One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting. Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run. Everybody is unique in their own way. With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation. Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”
1. You Will Hate Running
I know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running. Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it. There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running. Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts. Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.
2. You Will Love Running
This one is more like it, right? Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running. Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport. It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day. Know what I’m talking about? Yeah, I thought so.
3. Injuries Are Inevitable
This is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play. There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another. It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain. You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.
4. You Will Become Competitive
Don’t get too excited here. This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money. The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers. It won’t take long, either. Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run. You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance. Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.
5. It Will Cost Money
Just like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well. Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running. Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook. Look at it like this: You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.
6. It Will Be Worth It
After all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it. Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing. The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running. Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days. But, there’s always that good day right around the corner. The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.” The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.
Can you relate to any of these? What are some of your “realities of running?”
Post contributed by Brock Jones. Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.