10 Reasons Running is for YOU!

Do you have a favorite place to go running, I do! I ran around my long run loop along the Schuylkill (I still have to look that word up every time!)River. A lot of people hate running there for various reasons, one of which is the congestion during the nice days. To me this is one of the best things about it; seeing everyone out there enjoying being outdoors, and pushing themselves towards their own personal goals.

I often want to say “Great Job!” or “Keep it up” to the people out there struggling, but I refrain as I do not want to come across as patronizing. I have talked to a few friends about this who say that it definitely would come across that way, even though they know I mean it genuinely.

Last weekend was the inaugural Philadelphia Love Run; a half marathon around the city, followed by an out and back on Martin Luther King Drive. As I ran on the sidewalk alongside the runners, I was once again reminded why our sport is so special. Even in the pouring rain, the support and love was all around, and it really made me think about how running really is the best sport of all, and here is why:

1. What you put in, is what you get out. If you are prepared to put in the time, hard work, and effort to do “the little things” to be the best you can be, you really will get the results you deserve. It may take some time, but you WILL get there.

2. You can do it anywhere, anytime, any place (okay, there are some parts of Philadelphia where I would not be comfortable running at night, but you get the point).

You do not need expensive equipment or apparel to run; all you need is a pair of running shoes, and you are off……well, I wouldn’t recommend running in jeans, but to each their own 🙂

3. If someone is having a bad day, fans support them, and encourage them to keep going. Think about it, in other sports, if one of the players is struggling, their “fans” yell at them to get their act together, even sometimes claiming they could do a better job themselves. In running, fans and supporters will cheer you on every step of the way. The more you are struggling, the more encouragement you get….I experienced this firsthand in my debut marathon.

4. It is a sport of ups and downs, but each serves its purpose. Those down times make you truly appreciate when everything is going right, and the ups bring such an incredible elation that they make the downs worthwhile.

5. There will always be another race. It is not like other sports where once you leave college, you are lucky if you ever get the opportunity to play again. There are races in bigger cities almost every weekend, and you will always have the opportunity to find a race that suits you!

AND not only are people in the running world wonderful people in general, but many of these races raise thousands of dollars/pounds/lira/euros for great causes, and are there to help those most in need!

6. There is written proof of your best races. The times you run will be yours forever. In other sports there will always be new players coming through, and those who used to play can only rely on their memories, but in running, those times, those medals will ALWAYS be yours to look back on with pride.

7. The wonderful running community! I have met so many wonderful people at races and through the running community online. Everyone is so supportive of one another, and just wants to see others reach their own hopes and dreams. Runners are not judgmental of one another. It does not matter how fast you run, or how long it takes, everyone is just as proud of you for putting yourself out there, and doing the best you can do. There is a reason they say this sport is every other sports punishment; it is tough, and we are making ourselves stronger every time we put one foot in front of the other.

8. You learn new routes, new parts of town, and see some beautiful scenes you would never discover otherwise. Would you walk four miles to see a beautiful outlook, and then walk four miles back? No, me neither. With running you can travel further than you think, and see the beauty of nature more than anyone else as you are moving at a speed that allows you to take it all in.

9. Anyone can build up to achieve things they never would have believed they could. My sister is a great example of this. She was never a runner, hated it in fact, but last summer she trained so hard, did everything she needed to do, and ran a 10k in memory of our Grandma (and to raise money for the Stroke Association). When she started training, she could not run more than 10 minutes. Two months later, she ran the entire thing, every step! Was so proud of her!

People often ask me how I am able to run the miles I am, well it is all about consistently, slowly building up over time. When people run their first marathon, they would never have believed they could run 26.2 miles on day 1, but they do! Back to point #1, if you are willing to put in the time, you can do ANYTHING!

10. Last, but certainly not least; the health benefits! Runners world recently posted a great article on the major benefits, and concluded that “Studies have shown that running can help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, and a host of other unpleasant conditions.” Need more reasons? Here are just a few:

  • Increased HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)
  • Decreases in body fat, while helping to maintain a healthy weight….and you keep burning calories for hours after too
  • More effective use of oxygen around the body
  • Stronger heart with an increase in stroke volume (able to pump more blood around with every beat)
  • Muscles are more efficient
  • Makes you happier through the secretion of feel good hormones and endorphins
  • Helps prevent the risk of depression, and reduces anxiety
  • Strengthens your bones and joints from the weight bearing activity, to reduce the risk of osteoporosis as you age
  • Keeps your cognitive function (a sharp mind)
  • It adds years to your life……well, if that isn’t enough of a motivator, I don’t know what is 🙂

Oh, and just in case you needed even more solid evidence, an article called Training For A Marathon Doesn’t Just Make You Awesome — It’s Good For Your Heart was released by Huffington Post on Sunday.

