult to describe and pinpoint the source of lower leg pain.How to (safely) return to exercise after shin splintsRethink your training (and cut back)Shin splints tend to occur when you rapidly increase running intensity and/or volume. Focus on recovery best practices especially after long runs and hard workouts. Don’t ramp up training too much for too long. Better yet, follow a training plan tailored to you that balances fitness gains with appropriate recovery.Change your routeThe greatest impact on your body comes from running downhill. Without proper form, the foot tends to land too far in front of the knee (overstriding), which puts a lot of strain on your muscles. This is why you should choose a level surface to run on when your shin splints are particularly bad.Start slowly and carefullyReturn to exercise and training only when the pain from shin splints has faded. Follow a professionally structured training plan tailored to your fitness needs and goals. Incorporate stretches for shin splints and strengthen neglected muscles. You only have one body—take care of it, and it will take care of you.*** More
For decades we used plastic too selfishly. We wrapped our food in it, made clothes with it, took our groceries home in it, and consumed it without much regard to what it would do to our planet. As a society, we know we have a plastic problem that we need to innovate our way out of (and we can!). But before we roll up our sleeves and get to work, let’s dig into the issue a bit more.From Brazil to Italy: Plastic Is A Global IssueAs of now, the amount of plastic thrown away annually would circle the earth four times. So little of that is recycled, and a lot of it ends up in our oceans. In fact, about one garbage truck full of plastic is thrown into our ocean every minute.We see the impacts of plastic waste around the globe. We asked an adidas Runtastic ambassador in Brazil how plastic waste affects his community. Here’s what he had to share:“In Brazil, plastic production is a huge contributor to deforestation. The deforestation leads to intense flooding during the rainy seasons. We also see so much plastic in the oceans affecting marine life.” – Leo Oliveira, adidas Runtastic ambassador, BrazilAnd he’s right! In Brazil, deforestation surged in 2020 . While Brazil is the 4th largest plastic pollution producer globally, they recycle only about 1.28% of their waste. And these issues are certainly not unique to Brazil. Antonella, an adidas Runtastic ambassador from Italy, had this to share about the beaches in her country.“When I come to the beach, I see kids using plastic and trash to decorate their sandcastles. I hope one day they know what it’s like to find only sand and shells on the beach.” – Antonella Andriollo, adidas Runtastic ambassador, ItalyWe’re not here to pick on Italy or Brazil, in fact, we interviewed ambassadors from around the world and everyone had their own experiences with plastic pollution to share. It’s an issue that affects everyone around the globe.Addressing Plastic Pollution One Step At A TimeSo, the mandate is clear-we need help from everyone, everywhere, to address our plastic problems. We certainly need change at a policy level. We also have to innovate new ways of producing goods, and we should all take steps right now to reduce our plastic waste. In addition, we have to help fight plastic waste and raise awareness around the globe. Every year we host Run For The Oceans, a virtual challenge where participants can run, walk, or wheelchair to help support Parley’s Global Cleanup Network. Parley’s Global Cleanup Operations works to help end marine plastic pollution by intercepting debris from beaches and islands. We asked our ambassadors what motivates them to Run For The Oceans. Jenny, our ambassador from Germany, shared:“I run to help spread the message about plastic’s impact on our planet. So many people are still unaware of how their consumption impacts our environment. They don’t think about their garbage after they throw it away. I run to help show people-your plastic doesn’t go away. It ends up in the ocean, breaks down into tiny pieces, and stays there.” – Jenny Marx, adidas Runtastic ambassador, Germany Join the Movement! In 2019, 2.2. million runners from across the world participated in Run For The Oceans. This year, we’re going to reach even further, gathering more runners and more kilometers than ever before. And for every kilometer run and logged in the adidas Running app, adidas and Parley will clean up the equivalent weight of 10 plastic bottles, up to 500,000 pounds, from beaches and islands. Are you interested in joining the challenge? Sign up now in the adidas Running app! Check out the video below for more information on how to join.[embedded content] More
Are you looking for a way to boost your motivation to work out? How about this: couples who work out together not only have more, but better sex. Regular exercise also leads to a better sex life for single people.
