How does running make you feel?

I was reading some posts this morning and realised just how much of a difference C25K and this forum has made to my life and wanted to share this with you whether you are just starting out, or if you have been running for years.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't always feel like going for a run, but once I start, I always enjoy being out and I actually enjoy the feeling of running, thinking about where to land my foot, what my posture is doing, taking in my surroundings, enjoying the start of the day, having "me" time.

I get a great buzz once I finish the run from knowing I have achieved something special which pretty much lasts all day.

I like the feeling of tired muscles, getting aches to remind me I've exercised and reinforcing the knowledge that I am improving.

I feel fitter and my clothes feel better, but what has struck me most is how much happier I feel in myself.

I hadn't realised quite how "invisible" I had become and how "dull" I felt in myself over the last decade or so, I thought it was just part of getting older. Running has changed that. I have recently noticed myself singing, laughing and smiling much more than I used to, I'm happier, I've got my sparkle back so when I say I feel better in myself, I really mean that I actually feel alive.

Has anyone else noticed any similar changes?


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34 Replies

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  • Totally agree with every word of your post slowstart! In fact it brought tears to my eyes because I identify so much with all you say. I always say that out on the trails near my home is where I find "my happy place"! πŸ™‚πŸƒπŸ»πŸ™‚

  • I can't quite believe other people feel the same, perhaps I'm not such a freak after all. It's taken a long time to find my "happy place" but I finally know where to look when I next loose it

  • Yes to all you've written. And you've written is so beautifully :) I love how I feel now that I'm active and taking care of my health again. Being part of this forum is wonderful too. I love chatting with a bunch of complete strangers who know exactly what I'm going through and encourage me every step of the way.

    I published a short piece on how I developed a love for running, which I'll share with the rest of the community soon. Thought I'd share it with you here:

  • Wow, that looks and sounds absolutely beautiful, what a lovely piece you have written. I am so chuffed that you have shared this article with me. It must be lovely running through the park so why are you back on the treadmill?

    I also love talking to 'strangers' but on this forum, they don't feel like strangers, that's the beauty of sharing so much emotionally

  • Thank you :) yes, the park was absolutely lovely, but I just cannot get up early enough to get there at 7 a.m. I can't do it. I've tried, and I do it for a while and then give up, and it derails my plans to stay fit entirely. It gets too hot here to go later in the day, even in the winter. So I found a routine that works for me - work for a few hours then take a break and go to the gym at mid-day when it's not crowded. It's not as pretty as the park, but I can make it work, and that's more important in the long run (pun not intended).

    And I agree, the beauty of this forum is that the strangers we talk to are actually the people we share our insecurities and achievements a giant group of virtual running buddies :)

  • Yes I found the key to sticking with this is making it part of your life, rather than fitting it in as an add-on to your life (if that makes sense). I have to run early in the mornings (with the dog), I walk the dog every night but the thought of going running after work is just alien to me.

  • Absolutely agree :) The only thing I get annoyed about is that I wish I didn't live in a city most of the time, as running more than anything makes me really appreciate being able to be near some countryside..

  • Yes the route you run makes so much difference.

  • I resonate with everything you are saying. It's pretty life changing in so many ways. Feeling alive is the best feeling ever.. Happy running 😎

  • Great post!

    i totally empathise with your thoughts..:)

    The trick is, to hold the feelings and let them permeate into every part of our lives..!

    Thank youx

  • Yes I feel like a sponge soaking up all the good endorphines

  • Love it.... ! :)

  • Just having a quick check on my coffee break at work - and I love your post - this could be me writing as it's just how I feel! I am just about to do my graduation run this weekend and these past 9 weeks I feel so much happier inside and I'm sure that's showing on the outside too ;-)

  • Enjoy your graduation run, it's so much more than w9r3, it's knowing you can still achieve what you put your mind to. You'll feel like a butterfly escaping it's cocoon, a beautiful, colorful you.

  • Yes :) I've just completed week 5 (although I've done it over 8 weeks. Had a slow start, week off and a repeat!)

    The change in my mental health is as noticeable to me as the physical.

    I just have an inner glow of knowing what I'm doing (i.e.running!) and I love the contact on this forum- it's about me for a change :)

    I come with other hats- I'm a wife, mum of 3, one of my sons has a life-limiting condition etc.etc. but this forum is not for that- it's a great escape with other like-minded folk who all seem to come from a self-doubting start and help eachother grow :)

    My confidence is greatly improved. I even managed a cheeky smile and nod to a lorry driver that waited at a crossing point for me today (he had to wait longer than he expected I reckon, my plodding is slow!). Even a couple of weeks ago I would have stopped and waited for the lorry, looking down at the dog so my puffing bright red sweaty face wasn't as noticeable! I looked no better today, I just felt happier and proud of myself for my efforts :) It's not necessarily noticeable to others, the household still think I'm narky (!), it is purely a 'me' thing and I'm loving it :)

    So glad you are feeling better for it too xx

  • Oh you sound just like me, escaping from the everyday onto your own runners world. Your so right about the self-doubt and how we all grow so much. I'm glad you found your happy place

  • I completely agree.

