beginner

What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Blog

When you first set out to start a blog, there are many different things to consider. To make a success of it, whatever your end goal is, then there are several different things that you should do. Some will make success more likely than others. Or they will make things happen for you more quickly than others will. So here are my top tips of things I wish I’d known before starting a blog.

Go Self-Hosted

There are a few different blogging platforms to start a blog on. But the most popular two are Blogger and WordPress. The thing is that there are some restrictions on those platforms. The free WordPress.com, for example, is restrictive on how you can earn money. Because, basically, it is against their terms of service to do so. So if you want to start your blog to earn money, then it is a good idea to get self-hosted WordPress. So will need your own domain and a web hosting service, like Godaddy, SiteGround or TSOHost, for example. Then you just need to start setting up Godaddy or SiteGround web hosting (whichever host you have chosen). Not only will it help to make your blog look a lot more professional, but it will open up your potential a whole heap.

Use a Domain Email

There have been several studies carried out about trustworthiness when it comes to email addresses. Many people see a service or a blog that has a @gmail.com email address and don’t see it as reliable or professional as using your domain email address. So it would be something like name@yourdomainname.com. It looks a lot more professional. So if you want to contact brands or want to start selling things through your blog, it looks much better. When you set up a domain, it will come with one or several email options. So just check with the web hosting provider that you choose.

Get Social Media Savvy

You can be writing amazing content, but if there is no way for people to find it, then it can be completely wasted. So share your posts through social media. Having a few different options is a good idea, as you’ll capture different audiences with each type. Twitter is important for working with brands. So if that is a focus of yours, then make sure you are on there and start to build up a following.

Know Your SEO

If you’re completely new to the Blogosphere, then SEO can be a little confusing. What does it even stand for? Search Engine Optimisation is key to getting your posts seen when someone searches for something. If you’re a travel blogger and want your packing tips to be seen, for example, then making your post SEO-friendly will help when someone searches for that. People are quite likely to search for that kind of thing online. So you want your post to be the one that they click on. There are plugins like Yoast that are a good idea to install, as they can guide you to what is good SEO for a post and what is bad.

What’re Your Thoughts?

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

How to Pace Yourself

Learning to run properly can be challenging enough, which is why learning to how to pace yourself is important to get right.

If you’ve ever laced up your shoes and headed out the door unsure of what pace to run; you’re not alone. Here are some tips to help you figure out how to pace yourself.

Whether you’re a beginner, elite, or anywhere in between, we can all face the same problem in any given week. The schedule says Tuesday should be hard, Thursday should be steady, and you have heard that most of your long runs should be at an easy effort. You find yourself asking as you run down the road, what is hard and how should this feel? How can a long run ever be easy?! No matter how slow I run, it NEVER seems easy!

Here’s an easy way to figure out and look at effort levels.

Contrary to popular belief this sport doesn’t have to be exhausting, and each run shouldn’t leave you tired for days. Your early runs where you’re learning to cover distance and time should be completed at the speed of chat. Meaning you should be able to talk to the person next to you while running. This is called the “talk test” and is one of the most common ways to gauge effort level.

For those who are more experience, running at “the speed of chat” is how your easy runs should feel in a training week. You should feel totally in control, relaxed, and able to talk while running. Easier to check while running with a friend, but if you’re by yourself, you may find you are running along the street talking to yourself; not a bad thing as long as it helps you gauge your effort! If you want to give this running a score as an effort level 1-10 (1 being the easiest), it could be a 6/10.

The next level

Steady running. This is the backbone of training for the more experienced. It’s not complicated but does require you to be completely honest. You can push this area too hard and run junk miles that leave you too tired for clever sessions that we’ll cover next. This area is perhaps a 7/10 on your scorecard and is still conversational, although the chat is slightly strained.

Threshold running

We can all train like Mo; even if you’re new to the sport, and this is how you do it. This is called “uncomfortable running” or “controlled discomfort.” The key is that you can still talk between each breath, but it’s only 3-4 word answer effort. If you can utter a couple of distressed words; you are working too hard, and conversely, if you can say most of a sentence, you’re not working hard enough. This is running uncomfortable, but with control! It’s certainly not sprinting or running to exhaustion.

You might only be ready to include a few 3-minute blocks of this in a run each week, but it can grow; you can build the volume over the months. We call this running the bedrock to becoming a better runner, and it feels like 8-9/10 and 3-4 word answer effort.

