What do you love about running? And a challenge for you…

For nearly 16 years, I’ve labeled myself a runner. This is a bigger deal than you think.

See, running isn’t just something you do in the morning before work. Or a fun exercise class you join for six weeks at the gym.

Running – and especially training – is a lifestyle. It affects what (and when) you eat, your approach to sleep, how stress impacts your life, what other activities you’re able to participate in, and even how you view weight loss.

If you’re training to run as fast as you can, you’re training to achieve your genetic potential. I’ve always wondered just how fast I can run. To accomplish such a goal, a long-term and patient approach to training is a must.

So for the last 15+ years, I’ve been training. And at nearly 31 years old, my potential is nearly met. I’m in the twilight of my competitive years with only a few good ones left. Soon, like anyone who started training at a young age, I’ll inevitably be unable to run any personal bests.

Is this sobering fact upsetting? Or depressing? Not for me.

Running is the single best thing to ever happen in my life. It’s how I met my wife Meaghan, chose my college, met most of my best friends, and how I decided to be a running coach.

Even if I’m upset that I’ve never run under 4:30 in the mile (my PR is 4:33), 16:00 in the 5k (my PR is 16:02), or run a marathon under 6:00 mile pace (my 2:39:32 PR is at 6:05 pace), I’ve had a deeply satisfying career as a distance runner.

As my training age makes me a senior citizen in the running world, I’ve begun to think about the reasons why I love running. And today I want to share them with you.

Why We Love Running

Experience the World

My love of running didn’t have the beginning you’d imagine: I joined my high school cross country team because I thought I could high jump.

When that obviously didn’t work out, I stayed on the team because the coach encouraged me and the guys on the team made me laugh.

I quit playing basketball to join the indoor track team because I realized I was better at running (being 5’7″ helped with that decision).

Soon I was hooked on running personal bests and for a long time, that’s why I loved running.

But over the years, I’ve realized that running opens doors. It helped me get into Connecticut College, which when I applied had about a 30% acceptance rate. My wife was a runner for Conn, too.

In the last few years, running has connected me with the running community in ways I never would have imagined. And when I travel, I’m reminded that running is truly the best way to experience the world.

Indeed, running is about more than getting fast. It’s the lens in which we view and experience the world.

With that in mind, I asked Strength Running’s Facebook fans, “What’s your FAVORITE part of being a runner?” I jokingly said mine was the split-leg short shorts.

Here are my two favorite responses:

“Seeing Jason in those short shorts” – James

“Making fun of people who wear short shorts with a split leg” – Sarah

Just kidding. Here are the replies that really resonated with me:

“I feel such a sense of freedom and happiness. Not looking or acting my age is a definite bonus!” – Marilyn

“The burn in your muscles after pushing yourself to the limit. Nothing like it.” – Barry

“Just the knowledge that I could go run 10 miles any old time I wanted.” – Cabe

“Not looking my age.” – Colleen

“Having the time to myself; feeling the air and observing the surroundings” – Cristina

“The feeling of accomplishment when I cross the finish line!” – Marilyn

“The end of the run!!” – Lynsey

“The feeling I get when I challenge myself.” – Lisa

“Being able to eat the carbs I love, knowing that they will be burned as fuel during my runs rather than stored :)” – Yana

We all run for different reasons. Whether it’s to get fast, look young, accomplish something beyond ourselves, or able to ogle me in inappropriately short shorts, our reasons are important and help define us as runners.

For me, I run to race fast, explore, meet interesting people, and learn about myself. I know of no more rewarding activity.

What do YOU love about running?

Today, I want to challenge you:

Leave a comment on this post telling the Strength Running community what you love about running.

I want to hear from runners who love running. From those of us who are passionate about the sport that has defined more than half of my life.

Tell your story. What motivates you to keep running? Why do you continue to run, even if it’s not always fun? Share why you lace up your shoes and go for your daily run.

At the end of today, we’ll have the biggest list of reasons to go running ever put together – by runners around the world.