Do you agree? What are your favorite things about running? Where was your most scenic run?

I thought this would be a great post to add to Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud Thursday, thanks for hosting 🙂

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51 Comments.

  • Great post!

    Here's something you can try instead of “Good job!”. Look them in the eye and just say “Hey”. People who view themselves as “not real runners” would appreciate the acknowledgement from someone who they see as a “real runner”. Instead of trying to tell them they're doing great when they feel like crap, you're acknowledging their struggle as that of a real runner. It puts them in the club rather than patronizes them.

  • Yes to all of this! And I used to run that same loop at Kelly Drive… I miss it!

  • Aw I love this! I am not really a runner – running and I have a long and troubled history – but I still agree with everything you said 100%. This was a great happy and positive post to start my morning and made me extra happy and proud that I did, in fact, run yesterday. 🙂

  • Wait, people interpret “keep it up” as patronizing now? I am officially confused at how to encourage somebody without them taking it the wrong way lol! I usually just give a head nod ('sup) when out for runs. But definitely guilty of saying “great job” etc for harder training sessions or races.

    “What you put in, is what you get out”. Love this. It's annoying when this doesn't apply to other areas of life dominated by politics, networking, all the BS. But running is truly non-BS 🙂

  • What's so funny is that just yesterday as I ran, I thought about the fact that running can be expensive for me even though I don't race much – because running makes me so hungry I swear I spend extra money on food! lol

  • This post. Oh, this post. I couldn't agree with anything in it any more than the wonderful way you presented it. I am just like you, though, and always want to cheer people on when running! Especially those people who stop to walk and then start running again. I just want to talk to them and find out how things are going. of course I don't, but in my head I say a little prayer for them that they find the strength and excitement in each run! I also love that you mentioned you get out of it what you put into it. If you don't train, you won't get better. If you don't push hard, you won't see results. Excellent!

  • All of the above! There's little I don't like about it. Wow–my most scenic run. That's a tough one. I think probably a couple of runs I did in Australia fit the bill, or some trail runs out west. Running on vacation is my favorite thing to do!

  • Great post! All of those reasons are spot on. Every few weeks I do a round up of posts and articles I like from other bloggers and publications. Do you mind if I include a link to this one?

  • This is awesome!!! I love this list and totally agree!!
    So many great reasons to run!
    #5 might be my favorite – there will always be another chance – age, experience, none of it matter – we can keep running and racing!!!

  • You are adorable and motivating! Pain face and all. Love this. It was a good reminder while I am temporarily sidelined!

  • LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!! Sometimes I forget that running is for me but you just reminded me… thank you! (:

  • YES!!! I love that little old lady at the end. I want to be that when I grow up too!

  • yes yes yes!! you know i love it all! and 3 and 4 are so key, ya know? sherpa!!

  • OMGH I LOVEEEE the old lady running!!! It makes me happier than happy!!!!!!!

  • Love this!! I welcome the great job and keep it up comments! It's one of the reasons I love the running community. Support!

    Right now there isn't anything I don't love about running 🙂

  • Love this, Tina! It's so easy to see that running is something you're super passionate about, and while I'm definitely not a natural born runner, it's something that I really want to work on for all those reasons that you mentioned. The story about your sister building up her mileage through hard work seriously gives me hope, though… Hopefully it's something I'll be able to do this spring/summer 🙂

  • number two is why IM SO SO SO TRYING TO MAKE IT MINE 🙂

  • Thank you SO MUCH for your input Rob, that is truly wonderful to hear, and I will definitely do that from now on. 🙂 That is a great perspective, and I am so happy you shared. Have a wonderful day!

  • Ahhh so cool! I am gonna miss it so much when I leave, especially the view on the MLK side when you can see the art museum and skyline on a nice day. Gorgeous 🙂

  • Aww thanks Kim, glad I was able to help you start your day off right, although I am sure you dont need much help, you are so uplifting in everything you do. You usually make me smile. Glad you are in fact getting out there to run, and hopefully you and running can someday find peace 🙂

  • I can see how it would come across that way. I dont like it when competitors pass me in a race and say good job, so I can understand why it would be like that for everyone. I think the nod is a great idea, and what Rob said (above).

