Our #ThisIsActive Q&As are part of an ongoing series to show how plus size women live their active lives. Share your active life with us on social media by using #ThisIsActive when you're breaking a sweat.
Jill Angie of Not Your Average Runner is a certified running coach and personal trainer who wants to live in a world where everyone is free to feel fit and fabulous at any size. She started the Not Your Average Runner movement in 2013 to show that runners come in all shapes, sizes and speeds, and since then has assembled a global community of revolutionaries that are taking the running world by storm.
Jill graciously sat down and answered some questions for us to share her #ThisIsActive story. If you would like to be part of her running revolution, visit www.NotYourAverageRunner.com to find out more.
1. What inspired you to start running?
I started running in my late 20s to lose weight. I hated it at first because it was so hard - but then I figured out how to do it in a way that felt good to me (run/walk intervals) and that’s when I got hooked.
2. What advice do you have for women who are interested in running and but might be reluctant to start?
It’s easier than you think, and you don’t need to run fast or far. Try it a little at a time. Warm up with a 5 minute brisk walk, then jog for 30 seconds and walk for 90 seconds. Repeat that run/walk routine 10 times. Do that workout a few times a week and when it starts to feel easy, just increase the amount of jogging and decrease the walking a little.
3. What was your journey to becoming a triathlete like?
It was New Years 2010, and I decided to sign up for the triathlon on a whim. I hadn’t ridden a bike or gone swimming in years, but I was looking for a big fitness goal and someone told me about a women-only triathlon in Philadelphia that was great for beginners. I started training in January and had so much fun with it.
My only goal was to finish. The thing I was most worried about was swimming in the river, and so I took an open-water clinic to practice swimming with a lot of people around. The day of the race I was really, really nervous and almost didn’t even get into the water. But I knew if I didn’t, I’d be really disappointed in myself so I took a deep breath, jumped in, and did the race.
That race was such an amazing day. I came in almost dead last, but I had a huge grin on my face and tears of joy. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, because it was a goal that seemed so crazy, but I worked really hard and made it happen on my own terms.
4. Did you notice any mental benefits when you started running?
Oh my gosh, yes. Running has taught me that I’m capable of anything I decide to do, and training for long races has shown me how to keep myself focused on the present moment instead of thinking about the past or future. I’m much stronger mentally as a result of being a runner.
5. What motivates you to pursue an active lifestyle?
First and foremost, I love how my body feels when I’ve just finished a workout. That feeling of being both energized and relaxed at the same time is totally addicting. The feeling of accomplishment and pride in doing something difficult and not quitting is amazing.
But for the past few years, I’ve been very motivated by my coaching clients, because seeing them achieve their goals and watching them work really hard and overcome their own fears makes me want to be a better runner too!
6. What’s your favorite JunoActive piece to workout in?
My favorite is the QwikWik Bike Short - I’ve worn a pair for every single triathlon and they are amazing. They are comfy on the bike, but the reason I love them is because I can wear them for the whole race - from the water through the run. They dry quickly which means they transition easily from the swim to bike and don’t stay wet. And they’re a great length for running too!