Ready? Leave your comment below!

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  1. zareen shaikh says:

    I love running because it makes my problems magically disappear as answers appear after a run magically.also morning runs give me the energy to come home and start the day with enthusiasm .

  2. I love running because it is the ultimate test for an individual. For the most part, it is just you versus your mind. You think you cannot go further or faster. You think that you can’t shave 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes off of your last time. You put in the hours, days, weeks, and months of training. You cannot blame anyone else if you do not succeed with your goal. You alone get the satisfaction when you block it all out and succeed beyond what you thought you could ever do.

  3. Amanda W says:

    I love running for a lot of reasons including the egalitarian aspect-it doesn’t take money or connections or equipment to succeed-and that we all cover the same ground is just a beautiful thing.

    That is the philosophical reason I love it, but it’s not my personal reason for lacing up every morning. I continue to run, to listen to 5:20 alarms or to wake before the sun because I need it for my mental health and my sanity and to feel the freedom. It makes me a better and more positive mother, person, wife. My overactive mind craves to be blank or at the very least quieted by the run, and it truly centers me. It’s the only time when I forget the cares and pressures and am just alone with myself with no expectations or demands. It’s my beautiful quiet time in a busy and demanding household and workplace. For me, nothing works for this the way that running does.

  4. So many reasons!
    – Getting to know the main roads, back roads & in betweens of the towns we’ve lived in
    – Having motivation to get outside during a New England winter
    – Meeting other runnerds
    – Pizza
    – Tamping down the Cruise Director Micromanager Always Yapping part of my brain to allow some other, more creative, more oddball thoughts to break through
    – Red wine to go with that pizza

  5. There are so many things I love about running that it’s hard to pick just one. A really big one for me is being a part of the running community. I often tell people that the biggest surprise I found when I took up running a few years ago was how social it is. I’ve made some valued friendships through running. And as one of my friends says, when you do your long runs together weekend after weekend, you pretty much learn everything about each other!

    And, running is pretty unique in that we can each pursue a personal best, yet be completely supportive of our friends pursuing their own goals at the same time.

  6. For the first time in my life I see my body as strong. Fast. Capable. I love that I can run 10km just for the fun of it. I love the feeling of a good run. I love that running has given me a feeling of accomplishment and strength that is mine alone and has nothing to do with my children or family. Running brings me to my happy place – even the bad painful runs. I love running.

  7. Running is a unicorn pursuit for me. It allows me to chase after my goals, whatever they are, and helps me become a better version of myself which, in turn, allows me to become a better mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend… you get the idea. Few things in life are as exhilarating, terrifying, gratifying, challenging, or heartbreaking–because the heartbreaking runs do happen–as running. I love running because it allows me to love, and be loved, in ways that I never before thought possible. 🙂

    • Ha! Love the imagery… I’ll definitely be thinking “unicorn” on my next run 🙂

  8. Jennifer Lowery says:

    I run because at the age of 53 I kick butt at races. I finished my first half marathon at 1.49 coming in 3rd in my age group. At other shorter races I took first or in the top 8. I have never been good at sports, I can’t throw a ball or catch anything. Scarred to death to be picked last for a team but running I am on my own and it is me time. My family is surprised on how well I do and so supportive. I have always been the team mom but now they are there for me. Having that connection with them and the self confidence it has changed my life. I am as fit as I have ever been and blew past my 24 year old daughter. Running has empowered me to be fit, no meds, no high blood pressure, the best weight for my size and most of all, HAPPINESS!

  9. The primary reason I got back into running 2 years ago (I had not run since HS in the early 80s) was to control my Type 2 diabetes. I hurt my back and shoulder weight lifting (still my favorite form or exercise although I can barely do any these days) and my blood glucose shot up. I had to do something, and I had always wanted to try a 5K. Now I had the motivation. I trained on my own for over a year, setting PRs in every race I entered until last spring. That is when I hooked up with Jason and Strength Running. I wanted to try an HM, but had never run that distance in my whole life. I got a training plan from Jason and followed it to a T. I ran the OBX HM and beat my goal by almost 4 minutes in bad conditions. I have since gone on to compete in my first triathlon. My blood glucose numbers have crept back up, but at least I know I that, through running, I am doing everything I can to keep them under control. Modern medicine will have to do the rest. If I can get it under control soon, I will be getting a marathon plan from Jason for this fall’s OBX marathon.

