Couch to 5K
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Does body shape affect running enjoyment

My friend and I went on Week 5 run 3 yesterday and compared our experiences. She is tall willowy figure (gorgeous) I am ....... not. She struggles to put on weight ., I ........don't. She runs like something you see dodging palm trees on a california beach (sun glasses and all) I ..... don't. She doesn't seem to sweat, or get even a hair out of place..... I go scarlet, and look like a victim of a hedge attack. She doesn't get any kind of high from it, and hates it. I get as high as a kite and love it (despite the wierd looks and questions as to my immediate health). We wonder, as there is significant difference in our morphology, does that affect our ability to get enjoyment from the exercise ? Or is it that I'm such a tub-o-lard any kind of exercise pushes up my endorphin release, and she, being so thin, may just have to push herself much harder to get it ? yours in anticipation!

8 Replies

Firstly, don't be so hard on yourself! You have made it to week 5 so you are obviously keeping up with your thin/well turned out friend - and being thin doesn't necessarily make someone fit.

I would say that enjoyment gained from exercise is purely a personal thing. I don't particularly enjoy it, but like the achievement of getting it done, and the fact that my days off from exercise, seem more like a treat. I am running with my partner and we are both doing it for weight loss / health reasons. Neither of us are particularly elegant with our running styles but we get it done (him more often than me!). Perhaps it's to do with motivation and keeness to achieve a result? I'm not a scientist or an expert on fitness so can't really comment too fully...


I agree with Victoria Plum, i hate it while doing it, but depending on the exercise i get a real exhilaration when completed and for a good six hours after.

This is more so when doing a full thirty minute run. Even now, a couple hours after my run I feel the blood rushing round my body.


I love the question. I'm male and fall into the, well, to be frank, fat old git category. I find that I only have to break into a trot for the sweat to start pouring out of me and like you, I get as high as a kite from it.

I have no idea about the morphology but I suspect it might have some significance.


We wondered whether it was anything to do with the blood rushing round my body, and not, apparenlty hers. We guessed that as my blood vessels were dilated, (hence my scarletness ) more oxygen was being fed to my various organs, including what was left of my rather addled brain. Perhaps the euphoria I feel is because I'm getting more O2 to my brain via the extra red blood cells, rather than any endorphins or other hormones ...and cos she appears to go green, rather than pink she doesn't get that. (could he blood vessels collapse? I must say, it makes me feel so good, that for the first time I don't wish i was someone else.


Don't over analyse it! If it makes you feel good keep doing it :-). How about seeing if, when your friend pushes herself harder she feels better?

happy running xx


Interesting question, personally from what I've seen at Parkrun we runners come in all shapes and sizes and there seems to be little connection to ability. As for enjoyment perhaps it's linked to motivation, if you're aiming to get in shape your motivation may be higher than hers hence the endorphin hit when you run? Totally unscientific, just a vague theory...

I'm a slight build (still sweat btw!) and I also get the post run high, it's great. :-)


You enjoy it what more can you ask the rest comes with time?

Maybe Running helps you enjoy your body shape!


I am short and dumpy and I sweat like the proverbial when I run, no matter what temperature it is out there! I also get a high ...I see tall, thin, beautiful women out there running every night and get so jealous of their long legs. Only thing I can say is that I am definitely a million percent fitter than I was a year ago!



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