An experienced runner using a heart rate monitor might run near to 85% of their maximum heart rate to remain in this zone. To know exactly how high your heart rate should be; grab a lactate & Vo2 max test from your local Sports Science department or university.

A couple of examples of threshold running sessions are:

5 x 5 minutes at threshold effort built into a 45-50 minute run with a 90-second jog recovery between each block.

This can build to a 6 x 5 minutes then 3 x 10 minutes and eventually you could be running 25-30 minutes of continuous threshold in the last part of a 45-minute run each week. The key is to keep feeling like a 3-4 word answer pace and not progressively harder until you feel like you are in the final stages of a 5k or 10k. Stay in control.

Interval Training & 5K-10K race paces naturally follow on from threshold as being the next level of pain.

It’s time to visit the hurt locker; although if new to running, your 5k or 10k effort will be your easy running pace or maybe threshold if progressing and a few races further down the road.

To a certain point, how the 5K/10K effort or interval training feels is up to you. You could be wise and hold back slightly letting the pace and intensity prescribed build the pain for you, or you could be the headbanger who loves to hit it harder and hang on. The choice is yours but remember to be consistent in this zone.

It’s meant to hurt and sessions such as 6-8 x 1km or 6 x 4 minutes off 75-90 seconds recovery can hurt. They will boost your VO2 max, and make your heart stronger. Keep in mind though that you can’t visit this zone too often; maybe once a week in a training plan once already experienced, running threshold each week and feeling good.

Little Tip –

Join a running group, club, or friends to complete these sessions. Completing weekly interval sessions with others adds competition, company, and disguises the pain and mental strength required.

So next time you leave the house; have a planned route and know what you want from your training. Have a purpose and listen to your body.

Just remember these four levels/zones:

  • Easy Run – Fully conversational at the speed of chat and about 6/10 (60-65% max heart rate).
  • Steady Run – Conversational, controlled, but slightly strained and about 7/10 (70-75% max heart rate).
  • Threshold Running – Controlled discomfort and 3-4 word answer pace or 8-9/10 (80-85% max heart rate, but get tested to be sure!).
  • Interval Training & 5K/10K effort or quicker – No time to chat here and 9/10 or more as the session progresses. It’s 1 or 2 word answer time and perhaps more of a grunt (85 – over 90% max heart rate… ouch!)

Make every run count!

What’re Your Thoughts?

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Run For Your Life: The Ultimate Guide For Newbies

Running is one of the best ways to get fit and feel great, but what if the most exercise you’ve done recently is walking to the kitchen for a snack? The good news is, if you can walk – you can run. You’ve probably heard it said that when you stop exercising, your fitness levels plummet rapidly. The flip side of that is, when you start, you will feel fitter and more fabulous very quickly! Here’s our handy running guide for newbies on how to get started.

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: How to Stay Motivated and Get Results in the Gym

Alright, so you’ve just signed up for a gym membership, you’re feeling pumped and have finally decided to commit to a big change in your life; and build up a killer body, increase your strength and endurance and improve your overall health. This initial enthusiasm is great when you’re just starting off, but you’ll find that it often wanes in time, and at one point it disappears completely. Let’s face it, going to the gym can be rather boring at times and we’re often not in the mood to do it, but if you want to achieve great results you simply have to stay consistent with your workouts.

Realistically, it’s all about the right approach and putting yourself in the correct mindset; and this is something you need to do before you start your workout regime. There are a few points that I’d like to touch on this, so without further ado, here’s how to stay motivated and get results in the gym.

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Adam loves everything related to technology since he was five years old and it was that love that brought him into web development. Soon after he graduated from college, he got a job in Dallas working as a web developer and not long after that, he was recognized for his qualities as a writer. Presently, he’s a freelance writer for wefollowtech.com and is very happy because of it. In his free time, when he’s got any, he enjoys playing basketball and hiking.

New To This Fitness Thing? Here’s Where You Start

Everyone has a place they need to start from. A lot of us just get to a point in our lives when we recognize we need to start making changes for the better. Those who already gone through it know that making those changes can be a scary process. It’s tough being a fitness newbie. But here, we’re going to share a few tips that help you get through being new to fitness.

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

What You Need to Know About Pre-Workout Supplements

One thing that many wonder about when they start getting serious about their training, it’s supplements. Pre-workout, post-workout, metabolism boosters, lean muscle builders, etc., etc., etc. It can quickly become overwhelming, and although I don’t use supplements to help with training, I thought I’d clarify some of the misinformation out there about them to help you decide if they’re right for you. Here the rundown on what you need to know about pre-workout supplements.

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

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