Why do you run?

theguardian.com/lifeandstyl...

So I have just don't week8 run 2 and I am struggling with these longer runs, they're hard and I feel like I'm not really enjoying it as such but making myself do it. So in my quest to find motivation to keep going with the personal torture, I came across this excellent article.

Please feel free to share why you run because right now I'm wondering why I'm inflicting this upon myself! (But I am going to keep on doing it!)

49 Replies

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  • I started running following a bereavement (my 20 year old nephew died unexpectedly and I started running on the day of his inquest) - walking (and I did a LOT of walking) just wasn't cutting it for me any more. I fell in love with it from the beginning. I've had a lot of practice at changing behaviour and I've hated a lot of it - but it's the keeping going that produces the results and if it's important you WILL keep going and things will improve, maybe not as fast as you want them to but they will. Remind yourself (again and again if necessary) why you are doing this and why it's important.

  • I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, I can understand how that would make you need to run. Thank you for sharing this and for the words of encouragement.

  • Thanks - it's been amazingly difficult but the running has helped immensely and now I do it because it's part of me...

  • So glad that it has brought you some solace x

  • Interesting reading, thanks. Just done W1R3 so the motivation at the moment is to improve my fitness. Be interesting to see if this changes as I get better at this lark!

    Congratulations on getting so far through the program, remind yourself how you will feel when you graduate. Good luck on getting there.

  • Good luck to you too! The weeks fly by so you'll soon be there:)

  • Lovely article - says it all really.

  • I ran as a youngster and teenager to escape bad thoughts, embarrassing situations, just to exhaust myself so I didn't have to think. It always calmed me, but I stopped in my 20s and I was never very consistent anyway. I tried again about 20 years later and got into running for a while because I want to be a runner. But my attempts fizzled out, I could run for 30 mins one day but I couldn't do it 3x a week. But I always wanted to be a runner, because runners are lean and mean, they are fit and healthy and don't get out of breath when they run for the bus. I want that brilliant feeling of having used my muscles, my body for what it's made for. I have got that now and I love it!

  • Think you've answered your own question, at the end of your post you said you are going to keep on doing it.. so what is your reason for that? We all have different reasons...😊

  • I don't want to be a blob! To do a 5k without stopping. To feel the wind and rain on my face as I run.....:)

  • There's your motivation! Just go and do it! The more you ponder over it the more excuses can be found not to do it! Good luck!😊

  • Perfect, they are excellent reasons....

  • What a great article - captures that childish joy that just overtakes us and sustains us sometimes.

  • - Because it's hard, but I can do it

    - Because the majority of people don't do it, and I do

    - Because I love the look of envy on non-runners' faces

    - Because it makes me feel epic, powerful and in control

    - Because it's made me fitter than I've ever been and it'll help me live longer

    - Because it's given me a pert bum and rock hard thighs

    - Because it's made me aware of my body and how it works

    - Because it's kept me sane and strong through very difficult times

    - Because it feeds my soul

    - Because I've made some special friends here

    - Because my husband really appreciates everything that running does for me πŸ˜‰

    - Because it makes me happy

    I could go on but I need to go to bed πŸ˜‰

    My question is, why would you not run?

  • So true.. all of it... :)

  • Because I can!

    Because I want to!

    Because I don't want to go back to being like I was!

    Because I don't want to be like the vast majority of my contemporaries (fat and unfit)

    Because I like to be able to bend over to tie up my shoe laces.

    Because I think it is important to have the strength and balance to stand on one leg!

    Because I like to mix with people younger than me.

    Because I like collecting running race singlets (especially bright ones) - and running caps.

    plus everything else that Irish Princess said!! :)

  • Brilliant :)

  • Hold on - I will have to retract some of that - I don't have a pert bum, rock hard thighs or a husband! So - everything else she said!! :)

  • Wonderful!!!!

  • Bet you do have a pert bum and rock hard thighs Bazza...😊

  • Are you sure?!! 😜

  • You know, after graduation you can always return to run-walking if you think you'd enjoy that more.

  • I started c25k in 2012 graduated in the nine weeks at 73 so proud of myself, then life got in the way had a replacement shoulder op and now suffering with depression but I do enjoy a run walk when I can πŸ˜€

  • Run-walks are great. I just like the feeling of moving, of covering ground. It's good for me mentally and physically - no matter the speed.

