Sunday, 6 September 2015

Reasons Why You Should Run

Running has quickly become a huge part of my life - I currently run three to four times a week and often feel a bit 'odd' if I don't get chance to run. But if you'd have said to me even five months ago that I'd be running this much, training for a 10k in October and loving every second of it I'd have called you crazy. See, I haven't always been a runner... My running watch will tell you that much. I've dabbled in running since I was at university but never really pushed myself to run to a routine, or to run further/faster/better. Until I moved back home in April this year, that is.

See, the end of my four year long relationship with my ex boyfriend brought me to a turning point - I could either sit and mope around, doing nothing with my life or I can grab my newly single self and shake shit up. I chose the latter. So I chose running. I dropped some cash on a new set of running shoes and wrote up some goals to try and achieve.

I started out with 3.5k, and have worked my way up to 6.5k for a regular run and 10k when I'm feeling fresh. But how? Running is horrible. Well, it is when you start. The reasons I run include:
  • The feeling of achieving my goals. At first it was just to run continuously for 15 - 20 - 25 minutes, now it's 50 - 55 - 60 minutes. Pace wise I started out running at a 6:30 pace consistently; I'm now working to bring that down to a 5:20 pace and my ultimate goal is a sub 5 minute/km pace for initially a 5k, then 10k.
  • The feeling of setting new goals and knowing that I will eventually achieve them. My original goal of running a 5k has now morphed in a 10k and actually, I'm strongly considering the idea of a half marathon next summer.
  • The knowledge that I am infinitely more mentally strong than I give myself credit for. Mental strength and will power, much like physical strength, are muscles that must be exercised to be improved. Every time I come home from work and lace up my running shoes I am flexing those muscles. Every time I want to sit on the sofa and eat chocolate all night rather than be a productive member of society I have to exercise those muscles.
  • The calm tranquility of a long run cannot be beaten. All worries slip away when all you've got to worry about is whether or not you're keeping the right pace. Nothing else matters but your foot steps. On my runs I write stories, I listen to music, I debate philosophy and ethics, I muse about what car I want to drive in ten years time.
  • That runners high. I promise it exists (it took about three months of three runs a week for mine to appear though).
  • You can improve very quickly in a very short space of time with running  - check out my running progress on my MapMyRun profile. If I can do it, then so can you!
  • For every bad run, there is an equally great one.
  • Because one day, I won't be able to run.
Whether you run 1km or 10km, it doesn't matter. Nor does it matter if you run at a 7 minute per kilometre pace or a 4 minute per kilometre pace - because the battle you are fighting on each run is your own. No-one out there knows how far you've run, how far you have left or how fast you're running. And anyone who cares probably aint running themselves, so sod them. Just get out there and run. 

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