If we had a pound for every time we are asked why we run, we could buy ourselves a private beach to stretch our legs across every morning. Despite the obvious joy and delight that covers our faces in every image of us engaging in our favourite form of transport, a lot of people still don’t get it. The unconverted find the very idea of a fun run a total contradiction in terms. Well, we love it!
We can give the doubters a million and one reasons why the thought of strapping on our running shoes and striding out on another adventure fills us with excitement and exhilaration. Every run is different but the uplifting feeling is always the same (even if it sometimes takes a little recovery time for it to register!). Simply putting one foot in front of the other has taken our bodies and souls to places we never imagined. It is what we were meant to do… all of us. And, like all of the best things in life, the more you run, the more you will want to run.
Sometimes it takes a very good reason to get started on something and the proven cardiovascular boost that running gives to your fitness and health levels is the best motivation of all. Running is an aerobic sport. It works your whole body inside and out and the most important parts of that beautiful bod are the ones that benefit most from the exercise. Once you train your metabolism to respond to this athletic shot to the system, you will strengthen your heart and lower your resting heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol. We don’t read the publication all the time but, The American Journal of Cardiology found running to be the most efficient way of improving heart health! They sound like they probably know about these things.
There is also a thriving social side to getting outside for a plod round the park. It is far more enjoyable and rewarding with a buddy at your side (trust us on this!) and, once you get your breathing mechanisms up to speed, it’s one of the few fitness activities where you can actually put the world to rights while you train. If you’ve seen our Twitter and Instagram posts you will know that we talk a little er… differently and er… breathlessly when we are running but we can just about still understand one another in mid-run. So, whether you are roping in a relative or joining a run club, running is all about the community and friendships forged on the hoof. You never know, you may just bag yourself a new best bud or EVEN ‘better half’ while making yourself yet more lovable at the same time!
And if you’re not really a people person when you are panting, sweating and suffering in the name of better health, you can choose to run alone. Plug in those earphones, pump up the volume, fix on the game face and nobody will try to invade your private space. Running is actually a fantastic form of meditation. It helps you to zone out from the world and tune in to you. Whether it’s an educational podcast or your banging playlist, personal time out on the road allows you to disappear and lose yourself in whatever you’re listening to. Don’t forget there are still cars and kerbs in the real world, so watch where you are stepping, but running is an accessible form of escape like no other.
It’s accessibility and convenience are another good reason to get running. You can run anywhere, anytime… literally! We wouldn’t necessarily recommend running on the spot as a regular sane activity but you don’t actually even need space to run. Treadmills are not our favourite run routes either but if you can’t get to the great outdoors for any reason, you can bounce along the nearest belt in order to keep yourself ticking over. And when you’ve got the time and the opportunity, you’re good to go and the world is your playground with a pair of trainers and a (charged) wayfinder (Garm yourself up before you take steps into the unknown please). Wherever we are in the world, we can and do run! Our faithful feet have taken us on carefully planned challenges to incredible places like The Grand Canyon, The Great Ocean Road and The Great Wall of China, but they quickly become itchy feet if we don’t get a run in whatever else TTH is demanding of us. Running is now part of our lifestyle.
It is something we look forward to even on chill, damp mornings. It is much more than a hobby or a health kick, it is a basic daily activity. It clears our heads and minds and prepares us for everything else life throws at us. For those of you super short on time, it can also be a great commute but you do need to ensure that there’s a shower at or near your workplace or you may just be losing some of those new friends you made!
The final reason to run we would offer for now is a mental one. Not ‘mental’ as in ‘you must be mental to go out running in the rain’ but the benefits to the soul of getting out there and saying ‘Pah’ to the raindrops on a cold, wet morning… of showing yourself that nothing as trivial as shitty weather is going to stop you. Running helps make you more mentally tough. It builds resilience and tenacity. It nurtures an ability to tackle challenging situations with a strong mindset that will serve you well in many other situations. It stretches and dares you to leave your comfort zone behind. As the km’s clock up on your watch or phone, there will inevitably be tough moments when you want to ease up or even give up. If you’re able to silence the negative voices in your head, you will emerge with a more positive take on life in general. Even dealing with the setbacks of injured limbs or damaged pride after a that ‘bad run’ are character building. Self improvement is not measured purely in seconds and yards but also in the feelgood sensation when running becoming steadily easier and therefore more enjoyable.
Self-improvement is all about breaking through life’s barriers and running, like everything else, will place occasional obstacles in your way. Bring them on! With the right equipment, advice and preparation, there is nothing out there to stop you running once you start. It’s as natural as walking… just a little faster. Jog before you run. Pace yourself and you will learn not only to love it for what it does to and for you, but also to enjoy it simply for how it feels.
So, the only question left to answer really is ‘Why not to run?’