    And well worth being proud of graduation! Even if one never returns to 30 minute consistent running, it's great for the sense of accomplishment, and it lets us know that we can try new things and succeed.

  • Motivation is good for getting you started.

    But keeping going...

    Well in the first place I had a programme and I wanted to complete it (I started because I wanted to reduce my risks of osteoporosis etc and lose weight and sustaining a brisk walk was too painful)

    Now...

    I mainly just go without thinking about why. Not always as often as I'd like but every week. I don't ask myself what my motivation for getting washed or cleaning my teeth is.

    My dog needs to go out anyway

    It does make a difference to my weight loss - I don't burn a lot of calories but I do get results on the scales.

    It's a spiritual thing, it's a *privilege* (I genuinely could not have run for many years and still need to spend most of my time in bed)... and reading through your posts it sounds as though tweaking the environment in which you are running might help. You are running on roads or round and round a grass field. The same roads, the same field. I rarely go to the same location to run twice in a row. Even my two main 'can't be bothered to think where to go' spots near home, bog standard Forestry Commission plantations there are criss crossing paths and I do different routes... and the experience is different every time - the light, the vegetation. Recently I was doing an out and back run on a local trail and decided to count the number of different plant species (couldn't name them) I am blessed with living in a beautiful place and have transport but I really enjoy seeking out new places. Sometimes my run might be "Let's do 10k", rarely it will be 'let's go a bit faster' or 'let's really get that heart rate up' (but it sometimes is), most often it is "Let's do my 30 minutes" (*my* 30 minutes)... or "Might see a hare" or "Nice slosh through a deep peaty puddle" or "See the evening light" or "I wonder what the view is like from there"

    Most of us have a bit of a wobble at some point during Weeks 7-9 with a run that is no fun. Try slowing down a bit, listening out for the very special experience that is 'Julie' on the podcasts.

  • Well done on your runs... maybe ease back a bit if it such hard going for you...?

    Hopefully the journey should be fun... so, at the risk of repeating the mantra.. really slow and steady.. taking time to smell the roses? :)

    As for why run? I agree with our royal lady Irishprincess .. everything she said, and for me, it has re-awakened my love of words., re-ignited my desire to paint , brought me a contentment and hopefully, a more relaxed view of life. :)

  • A very interesting article, and some great replies, who have said it all really - Bazza1234 and Irishprincess especially. I like to see the world. I am a nosy kind of person. I like to look at the wildlife, like GoogleMe, particularly the birds - I saw a couple of kingfishers by the canal recently which made me very happy! In the winter I run in the streets more and glance in people's windows and wonder about their lives.

    Keep running Natasha-H and you will find your own reasons, and they will multiply and change as you carry on!

  • Love this question! I used to run in my late teens from time to time and even then it provided some 'me time' away from troubles at home. Then as I approached 50, and faced my own mother's rapidly declining health - I looked at my two secondary-aged boys and knew I wanted to be around and as healthy as I could be for as long as possible. Since then running has become hugely important to me, not just for the physical health benefits, but also for increasing confidence and helping with anxiety. It helped me enormously, when my mother passed away a few months ago, too. Yes, some runs are hard but I learned that is OK and that you just keep on plodding onπŸ™‚. Also, I found through running, that long lost connection with childhood mentioned in the Guardian article. Splashing through puddles on a cold, wet, winters day, takes me right back to when I was a child and ran, just because I could. I am the crazy woman who will run through the puddle rather than round! I run, because I canπŸƒπŸ»πŸ™‚. Keep going, those longer runs will get easier, I promise.

  • Lovely, lovely post! So much like the way I feel, (as you well know).. If this is the inner child... wow.. awesome! :) x

  • I have loved reading all your replies, you all gave such amazing reasons and the freedom that running gives you is so apparent, freedom on so many different levels.

    Before I started the program I had this image of running, of the wind you breathe in passing through you, as you run in a seemless fashion, making you part of everything around you in the environment......I thought that this must be so liberating and the ultimate freedom.

    So maybe it's a case of waiting for my fitness to catch up with my determination and then things will become clearer....

    Loving the challenge!

  • Absolutely Natasha.. there will come a time soon in the next few runs when you have a breakthrough...😊 you will breathe normally and your legs just carry you along.. you will hit 'the zone'. Once you have felt this, you will be happy to keep going for a run to experience this again.

