Why run?

There are a few reasons to run, but the most important one is:

You will feel, after running, different from how you feel at any other time in your life.

You may feel great, good, better, worse, or injured. But you will, with 99.9% certainty, feel something that you haven’t felt before. The particular effects will depend on your level of fitness, generally. If you haven’t tried running, you will need to go for a run in order to feel what I mean.

It is not the same as a tough bike ride. It is not the same as the feeling you get when you wrap-up an important project at work. It is physical, and it insists on being heard (felt). If you are stressed before your run, you will have a hard time remembering that stressed feeling after the run. It is transforming.

Some other reasons to run include:

  • You want to be able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want (running causes food to evaporate before it hits your tummy – this is something I know from my old biking days).
  • You want to add a little discipline to your life. There’s nothing like setting a concrete goal for getting you to stick with a routine. And, since most goal-oriented routines lead to some type of betterment, this is generally a good thing. (For the record, I once said to my now-wife, “You don’t train for a 5K. You just do a 5K.” Here I am four years later training for a 5K.)
  • You want to commune with nature.
  • You want an extremely portable hobby that you can take with you on every vacation (and use it to see large swaths of a foreign city before your significant other even wakes up, which is handy if you want to act like you know all the best places to go sight-seeing).
  • You’ve set yourself an arbitrary goal of running a 5K in four weeks (well, mine is on August 27th – the Al Goldstein Speed Series 5K), and you don’t want to be embarrassed in front of your friends, who all seem to be accomplished marathon runners.

Finally, Zen Habits, in the article that actually inspired me to take up running recently (How to Go From Sedentary to Running in Five Steps) lists a reason:

You’ll eat better.

True – you will. While I’ve gone on and on about how you can eat whatever you want since it all just evaporates anyway, this guy says you will be inspired to eat better, simply because you will realize that trashy food does not provide good fuel for running. Trouble is, I did a running workout this morning, and I’ve been starving all day – and all we have is trashy food in the house.

I’ve picked and chosen from among the reasons above when deciding recently to take-up running and train for a 5K. In the end, who cares? I’ll be in great shape (with hopefully no injuries) and well on my way to getting back to a non-sedentary lifestyle.


The image of a twisted runner’s legs was released into the public domain by Fg2, and published on Wikimedia Commons. The image of a jumpber was released into the public domain by Wavertree, and published on Wikimedia Commons.