Improve your self esteem and self awareness
Exercise and sports are good for your body and your mind. If you feel like you’re in shape and are satisfied with your athletic performance, this satisfaction also affects other parts of your life. One study found that regular physical activities and a higher fitness level make people feel more attractive and energetic. Sports boost self esteem which makes people feel more desirable. This can have a positive effect on sexual performance.
Boost your libido
The benefits don’t stop at self esteem; exercise also increases our libido.
Regular exercise intensifies sexual arousal and physical sensitivity. (1, 2) Sufficient blood flow to the genitals is an important part of sexual desire and the ability to reach an orgasm. Overall circulation improves with better cardiovascular fitness. Plus, when you run, your body releases some of the same hormones it does during sex. Endorphins, also known as “happy hormones,” help relieve pain, lower anxiety, and give you a euphoric feeling. And also not surprising, if you feel better about yourself in general, it improves your sex drive. Not only is the quality of the sex higher, but also the quantity – we become more sexually active. (3)
Good to know:
In 2017 a study was published showing too much high-intensity endurance training can lead to a decline in libido for men. One possible reason behind this is overtraining.
Strengthen your relationship and reignite passion
Couples can enjoy all the benefits of exercise in their relationship and sex life. Working out together adds variety to your relationship and builds intimacy and trust. Working up a sweat together and celebrating success releases endorphins and brings you closer together. You get to know each other on a different level – both physically and emotionally. All in all, couples who share hobbies are happier long term, which has a positive influence on their sex lives. (4)
Workouts for better sex
From theory to practice – check out these workouts for every fitness level as well as fun partner workouts:
Did you know that the adidas Running app and adidas Training app support integration with various smartwatches and running watches and can sync to other apps? If we’ve lost you, then what we’re trying to say is: If you already have a smartwatch or running watch, then it may be compatible with the adidas fitness apps! In addition to smartwatches, you can also opt to share your activities in the adidas fitness apps with a few, select partner apps.
Which smartwatches and apps are compatible with the adidas Running app or adidas Training app? What apps should you download? Give our list a read to see which smartwatches and apps can be used.
This list is constantly updated to give our users the best experience possible. Thank you for your patience!
The adidas Running app offers Polar integration. No need to run with your phone – easily sync activities tracked with your Polar GPS watch directly to the app!
Here’s how to connect your adidas account to your Polar running watch: Open the adidas Running app, click on the gear icon on the main screen, click “Partner Accounts” and click “Connect” in the Polar Flow section.
Instead of bringing your phone with you during your activities, you can simply use your Garmin watch, and your workouts will be available in the adidas Running app for further analysis.
Here’s how to sync your adidas account with your Garmin watch: Open the adidas Running app, click on the gear icon on the main screen, click “Partner Accounts” and click “Connect” in the Garmin Connect section.
Within the adidas Running by Runtastic or adidas Training by Runtastic apps go to “Settings”. In the User Profile go to App Setting, then Partner Accounts, and select Garmin Connect. Once you have selected “Connect” you are directed to sign-in to your Garmin Account.
The adidas Running app is also available for Apple Watch. If you have the app installed, you can leave your phone at home and track an activity with just your watch. Or, use your Apple Watch with your phone as a second screen. You can use the adidas Running app on a Series 1 Apple Watch (and newer). You’ll need at least iOS 13 (or higher) on your phone and watchOS 6 (or higher) on your watch in order to install the app on your Apple Watch.
Did you know? Apple Watch works with the adidas Training app, too.
WEAR OS BY GOOGLE
Android Wear is an operating system designed for wearable tech (such as smartwatches) – if your smartwatch is running Android Wear, then you’re ready to go with the adidas Running app. The smartwatch pairs to your Android phone running Android 4.4 or higher; you can even start a run by saying “Ok Google, start a run!” In addition to starting a run using voice commands, you can use your smartwatch to see key stats during a run, pause and stop your run with a tap of the screen and also view your post run analysis directly on your running watch.
