Running sucks. At least in the beginning. You know it does. We know it does. We all know it. It's hard on your body and it could get boring. Then, why do you still run and for what purpose?

 

Running Sucks

By Edmund Arellano

In 2012, blogger Trisha Berube wrote an incredible article on her page Barefoot Monologue, describing her emotional attachment to running. Basically, as an ultra-marathon runner, she no longer found the idea of running any distance "fun". Trisha goes on to describe the difficulty in finding a purpose in running once she achieved the ultra-marathon status. Training for ultras, she describes, was exciting and joyful. Watching her mileage grow week after week only intensified her desire to keep going... until she hit an emotional wall.

Today on the seventh mile of my run I realized that somewhere along these last few months I've lost all the reasons why running made me happy before. Before I started running for this reason or that, for training or for some arbitrary weekly mileage number or for accolades from other runners.

Trisha Berube

Neo TiredRunnerTrisha lost her running mojo, realizing that the only time she actually felt happy running was when she was running for HERSELF. Not for the race, not for the medal, but for herself.

This happens to A LOT of runners.  The passion that drives a person to run goes away after achieving certain goals.  In most cases, as in the case for Trisha, that desire to run the distance is weakened when they realize they're running because they HAVE to, not because they want to.

Let's go back to the beginning of this article: running sucks.  How do you change your attitude about running so that you WANT to run?

Jogging is an acquired taste.

It's something that most people just grow into, becoming excited about it only after they see results like weight-loss or improved stamina. But, as with anything else, it takes time to appreciate the art of jogging.  If you're new at jogging, it will, undoubtedly, suck at first.  You'll hate the way your feet hurt, your muscles ache, and your knees throb. You'll disappoint yourself when you realize you're not as young as you used to be. But you can't give up.

What about seasoned runners?

exhausted runnersOnce you get past the grind, running becomes a habit - almost an addiction. You'll start looking for more challenging races, chasing medals, and your friends are the people you drink with at the run club. Going for a jog becomes a natural part of your routine, so much so that if you skip a day of jogging you'll start to feel "off".

As I drive down Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa's south district, I actually get jealous as I watch the runners steadily pace along the boardwalk. When you begin to budget your income for races, shoes, and other running gear you've become the definition of a runner.

If you train right, you will, inevitably, become a better runner.  You'll find 5k races to be waste of your time and half-marathons will be your "minimum". But for some runners, like Trisha, the thought of running for ANOTHER ultra isn't as exciting as it used to be. You no longer want to run for the medals, and you especially don't want to be TOLD to run. Nobody likes being told what to do. Running doesn't make you happy anymore.

Our Thoughts On This.

When you get to the point of your running career that you no longer find it exciting, it no longer makes you happy, it's time to look for a new career. But rather than giving up running altogether, think about other challenges that may ignite that old running flame of yours.

Have you heard of Ragnar? It's an overnight running organization that puts you in a team of 12 other crazies (people who love running so much, they'll do it in the middle of the night). Ragnar takes a team of 12 (or 6 if you join an ultra team), two vans, and has you run through stretches of 200 miles in a relay fashion.  You'll run three legs of varying distances, day and night, and at odd hours of the day.

Why not mix it up and add some obstacles to your run? Think about a Spartan race.  You'll not only be expected to run, but you'll be physically and mentally challenged by the obstacles in your way.  Tough Mudders is another great obstacle endurance race.

If you're really up for a change in your running career, add a few more disciplines and join the Iron Man club.  You'll swim in open water, cycle for miles, and then finish it with an exhausting run.

Conclusion

Running wasn't meant to be easy.  It sucks.  You can say that for any form of exercise.  But as you get stronger, it'll start to feel easier.  That's when you need to continue your search for a new, more difficult, challenge.  Something worthy of your time and energy.  Share your comments below.