    Thanks for your support, you are so right. Running is just itself, no glamor, no showing off, just people out there fighting for their dreams 🙂

  • Hahahaha thats funny! I guess we are just polar opposites right now 😛 That is a very good point though, I am constantly eating, and wonder how much less I would spend on groceries if I did not run!

  • Thanks so much Heather. You are so thoughtful, and kind. I am glad you understand my thinking on the cheering, the people you described are the ones I really want to say it to, and almost do…but refrain. You are so right, the results are what you earn! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Australia! Wow, you really have been all over! I went to Australia when I was 12, but was not running then. I bet there was some incredible scenic runs there. I can imagine it would be hard to chose a favorite! 🙂

  • Thanks Nicole! Yes! That would be wonderful! Could you let me know when it goes up? I would appreciate that! Thank you!

  • Thanks Kim, yep! You are right, it will always be there. And Boston this year is proving that the running community is stronger than anything.

  • Thank you so much 🙂 Pain face is definitely not adorable, but I appreciate your kindness as always 🙂 You will be back up and running very soon, appreciating it more than you were before….life is full of ups and downs 🙂

  • Thanks Danielle 🙂 It can be for everyone, I hope you enjoy your next run 🙂

  • She is adorable! My mum said to me yesterday, you cant just assume she is old because she has gray hair…..either way, she looks so happy and everyone should strive to look like that when they run 🙂

  • Yes! And you are such an integral part of the kiwis success, I know how critical a supporting role is for it. I did hope you would love it all, thanks so much for your support 🙂

  • She is adorable isnt she 🙂 Happier than happy is pretty good way to start the day 🙂

  • Ahhh Jill, it makes me smile to read that from you. You truly have found your love for running again, and it was that down time you just had, that made that happen! The support truly is one of the best parts, and you are so wonderful at this!

  • Thanks Amanda, you are right, you do not have to live it, breathe it with the same passion that I do, but that is what is so special, everyone can enjoy it.

    My sister was definitely inspiring. She never gave up, and the results paid off. I would be happy to help you if you need it this summer 🙂

  • Yes! Go for it! Especially with nicer weather coming, there are plenty of reasons to get out the door!

  • This post is BEYOND AWESOME! I seriously couldn't say this better myself. I don't even have words, because you've said them all! xo

  • wohoooo yeahhh for running!!!! I love all these reasons so very much. I think the feeling of pride is top of my list, it just makes me feel good.

  • My sister and I had a guy say “Great Job Ladies!” to us…I prob looked like I was struggling! 😛 We found it encouraging and loved it. I think you shouldn't think about it so much. Just do what feels right to you. 🙂 As long as you are doing it in the right spirit what else matters. and who knows who might encourage along the way

  • Aww thank you so much 🙂 That is so sweet of you!! Glad you liked it 🙂

  • Thanks Amanda! Yes, it does! Especially the pride crossing the finish line! Best rush of endorphins there is!

  • Well that is nice to hear Amy, I actually made sure to say “Good Morning” to every runner I saw today, and the responses were great! Thanks so much for your input, you make me feel much better!

  • Love everything about this post! So many great and true reasons to run. I want to do more races this year for the reasons you described about having your times recorded as well as getting to see some of the great local running community.

    I will definitely be referring back to this over the next month as I start to try and rebuild my running fitness 🙂

  • Love love love this! Running seriously carries over into other parts of life- learning to keep going when it's hard, etc!

  • I love these! Especially the one about seeing new place. Running is one of my favorite ways to see a city. You notice so much more!

  • Thank you Jan 🙂 Yes! That will be wonderful for you! Cant wait to see how you get on! I would be happy to help if you need anything 🙂

  • Awww thanks Sunnie! Yes it does! So glad you commented, I just checked your blog and I love it! Will be supporting you in the future!

  • I love love love this Tina!! You have such great thoughts! I ran a 5:53 mile today and I was thinking of you. How you run so fast is a mystery to me! Also, that video at the end was great! So inspiring!

  • Thanks Laura 🙂 Yeah, I have seen so many incredible places running, and going to races. What is your favorite place you have run in?

  • Thanks so much Leigha! That is fast, nice job….and so sweet you thought of me 🙂 I am honored! That video is so special, shows how great our community is 🙂

  • Whoa, those hills would certainly build character. I'm never thrilled to start a run, but always glad that I did by the time it's completed 🙂

  • Thanks Liz, yes, that is often how most people feel about running. The feeling afterwards is well worth it 🙂 Have a wonderful evening!

  • I'm a few days behind on blog-reading… but I loved this post! You're so right about all of these points.

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