You can also workout with your adidas Training app right on your Android Wear
Do you have a Suunto Smartwatch? All the latest Suunto smartwatches (Suunto 3, Suunto 5, Suunto 7, and Suunto 9 as well as Suunto Spartan and Suunto Ambit) are compatible with the adidas Running app.
How to connect the adidas Running app with the Suunto app: Download the Suunto app on your phone, open it, and tap “Profile”. Then click on “Connect to other services”. Select adidas Running and enter your adidas Running login details to connect the two apps.
Apple Health (iPhone)
When you complete an activity with the adidas Running app and you are connected with Google Fit, Google Fit will also receive the activity data and then display information such as start time, duration, distance covered and calories burned. This information then forms part of your daily activity stats in Google Fit.
How to connect the adidas Running app with Google Fit: Open the adidas Running app, click on the gear icon on the main screen, click “Partner Accounts” and click “Connect” next to Google Fit.
Google Fit (Android)
When you complete an activity with the adidas Running app and you are connected with Google Fit, Google Fit will also receive the activity data and then display information such as start time, duration, distance covered and calories burned. This information then forms part of your daily activity stats in Google Fit.
How to connect adidas Runtastic with Google Fit: Open the adidas Running app, click on the gear icon on the main screen, click “Partner Accounts” and click “Connect” next to Google Fit.
Zwift and the adidas Running app will take you into a virtual world – either on a stationary bike or a treadmill. Join virtual group events, races, or challenges for an additional dose of motivation.
How to connect the adidas Running app with Zwift: Log in to the Zwift Companion iOS or Android app and select the “Menu” button in the top-left corner. Select “Settings” and click “Connections”. Select “Connect” under the third-party site you wish to connect to and log in. Log in to your third-party account and authorize the connection.
Need more help? Check out this Zwift How-to Video.
Play a sport with Kinomap and adidas Running! Run, ride, or row around the world virtually with thousands of videos and different levels. Challenge your community to a race and push your training to the next level!
How to connect the adidas Running app with Kinomap: Open the Kinomap app and select “Profile”. Click the “Settings” symbol, then tap “Share”. You will now be sent to the Kinomap website. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and select “adidas Running app”. Log in with your adidas account. Your Kinomap account is now connected with the adidas Running app and you can start working out right away.
Good to know:
Your data is only ever shared across different apps when you have linked your account and allowed sharing to happen.
Have fun with your next workout!
Every one of us is unique. We each have our own story – also when it comes to fitness. No matter what kind of sport you prefer, what motivates you, don’t compare yourself to others. What’s important is that you do what feels good for you and your body.
How Train Like You will Help You Get There
The Train Like You campaign is designed to help you harness your workout motivation and get in shape at your own pace. Join others in the Train Like an Athlete challenge in the adidas Running and adidas Training app. Motivate each other and enjoy the fun of competing in a community!
Don’t miss the four featured workouts (such as “Train like a runner”) and two guided workouts that will push you to new levels.
How can I participate in the challenges and workouts?
You can join three different challenges from July 20 to August 23. Here’s how it works:
Download the adidas Training or adidas Running app on your phone.
Open the adidas Running app and tap the Community tab or adidas Training app the Progress tab.
In the Challenges section you will find “Train like an athlete”, “Train like a trail runner” and “Train like you”. Open the challenge you want to join and tap “Join Challenge”.
Track all of your activities (listed in the challenge description) with adidas Training or adidas Running and see how great it feels to Train Like You. Now’s the perfect time to try a featured workout or one of our training plans!
You can find guided and featured workouts under the Workouts tab in the adidas Training app.
Looking for some workout motivation? We talked to three strong women who are members of adidas Runners Vienna and couldn’t be more different. They told us what motivates them to push themselves in their workouts. Check them out – you might just connect with one of their stories.
