Why Running is Awesome
July 21, 2014
I have a lot of friends who are amazing runners…they run in races frequently, have multiple marathons and impressive times under their belts and have qualified or are trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, the oldest and one of the most elite marathons in the world. My husband is also an amazing runner and was my mentor through Team in Training when I ran my first marathon in Portland several years ago. Team in Training is an incredible organization that allows you to train for marathons, half marathons, triathlons, hikes or cycling events and most importantly, fund raise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for blood cancer research. I can’t say enough good things about my experience with Team in Training if you’re ever interested in participating in an event with them. Here are some pictures of my amazing Team in Training experience with my husband and fellow marathon runners:
I truly love running for pure enjoyment and exercise as well as competing in races. I recently ran the Los Gatos 10k Jungle Run and had a blast! Here is a picture from that race, including the one above with my sweet family who came out to cheer me on:
No matter what your background is, my goal for today’s blog post is to discuss why running is awesome and also try to entice people who don’t currently run to give it a try sometime! Here are my top 10 reasons for why I think running is such a wonderful form of exercise:
1. You can do it anytime and anywhere…all you need are your running shoes and the motivation to just get out there. My husband and I have always loved exploring new cities while on vacation through running!
2. It’s a great way to relieve stress, clear your mind, have some “you-time,” come up with new and creative ideas, problem solve or just enjoy the scenery around you.
3. While it might be hard to get going sometimes and you might feel achy and uncomfortable when you first start, you just have to remember to put one foot in front of the other and once you get into a groove after several minutes, your body will start to embrace it and you may actually start to enjoy it!
4. It’s a chance to enjoy some music and listen to your favorite playlist on your iPod (note: remember to be safe and not turn your music up too loud where you can’t hear cars, traffic signals, etc.).
5. You’ll undoubtedly sweat and burn lots and lots of calories if you’re trying to lose weight or are just trying to stay in shape.
6. It’s one of the best forms of cardio out there and is something you can incorporate into almost any type of exercise regimen. For example, I love to run a few days a week, take classes at the gym (or teach my own) a few days a week and do weight/strength training a few days a week as well.
7. You have many choices of running workouts and races you can do depending on your goals and what you’re training for – tempo runs, speed workouts, long runs, trail runs, taper runs, etc. for sprints, 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, ultramarathons, etc. Some people enjoy long distance running while others enjoy shorter distances, sprints or nice, easy jogs. It’s really up to you and what you enjoy!
8. It’s very scientific in many ways and you can focus on different things such as improving your form by the length of your stride and your arm and upper body placements for higher energy efficiency, speed and per mile times by calculating your splits during practice runs and races, stamina for long races, short bursts of intense energy for sprints, etc. Running really engages you physically and mentally.
9. It’s something you can enjoy alone or with others by joining a running group or just setting up time informally to run with your significant other, friends or relatives.
10. It’s something you could theoretically do at any age and throughout your life (depending on your physical condition). You could also do run/walks because really the most important thing is that you keep moving!
When I run races, I of course have time goals I set for myself for the race overall and on a per mile basis. However, no matter what happens with my race times, as long as I meet these 5 requirements of mine, I’m happy:
1. Compete against no one else but myself
2. Keep running the whole time and never stop during a race
3. Power through hills by staying mentally tough and looking only at the ground in front of me and not up at the big, intimidating hill
4. Lengthen my stride, engage my core, lift my chest, pump my arms, breathe, smile and sprint toward the finish line when I start to hear bells ringing and people cheering at the end of a race
5. Have fun and give it everything I’ve got
What are your goals when you run in races, run casually or if you were to pick up running for the first time? Think about it and get out there if you want to! There are lots of great magazine publications and websites to give you more pointers and tips such as Runners World, Runner’s, Men’s Running, Women’s Running, Active.com, etc. Just remember to talk to your doctor first if you have any injuries or health concerns before starting a running program or training for a race.
That’s it for today my friends. I hope I’ve reiterated to existing runners and convinced non-runners of why running is awesome! 🙂
Have a great week and I’ll be back with another blog post soon!