10 Reasons Running is Awesome
When someone asks me why I run, a million little things go through my head; images of running in the early morning light, crossing a finish line, meeting up with a friend for a run. But, I usually end up shrugging and saying something like, “I don’t know, I just love it!” If you’re a runner, you get it. You know the effect running has on every aspect of your life, and you can’t remember what it was like when you didn’t run.
These are my top 10 reasons I think running is awesome:
You Can Do it Anywhere, Anytime
Forget needing a gym; when you run, you are your gym. You can run around your neighborhood, or on vacation, on a business trip, or on lunch near your office. On holidays when everything is closed, you can still go for a run! This is huge when it comes to consistency because you aren’t relying on any other factors like a gym being open, lap lanes being available, or a team of people able to play.
It’s Not Expensive
Yes, you can make running expensive with the newest model of shoes, a sports watch that does everything, designer tights, and fancy sunglasses. Or, you can lace up your clearance sale Nike’s, throw on an old pair of basketball shorts and head out the door. More expensive gear does not make you a better runner. You know what does? Running.
Your Competition is You
Unless you are competing at an elite level – and even then you are still competing with yourself – you are your competition. Nothing feels better than a PR (personal record), because it shows you are better than you were.
There are Endless Ways to Run
In every training plan I create, there are a variety of types of runs; tempo, fartlek, mile repeats, steady state, LSD, just to name a handful. There’s no one way to run. You get to pick what you kind of run to do that day, and depending on your goals, you’ll use different strategies to reach them. Some days you want to push your pace, others you want to unwind and relax. There are running workouts for every mood and you’ll never get bored doing the same exact thing each run.
You Can Do it Solo or With Others
Often I like to run by myself, but after finding a run group, I was shown a whole other aspect of running! A solo run is something you can use to reflect on your day, or you can run with a group for a social pick-me-up. You don’t have to pick one over the other, just go with what you need out of that run.
It Gives You a Goal
Whether your goal is to run 4 times a week, 40 miles a week, a marathon, a sub 20-minute 5K, you have a specific goal to work towards. This helps keep you consistent in your workouts and gives you focus when making other decisions that will effect the outcome. Should you stay out later? Not if you have to get up to do speed work in the morning! Should you cross-train? Yes, if you want to lessen your change of injury.
The Running Community
Even if you never sign up for a race, and only run solo, you are still a welcome participant in the running community. When I go for a run on the lakefront, I share nods, smiles, and waves with other runners. You feel you’re not alone, even when running by yourself. The running community is one of the most welcoming group you can be part of. I’ve seen strangers help others across a finish line, share their gels, give motivation to those who need it, and advice when called for.
It is a Different Way to See the World
Running allows you to navigate the world around you in a new light. Even when running a regular route through a familiar neighborhood, you may find you notice things you wouldn’t have when on your route to work or the grocery. Running on vacation, or racing in a different city is a fun way to see a new town! Being outside on a run lets you participate in your world and experience the elements, sights, and sounds you may tune out or avoid when you’re in the day-to-day grind.
It’s Me Time
This is a major reason many of us run. Whether you listen to music, podcasts, or merely the sound of your breath and footsteps, the time you spend running is your time. You can go whatever speed you want, as long or short as you like, whichever path you feel like taking, and there’s no one asking anything of you. It’s just you and your thoughts. Ahhhhh!
It’s Efficient Exercise
Running simultaneously works your leg muscles, core, and cardiovascular system, while also building joint strength. It’s an incredibly useful tool to get in shape, and can help you lose weight. Also, in terms of efficiency of time, you can step out your door and start. There’s no commute or set up time, allowing you to get a 30 minute workout done in 30 minutes.
What are your favorite reasons to run?