    For almost al my life my body had felt a limitation, an obstacle; running make me feel back in control and I enjoy how it now responds to my will (well, most of the time, we still argue once in a while :D ).

    The only other activity that gives me as much joy as running is SCUBA diving.

  • Yes, time to make friends with your body after years of hatred and petty squabbles

  • It is funny how the "love" for a huge burger and chips on the sofa can be replaced with a run up a hill in the rain!!

  • It's funny, but I was just coming online to write something similar. But you have put it so eliquently that I have nothing to add! It's the general feeling of 'feeling better' that strikes me.

    I do enjoy running, I miss it if I have to miss a day, and I definitely feel good after I've completed a run, especially if its a new distance or new time.

    But its more than that like you say. I feel a bit lighter on my feet, I catch myself randomly smiling, and my heart no longer sinks at the thought of having to walk to the bus top or up some stairs or just off the sofa.

    I like the feeling that I'm getting faster and going further and on slow days at work I flick through my running app and look at all the runs I've recorded there and see how much I'm improving even after a couple of months.

    In much the same way that putting on weight and walking slower and feeling duller crept up on me, so has the reversal of those things.

  • Gosh you've hit it on the head there. I forgot that the years crept up slowly to that dull non-existence. It did. But those good feelings are coming back quicker

  • Yes, yes, yes! What a brilliant post - I totally relate to every word! You summed up my running experience.


  • Such a good post. Yes to all you have said!

  • Agree with your post 100%

  • Great post---I totally agree with you. Thanks for posting

  • Absolutely!

    I suffer(ed) with low mood quite regularly. Not sure I would describe myself as depressed but certainly periods of gloom or anxiety πŸ˜• Since starting to run, my only exercise in a long time, I feel that my mood is noticeably lifted and I feel much more positive generally. This Girl Can πŸ˜€

  • I love the achey feeling in my legs after a run - it means I did something today. I love the way my thighs are no longer dimpled like orange skin! I love the thought that I'm going for another run tomorrow, and I love planning it in my head. Fast and short? Or long and slow? Woods, fields, roads, lakes, or somewhere completely new? I love the changes in the seasons. Crunching through the snow, eyes streaming with the cold, watching out for icey puddles. Or seeing the days get longer, hearing the dawn chorus (I'm a morning runner) and watching the sky turn pink. Knowing that winter is nearly over and thanks to running I've managed to avoid the winter blues. Grateful for this program that has enabled me to run regularly and shown me that I can.

    Yes, running has improved my mood. Every run is a little warm treasure that I carry round with me all day.

    I love it!

  • Fantastic response. I've only managed winter runs so far but am looking forward to the spring. Have heard the first cuckoos this year, watched sun rises and am looking forward to the dawn chorus.

  • Yes Yes yes I agree with everything you say, I would even go as far as saying it has been life changing, I suddenly feel so alive and like I want to be out and doing, I'm also extremely proud of myself for the first time in a very very long time. I was so scared on my first session that I almost went home without even trying, boy am I glad that I didn't. I love the feeling of the blood pumping, the wind and the rain on my face and today even the sun. I hadn't run for a week as I had been poorly but got back out there today and it has made me so happy. I had got stuck in a rut and really feel this has given me purpose again, Ive even started going to aerobics which I hadn't done for years, my motivation is that I do not want to be fat and 40, I have a few years left yet but now I'm thinking by the time I am 40 I want to have done at least one (if not more) half marathons.

  • That's great, you've found something you enjoy and have a very realistic goal.

    The main problem is getting over the first run nerves, once this is achieved there is no looking back.

  • Running is magic

  • I agree with everything you have put,for me aswell as being good for me health wise,it with the help of everyone on here motivated me to carry on and better myself when previously I would have given up with it, I now have a goal/challenge to be able to run 5k non stop in just over 4 weeks time (fingers crossed) and it will feel awesome to be able to say to everyone "I DID IT" πŸ˜ƒ

    Good Luck everyone on this journey we are all taking to better ourselves both physically and more important mentally.

  • Yes this forum, and all the wonderful people on it is so inspirational whether you want to ask questions or share an observation or an achievement. Having a realistic goal is so important. I look forward to hearing about your quest.

  • Nothing you can add to that your post says it all :) long live c25k and running :)

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