  10. Craig Todd says:

    Running gives me a means to challenge myself everyday to improve from the day, week, and month before. No matter what goal I make, once I reach it, I’m able to set a new one and push toward that new goal. It’s a never-ending process that is both satisfying and rewarding. I’m a no-limits person, so who knows what I can accomplish? I’ll let my body determine that!

  11. I started running seriously with a goal – to participate in a 5K – in 2011. I was 50 years old. I ran a 25:41. 3 years and 4 5Ks later, I just ran my PR of 24:12 at 53, and placed second in my age group. That was awesome, and sharing that experience with my wife, who also ran a PR in that race, was the best part.

    I really like being able to say ‘I am part of my local running community.’ The time before a race, when all the runners are getting ready for their run, is my favorite time. Watching everyone go through their pre-race rituals; that is when I feel my excitement.

    I know there are faster runners than I, both younger and older. My goal is to be my best, which is what running with purpose is all about, yes? Keep running everyone! I know I will.

  12. I started running again very late. I was overweight and basically sedentary and decided to start refereeing soccer. No problem I thought, I can keep up with kids. My first day refereeing I had 3 games, during my second one I started feeling weird – yeah, I was about to pass out I think and then started cramping. As I wanted to do the game service I decided to try and get in better shape.

    I started eating less – not really better and thank God for my oldest son who was running HS Cross Country. He MADE me get out and run – his CC team was doing twice a day summer training so I was able to go to some of the afternoon sessions as they held them later to avoid the mid day Georgia heat.

    He would often stay back with me, to encourage me and give me advice and company as I was well behind anyone else. With his help I started setting some modest goals and when his Junior HS year started his school was hosting a meet so we decided I would enter the open event and shoot for a sub 27 minute time.

    I was not used to running off road but this course, while hilly, was not very technical so I didn’t have any issues. Having not raced of course I went out WAY too fast and in the second mile was really paying for it. As I contemplated taking a break and walking it in I see some crazy person running down the trail at me waving the HS flag and yelling YOU GOT THIS!! GO GO GO! –

    Yeah, it was my son right on time so instead of stopping I was able to continue and finished with what I thought was a 28:34 time by my watch but the official time had me at 27:04 – SO close but I was hooked.

    Having something in common with my Son has made us far closer than I can say, way more so than just father-son. We still run together usually a race every month or so and train when we can although school has made that much harder. We share times and mileage and workouts and ran our first Half marathon last Thanksgiving with a goal of under 2 hours we made it in 1:57:34.

    We are looking for a marathon this fall again with a modest goal of finishing under 4 hours. He still stays back with me although now I have lowered my goal to a sub 20 minute 5k and PR of 20:58.

    At 49 I realize as well that this may not be doable, and certainly PR’s will be fewer if any but I absolutely LOVE to run and look forward to getting our when I can, and with summer break here even more so as we can run together far more often!

  13. Like most of us, my life is very busy, with work and kids, etc. So running is the best way for me to maintain my mental and physical health. Whether it’s 30 minutes or more than an hour, it’s just me, an audiobook, fresh air and the activity of the town. I love successfully completing a long run and always having plenty of energy because of how healthy I am, but most of all, I love the escape. The fact that I have an injury right now that doctors can’t seem to properly diagnose and fix is absolutely killing me!

  14. I love running because I feel more alive and vital when I’m in motion. I love running because I still believe I can run faster today than I did yesterday. I love running because it makes me feel strong.
    Running has connected me to interesting, lively characters of all ages. Running is an individual sport but part of a bigger, beautiful community.
    It’s a healthy addiction delivering many moments of joy, pain and deep grace.

