From the early days of blogging to her now beauty and fashion empire, Elle Ferguson has long been inspiring women to create their most stylish, authentic lives. But, more recently, Ferguson’s influence has spread beyond how to style a dress backwards or how to apply the perfect, glowing shade of tan, and instead seeped into the world of fitness — more specifically, motivating her following to move their bodies for just an hour each day.
If you’re among Elle’s 680,000 following, you’ll already know her passion for running began back in 2020 — when she and her partner Joel returned home from Fashion Week in NYC and a 10-day stint in LA for work, which she says left her feeling less than her best self.
“Joel runs nearly every day so he headed to the gym and I decided to go with him,” Elle says. “I decided to listen to a podcast and just walk for an hour on the treadmill. This was while Joel sprinted on the treadmill next to me… I got off, took a mirror selfie and remembered not feeling the best about myself. All the travel, not eating right and not working out had taken a toll on my body and also my mind. I had never really looked in the mirror and not felt good about myself.”
Fast forward just weeks later, after flying home to “the unknown” in the middle of yet another COVID lockdown, Elle — like many of us — found herself lounging around the house devoid of motivation.
“At the end of the second week, the lightbulb went off that this lockdown is going to end at some point and when we get out I'm going to have to work really hard to make up for jobs I’d missed,” she explains. “I didn’t want to be coming out of lockdown looking worse than I went in so I posted on Instagram ‘where can I hire a treadmill?’ Novo Fit replied and I hired a treadmill from them for three months.”
From there, Elle did what she does best — she set a goal and continues to put her absolute all into it, each and every day.
“I literally remembered the day the treadmill was installed, I was SO excited. Then I actually got on it and was like ‘OK wow… this is a lot harder than it looks’. At that moment I said I need to stay on this treadmill for an hour, six days a week — I gave myself one rest day off a week.
“I started just walking for the hour, it was so hard mentally to just stay on there. Once I made the hour walking I got to 6.5kms and then I set the challenge I want to hit 10kms — my lucky number is 10 — in one hour. No matter what, I can’t get off that treadmill once I'm on for the hour.”
Despite the “emotional and physical” pain Elle’s endured in those 20 months of running, she’s more determined than ever to meet that 10km goal, and as always, taking her loyal following along for the ride.
“I am a completely different human both mentally and physically,” Elle says, adding that taking time for herself each day has created a complete shift in mindset, positively impacting everything from her outlook on confidence to boundary setting.
“I have always been extremely headstrong and confident, but when it came to the treadmill and running I had a fear and a lack of confidence — which just never has happened for me, I literally can believe myself into doing anything — but this treadmill and running had just got the better of me, Elle reflects. “It was around three months I decided to ‘flip the script’, instead of dreading the run and the treadmill I made myself look forward to it.”
She continues, “Boundaries are another aspect of running that I have benefitted from. I am allowing myself to have this hour and it's for me. I’m someone that’s always there to drop everything I’m doing and help someone else. I am never the priority but with the running, I set a clear boundary that this needs to be done, it will be done and you need to respect that.”
“Lastly it would be my body, I am a runner. Something I thought I could never say," Elle ads.
As for the ways she’d inspire others to follow suit, it’s simple. “Get up and move.”
“Our bodies are so amazing and if you can move you must. Set yourself a goal to move for one hour each day. When I started I honestly shuffle ran for 10 seconds — you know that kind of running where your feet don’t really leave the ground —in that entire hour and then I complained about it for the next 24 hours but bit by bit I added another 10 seconds and another and I just got stronger and stronger. Some days are better than others but I still moved. Trust me when I say you will feel 100% better both mentally and physically for moving.”
“I love Alo Yoga, my fave tights are from there. Tully Lou, We Wore What active. Amin. Victoria Secrets sports. Lorna Jane, It’s Now Cool. I remember when I first started I ran in a HUGE t-shirt down to my knees cause I just didn’t feel good. Now I run in a crop and bike shorts.”
“I swear I run faster with a fresh tan (the proof is in the results). I tan weekly and prep my skin with The Wash and Exfoliating Mitt to remove any dead skins cells or old tan. I then do two layers of Elle Effect The Tan and let it develop overnight. The great thing about EE is it doesn’t streak and most tan morning afters I actually run then rinse off which is so handy if I’m short on time. From there I limit hot showers (as they can remove tan) and if I need to airbrush in and tan areas that have rubbed off (for example sometimes my crop rubs on my chest and can remove tan) I use The Tint that blends everything back in.”
“So dry shampoo is your best friend and I love the Loreal Professional Morning After Dust spray, it brings your hair back to life. I always train in a hat and a low last to keep my curls intact. However, I will tell you a fun fact… The run is more important than how good your hair looks. You can always wash your hair after but you can’t get that run back.”