22 Nov Find Out: The 8 Reasons Why I Run
On Monday I sent out an email to the RunCamp List.
(Well worth joining if you aren’t already seeing my emails, stories and insights into my running and coaching – Join HERE)
I spoke about an email I received asking me what gets me out the door.
It’s deep questions like this that aren’t really approached or answered because they are often things people like to keep quiet.
And you know me, if there is something people don’t want to talk about, I’ll share it.
Like at the Gosport Half Marathon last Sunday. Lets just say my stomach wasn’t my friend during the run and I spent around 4km looking at toilets and engaging muscles I wouldn’t normally during a run…!
It’s insights like this that I find really helps out other runners. It lets everyone know they aren’t alone in their struggles. I meet with and chat to hundreds of runners per week and know my coached runners VERY well, to the point where we share a lot of information that most people wouldn’t share with their other halves.
So when I speak about this stuff, I know others have similar issues.
I was asked earlier this week:
“Why do you care about running Ant? What motivates you to put on those trainers and go out in the cold and run?! I am losing motivation and its making me question it all.”
I wrote back a list (bulleted below) but I’ll expand upon each one in this blog, there are 8, to be honest I could write a few more, but these ones are the first that sprung to mind:
– I run because I know it makes me more productive.
A simple one this one. I know over the years of exercising that a non exercising Ant is a ratty, short tempered and pretty angry person (believe it or not). Exercise is my drug and if I don’t have it my emotions run me rather than the other way around. I know that post run, I’m more relaxed and the time I spend working is MUCH more effective. I write more, I know I write better and I enjoy what I do more too.
It doesn’t even have to be a run on the same day, just knowing that this week I’m on target for my exercise goals has a dramatic affect on my psychology. Currently I’m targeting 3 runs per week, 3 swims and 2 bike sessions. It’s a lot, but I know that if I tick these off, I’m hitting my exercise goals and I’m feeling more productive too.
– I run because it gives me confidence (pre running Ant was very shy and quiet).
This one is VERY personal, but before running I didn’t really have much going on in my life. A once per week karate as a child with a side helping of computer games was my childhood. I was happy in my own company too, a natural introvert if you like.
Running gave me a voice, I spoke to more people, gained confidence talking and fast forward to today, I give talks to large groups about running! There is no way this would have happened had I not found running and then decided to go to university and focus on sport.
Not only does it give me confidence in speaking, but in myself too. I feel physically stronger, and when I am training hard, that feeling of progress and speed is such a huge buzz for me.
– I run because I like the feeling of progress.
Just running is great. It’s a fantastic stress reliever. It gets you out in the great outdoors and exploring. But when we start a training program, we are exposed to a wide variety of sessions that you might not do on your own.
Things like Intervals, tempo runs etc. Before I started my degree, I’d play around with different sessions. After qualifying and also getting my coaching badge, actually structuring a program resulted in huge progress. I got faster, I became much fitter and I really like that feeling.
To put it into perspective, I ran my first ever 10k in 57 minutes in 2005, last year I ran 31:40. Thats a pretty big improvement in something that I certainly didn’t have a “gift” for when I started out.
– I run because I like the feeling of working towards a target.
You might have guessed that I love goals. I encourage everyone to set them. When I am training well, I do honestly have that vision that anything is possible. What I struggle with is picking that next “thing”. Challenges are great and goals for a lot of people are cumulative. I remember the days when a 5k felt like a HUGE distance. In fact, I remember one distinct sports day where I was entered into a 800m run. It felt like an eternity running around that grass track!
But you soon tick off those milestones. Once that 10k gets ticked off, it doesn’t seem so far anymore. Why not have a go at a half. And then once you’ve done that… Well, a marathon is only another 13.1 miles 😉
– I run because I want to achieve the goal I set myself and get “that” feeling at the end of a job well done.
Is there anything better than that feeling of finishing. I love that final 100m. Elation, relief, euphoria. It’s incredible how something as simple as crossing a finish line can create such emotion. The months of hard work all come together in one moment. It’s truly special and means something different to each and every person. To some it might be a PB. It might be the 20th Half Marathon. It might be finishing in memory of a lost loved one. Maybe they are doing it for charity and raised a shed load of cash. Or maybe, just maybe, someone said they they “couldn’t run”.
It’s not uncommon for me to hear that someone has been told that they’d “never be able to complete a 10k run”. And rather than agree with them, they sought to prove them wrong.
I’ve said it before – it’s not speed that makes you a runner. It’s attitude.
When you lace up your shoes, you aren’t just Joe Bloggs, the person who works 9-5.
You become a superhuman that runs for a hobby.
– I run because I know I can inspire others (and you can and will inspire others too).
We all will inspire someone else, it could be a friend, it will especially be your kids (if you have any), as they grow up seeing you being sporty and working hard and getting rewards for that hard work.
There are so many life lessons that can be learnt from watching a running event unfold.
I love inspiring runners and love hearing about what they achieve as a result of seeing the things that I have done, and I guarantee you inspire others too.
In fact, regardless of your finish position, first last or otherwise, I’m inspired.
– As a more shallow one, I run to keep in shape.
But importantly its a way of keeping in shape that is easy to fit into life for me. The alternative would be hitting the gym 3-4 times per week. And to put it this way, I used to work in a gym, I could never be that person on the treadmill or in the weights area that many hours each week. I’m an outdoorsy person, I love exploring and I love the freedom that running brings.
If I can combine exploring and keeping fit, then thats a perfect combination.
– And once I’ve set my goal, I run to make sure I don’t appear to be a failure in other peoples eyes.
Fear of failure is one of the things I love but also one of the demons I have to deal with. I hate failing and in the case of when i completed Ironman Wales earlier this year in September, I probably shouldn’t have started because of the knee pain I was dealing with. But not starting was a failure in my eyes and pulling out during the event would also mean the same thing.
I won’t give up easily, that goes for my own running and that of the people I work with.
I hope you found this useful, if you find yourself wondering “WHY?” Then I’d recommend writing yourself a similar list to the above. Remember these need to be YOUR reasons why you run.
Yours and mine will be vastly different, and that’s totally a good thing. Every single runner I talk to has different goals, targets and reasons to run.
Start with a couple and see where you end up, I promise you’ll learn something new about yourself, as I have writing this list.
And if you need a hand with it – you know where I am.
P.S. Online Coaching slots are open for your 2018 goals, if you need a hand setting your targets, getting your training plan structured and boosting your motivation over the winter time, just reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out https://runcamp.co.uk/home/online-training/ and fill in the online form to get started on your journey to a stronger and faster 2018.
P.P.S. If you found this useful, or if you have a running buddy that would benefit from reading this, make sure you hit share below:
Ant is the creator of RunCamp. Everyday his goals are to educate, motivate and inspire runners and triathletes to make themselves better than they were yesterday.
Running in his eyes is a journey, and through his coaching he aims to make everyone’s journeys more enjoyable.
As well as running, you’ll find Ant regularly taking part in triathlons, from sprint distance up to full Ironmans.
He also has a big weakness in the forms of Papa John’s pizza and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so if you ever want to get an easier session, thats one way to get one!
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