  15. I love running because I’m always working toward something. If not just the weekly running plan its the next race. And, I feel great doing it.

  16. Running has been a huge part of my life since middle school in the 70’s and while we haven’t always had a smooth relationship, I can’t imagine how I would ever face the prospect of NOT being able to just pick up and run at any given moment… Wow – just saying that gives me the urge to go run 😀 Cheers to many more years of running, jogging, or slogging for all of us 🙂

  17. I love running because you never truly appreciate how far a particular distance is until to cover it on foot.

  18. Bill & Judy Dalton says:

    We run for our lives, like Father (or Mother) Time is chasing us and we don’t want Him (or Her) to catch up until we finish running the race of our lives.

  19. I love running because it makes me feel alive…invigorated and challenged. I love the feeling of looking out the window at a rainy day and feeling excited to run through it. I love the satisfaction of running down the street during the first snow of the season in some running tights and a quarter zip top, as those I pass scurry to their house, bundled in coats and scarves. I love that I feel lucky to be out running at sunrise on a Saturday, while so many are still snuggled beneath the covers of their beds. I love that after a hard run, I am more likely to look forward to my next such run than my next off day. I love that running helps me see the world differently. Turning things that may have once seemed undesirable or difficult into things I look forward to and cherish.

  20. I stopped swimming competitively when I went to college. I felt as if I had lost a part of myself that had been there for the previous 10 years. Little did I know that I had opened space for a new love – the love of running. Running has led to new goals, accomplishments, friends, freedom, and peace. It is a sport that continues to evolve with me as I grow older. I’m looking forward to running and new running experiences for many more years to come.

  21. I am afraid not to run. I don’t want to revert back to the 240 LB couch potato that I was a year ago. Running was the driving force in me shedding 60 lbs in 8 months! Now I run because I love the feeling that I get when I’m able to negative split any race I enter.

  22. Douglass says:

    Running for me is about exploration. In the literal sense, yes…but mostly personal exploration, both physical and emotional. It’s humbling and rewarding and frustrating and exhilarating. I have equal appreciation for the social runs where I get to spend 2 hours with a good friend on a Sunday, as well as for the quiet solo runs before the world is awake, coming home to see my sleepy kids in their pjs rubbing their eyes…”did you have a good run, Mommy?”

  23. Stephanie says:

    I run because it proves to me, every day, that I can do things that seem hard or impossible at first. Running shows me that daily practice, frequent sweat and even occasional blood and tears will pay off. Running teaches me that I need patience and consistency, but that if I can get those things down, nothing is out of reach. I run because there’s always more to learn about my body and mind and character, and running reveals my weaknesses and turns them into strengths. The test is the practice, and the practice is the test.

  24. Denise Watrous says:

    I love running at sunrise, and hearing and seeing the world wake up around me. Seeing the early morning fog lift, the sun come up, the birds and animals start their day. Witnessing closed flowers at the start of my run that by the end have opened up. Running gives me the excuse to see this, several times a week, and it never gets old! Oh, and the fact that I can eat a whole pizza the night before, guilt free! 😉

  25. Kimberly says:

    I love running because it is just simply part of who I am and what I need in my life to feel revitalized, restored, complete. I’ve run solo for most of my life and have only recently starting running with a club and with some running friends. Alone or in a group, it doesn’t matter, it is still my ‘me’ time and I am a better mother (of four!) when I return from my run. All of my kids have learnt “mommy going running” is an inarguable time of the day. I also love shopping for running gear. It seems there is always something new to buy!

  26. I love running because it gives me the feeling of complete freedom. i can choose my own thoughts, I can choose my own distance & intensity, I can choose to go beyond my own barriers, and I can choose just to enjoy the journey. Nothing else in life comes close. Unfortunately, I cannot run for a least a year (maybe forever) due to surgery on both hips, but I still love the thought of running even if I can only watch now.