    The program works so trust Laura and you will get there.x

  • I started c25k because I acknowledged that I needed to start doing some exercise, basically to avoid the health problems my parents have had and because running is free (before you start blowing all your cash on kit.) I've actually done the programme twice now, the first time didn't stick!

    Right now, my primary reasons for running are a) to lose weight b) to help my future health c) to help my present health...

    I am really struggling with a bout of depression at the moment. This week I was trying to list all of the things, however simple, that I could do that would make me feel better - actually make me feel good about myself. Running 5k in a decent time, fairly comfortably, was top of the list. Right now, the satisfaction I get from running a 5k is so amazing. It's my own individual accomplishment (though I receive a lot of support from people on this forum and some friends outside of it!).

    Even if I really don't want to do it in the first place, or if it doesn't go smoothly, I literally feel less depressed when I have gone out for a run.

    My reasons and motivations for running might change over the future, but hopefully that feeling of satisfaction will remain.

  • I doubted myself from the start, I had never been a runner or anything else sporty, I'm a bookworm and shy thing at heart.

    But life threw me a huge curveball that I was struggling with. Counselling didn't help, antidepressants didn't help. I found the C25K app by chance and a little spark in me resurfaced at the thought of a challenge I couldn't ever achieve.

    It gave me purpose and structure to my endless weeks, it gave me hope. I clung to it and pushed and pushed myself! I'm still a plodder against the gremlins, but a stronger one. My running gear is always ready, travels in the car with me and has become my security blanket I guess. It lifts me up to levels I never thought I'd feel again. I'm empowered!

    Whatever the reason for starting, don't let that flame to out. There is light at the end of the tunnel, x

  • Thanks for putting that article on. Really interesting. I can relate to the inner child idea. When I run it is hard at first then get into a rhythm and after a while it makes me smile and sometimes laugh. It's like I tune into another part of me. I used to get the giggles when I did a step class years ago - it was something about the whole ridiculousness of it. I like the idea that we are made for running. It reminded me of breastfeeding. Woman are made for that too but it doesn't stop it being darned hard work at first!

  • I started running to stop me going back to booze and fags after my mum died. I continued to run because I loved doing events. I like the training, the build up and the day. It is such a fun thing to be part of. I now run because I have had confirmation this year I am fit and healthy enough after three years of running to be a kidney donor for my husband, so my aim is to keep this fit and healthy until it is needed. Then afterwards I will run when I'm allowed to get over the op. I guess it's like everything in life forever changing as our lives do. I cannot imagine not thinking about running now, I really can't remember what I used to spend my time thinking about before πŸ˜ƒ.

  • Respect. Your husband is one lucky man to have you.

  • Thank you

  • Wow, what an amazing reason. Total respect to you.

  • Thank you

  • That is so inspiring. Good luck to you and your husband for a successful operation when it happens.

  • Thank you

  • I think about my next run often and after running I feel very satisfied that I went out and did it but like you my mind asks me often "why are you doing this?" Having graduated some months ago now and I run 2 X 5 k plus one longer run each week, I find that running is one of the things I do purely for me, I enjoy exploring the countryside, I feel my breathing and heart rate are so much improved and even though I haven't lost weight (my fault, I eat too much), I feel my legs are more toned and stronger and being a runner plus feeling part of the running community makes me feel proud of all of us. I am a lone runner, so it gives me time to think about nothing at all and to push myself to keep going and not give up. Even through difficult weeks, I have found new goals to keep me going, sometimes I need to take it easier to recover or rebuild confidence but I know three times a week, I am going to run

  • I run because I totally fell in love with it since day 1 week 1 , 3 years ago, it's given me a purpose and also va va Voom. I'm happiest when I'm running. It will get better I promise πŸ‘£

  • Ain't nobody with more va va Voom. Can't imagine you without it!

  • I run because it makes me happy. As simple as that.

  • I have always done exercise, weight training was my first passion. Then swimming but ear problems forced me to give that up. Then I tried running...I'll be honest and say I've no idea why I do it - all the time I am running I'm counting off the KMs until I can stop, then the first thing I do when I get home is plan my next run...I guess I must like it somehow....

  • Ah, the banging your head against a wall because it feels better when you stop model!

  • Something like that!

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