Meet our athletes
She walks into the room with the air vibrating around her. Her energy and enthusiasm is palpable as she and her sister share their stories, finishing each other’s sentences and admiring each other’s accomplishments. Nasim is a Crew Runner with adidas Runners and an adidas Runtastic Ambassador. Her major source of inspiration and workout motivation is her sister, Sajeh, who is an adidas Runners Captain.
Nasim’s motto is “You can achieve anything if you want it badly enough.” Through her life she’s been criticized for being too different, too loud. People have told her that she didn’t have the right body for running. But instead of letting these negative comments get to her, she turned them around and used them to grow stronger.
Then one day, Nasim was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder that damages the thyroid gland and is nine times more common in women than in men. Most people with Hashimoto’s disease eventually develop hypothyroidism. Again, Nasim demonstrated her grit and made a decision: “I want to be healthy and fit. I want to keep my disease under control.” With support from her sister, she changed her diet and made a commitment to herself to actively work on staying strong and healthy.
Slight in stature with glossy black hair that reaches almost to her knees, Cat glides the office gracefully and surveys her surroundings with a close eye. After getting her own questions answered, she opens up and shares insights into her life. Cat has always been petite, struggling to gain weight and muscle, even as a child. She often felt invisible, overlooked, and had trouble with her self esteem. In her early 20s she discovered her passion for dance (hip hop, freestyle, and house), which took her to New York City. The more she danced, the better she understood her body and realized how strong she really was. Cat’s self confidence grew along with her muscles.
After suffering from a herniated disc, Cat realized that she had to do more to stay in shape in addition to dancing. That’s when she discovered running. Now she knows that running is the foundation for her dancing. She also practices yoga, which helps her focus on her breathing.
Cat wants to motivate other women to feel stronger. “Even if someone tells you that you’re too weak or too thin, don’t let it discourage you. You are stronger than you think!”
The last to join our meeting is Lolu, and we hear her laughter before we see her. Her stories are peppered with jokes that everyone can relate to. She is down to earth and magnetic; the image of her on stage with her African dance crew comes easily. Dance is not exercise for her. What she loves about it is the adrenaline rush and how it feels to move her body with the music. It is the perfect release after a stressful day.
Lolu was never able to understand why people got so excited about running. But when she joined the Punch Runners project with adidas Runners Vienna one day, things changed for her.
Her goal is to improve her fitness and endurance. She still describes her feelings about running as a love/hate relationship, but the adidas Runners community gives her the support and the push she needs to keep it up. The camaraderie of running together as a group is what motivates and inspires her.
No matter where you come from, what you look like, or what your goal is, whether you run, dance, or lift weights – what’s important is that you stay motivated and focus on your own personal goal. Have fun when you exercise and do it for yourself, because in the end, the things you do best are the things you enjoy. So get out there and Train like…YOU!
The Past, the Present, & the Future
She wasn’t born an Olympic athlete. No one is. When we exercise, whether at a competitive level or as a hobby, we hope to find joy in our bodies, in reaching our goals, and a sense of accomplishment in overcoming setbacks.
Mary Jepkosgei Keitany holds the world record for the women-only marathon, which she set when she won the 2017 London Marathon with a finishing time of 2:17:01. Her journey has been a rich one, mixed with intense competition, becoming the mother of three children, recovering from injuries, and planning for the future. In this interview she shares her experience and insight into how to integrate running – no matter the level – into your life and experience the same pleasure she does while training on the professional level.
What is your first memory of racing?
My first competitive running memory is from a race in Spain. It was the first time I had ever competed internationally. And I was already 24. By then I had learned how to train and was mature enough to make my own decisions. Soon after that, I took my first career break to have a baby.
You’re a mother and a professional runner. What’s that like?
Being a mother inevitably creates its own challenges. It means I have to organize my training around the needs of my family. But being a mother is also a natural and normal thing to do and it keeps running in perspective. Dealing with the natural weight gain following childbirth is another challenge. It is hard at first. My body changed a lot when I was pregnant and afterward, and I had to work hard to get back into my pre-pregnancy shape. But my children kept me active and I refocused on my next goals, which helped me stay on track.
Can you tell us what shaped you as a runner?
As people, we are all shaped by our environment, upbringing and, of course, our genes. It is probably fair to say that my greatest fortune is that I was born to run. I am Kenyan and Kenyans love to run. My parents gave me the natural qualities and characteristics to be good at it. But all of that counts for nothing unless you have the passion to take advantage of the qualities handed to you at birth. It is also true to say that even if you are not necessarily a natural runner and someone blessed with the qualities shared by Olympic athletes, you can still derive the same pleasures and benefits that a world-class runner gets from pounding the roads, parks, or beaches.
And how did you become a professional runner?
Long before I won my first London Marathon in 2011 I ran just for fun and my mental well-being. I didn’t even train properly until I was in my twenties. I have read many stories about myself in which I am described as a “late bloomer”. That’s true. My parents gave me the heart, lungs and legs to become a great athlete but they always struggled financially. I grew up without electricity and running water. I was not brought up in the same house as my four sisters who lived with our neighbors. My parents couldn’t afford to feed us all. When I was 15, I gave up school, stopped running, and became a live-in maid. It was two more years before I was in a position to resume training. That two-year hiatus was the first of a few career breaks that characterize my career. Taking a rest away from training to devote my time to something else inevitably creates challenges but, at the same time, is responsible for the fact I am still competing at the highest level despite being aged 38.
Like all athletes, I suffer injuries. But what my career breaks have ensured is that I have not suffered from the sort of stress injuries that are often accumulated by runners who train and compete on a continuous annual cycle. It’s important to remember that if you do suffer a setback, whatever it is, go easy on yourself. If you have a major life change or get injured, give yourself time. Putting more pressure on yourself to recover quickly will only make the process take longer. And it’s a good idea to try to develop habits that help you avoid getting hurt in the first place.
What are the challenges of running as you age?
Training is more tiring at first and the older I get the smarter I have to be with my training. These days I do a lot more stretching and mobility exercises as well as regular massages. Avoiding injury in the first place is always better than knowing how to treat them. That is a simple tip which is always worth reminding yourself of. And, at my stage of career, something I am always aware of.
Any advice for other runners?
The best advice I can give to runners is that the greatest rewards are felt within and come from the satisfaction of having trained hard and gotten the best out of yourself. Running is competitive. Sometimes your greatest rival is within you. However fast or slow you may be, there is no greater possible achievement than to have run faster than you’ve ever done before.
Can you share your plans now that the 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed?
The postponement of the Olympic Games means that I shall be just six months short of my 40th birthday when the marathon in Tokyo takes place. It shall be my last chance to win Olympic Gold and I’m determined to get to the start line in the best shape I can be. There is no doubt that having a great team around me has allowed me to maintain my level of competition. My husband is a former athlete, so he knows all about the highs and lows of training and competing. As well as helping to look after our three children – two of them are my own while we have also adopted our nephew – Charles plays a central role in our ownership and management of a hotel in Eldoret. Though we have had to work really hard to get to where we are, living in Kenya provides daily reminders of just how lucky we are. That’s why, and because so many people around us have to live day-by-day without the luxuries of a comfortable lifestyle, my husband and I have pledged to support our local community. We have helped fund a local school with our race and career earnings and they have been able to develop science labs as well as dormitory accommodation for both students and young, up-and-coming athletes.
Train Like an Athlete
Are you inspired by Mary’s story? Check out these other strong women who are making running and bodyweight training part of their lives and their identity. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to have fun working out. Whether you are training for a race or just want to step up your game, you can join the Train Like an Athlete Challenge and track your active minutes in both the adidas Running app and the adidas Training app. Why not start today?
We are looking for the most engaged sports enthusiasts worldwide who will help us spread the word about our brand and help us change people’s lives through sports. adidas Runtastic Ambassadors will be our representatives in the respective countries who will support us in sports events, activate and moderate the digital community, have access to […] More