  27. I run because it reminds me of how blessed I am to be able to use my legs. Also, after smoking for 23 years, being smoke free for over two years now, I run to try to improve my lung function. Both of which I praise Jesus for. I’m not a fast runner. I will probably never qualify for The Boston. But I love to run and I love being a part of a community that supports each other.

  28. Kristan alvarez says:

    Running helps me look forward, appreciate the present and also reminds me of the past when I couldn’t go up a flight of stairs without getting winded. I’ve done 3 half marathons and a 15 miler all after having 4 kids. I appreciate where I am and know as long as I run I will be able to face, accept and conquer any challenge I set my mind and heart on.

  29. I love running because it makes me feel strong, happy, and accomplished. I think of some great solutions for work while running, and nothing beats the feeling of picking up your pace and “freefalling” when a good song comes on. It helps me routinely set and work towards goals. It allows me to endure long, hard-fought soccer games. And honestly, I just feel awesome after a good, sweaty run. 🙂

  30. I love running because there is no age restriction like other sports I have found a runner can start at a young age and stil runner for many years if he/she takes good care of their bodies and live a healthy lifestyle I am verry passionate about running because of the emotions and thoughts and rewards I get from it make new friends the atmosfer exitment stil have to learn so much about running the 1st of june will be my first comrades trying for a silver medal I don’t know if its going to happen because I am in batch F and the cutoff time is 7hour 29 for 89km.

  31. I love the way running allows you to constantly challenge yourself against your previous accomplishments and also against other people. It allows you to set goals and hopefully accomplish them.

  32. Antoinette says:

    I discovered running after giving birth at 45. I had always been concerned about my weight but never found an exercise that I enjoyed. It took just one “finish line” to get me hooked. Now I run for the way it makes me feel physically (stronger, healthier), for the way it makes me feel emotionally (sane and less stressed), and for the social life that I have created around my running activities. Even my now 11 year old daughter loves supporting me and volunteering – not interested in running, yet, but I have hope and visions of us running together. I never knew this world existed and now I can’t imagine my world without it.

  33. I love running because it makes me so proud to know that my body can do things I would have once thought impossible. I love seeing new places with just my feet as my guide. And I love having extra desserts!!

  34. I love running because it is fun to see the 25 year olds scratch their heads as I pass them by

  35. I love running because I feel truly free when I’m on a run and there are no rules. I can choose where, when, how far, and how fast I can go on any given day. As long as I listen to my body, running feels as natural to me as breathing.

  36. I love running because it makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. Running poses so many challenges through physical and emotional fitness; through the trees, roots, and rocks in the woods; solving ailments and nutrition…The sense of accomplishment I get after breaking through any of these challenges makes it all worth it.

  37. Gosh, why do I love running? My legs get sore, I’ve had countless blisters, I’ve lost toenails, I’ve made a ton of training mistakes that have led to serious injury, and the list goes on and on. However, at the end of the day, after all that, I just love being out there. There is absolutely nothing like running through the snow when it’s 10 degrees (F), running through trout filled streams, or looking back through the halls of my memory to every beautiful place I’ve ever seen on a run. Even the runs that aren’t that great, where I’m just pounding pavement around the neighborhoods to get the miles in, those still give me a wonderful “reset button” to push and get ready for the next lovely run. I run because I can!

  38. I love running because it is my “I TIME” purely for me. No phones, no one needed something from me, no computers (except on my wrist). It is how I feel that day, what I want to wear, how fast/slow I want to go, Where I want to go, how far I want to … see the pattern it is all about I.

  39. The friendship and companionship you experience while suffering in a hard workout with friends!

  40. I love the sense of accomplishment after I finish a run. I’m 43 and only started running 5 years ago and am still collecting pb’s thanks to strength running. Regarding the short shorts, the other day, a group of lads on the prom in Salthill, Galway cat called me ‘he likes the shorty shorts, he likes the sorry shorts’ as I ran by…I was well impressed, lol 🙂

  41. It quiets my head.

  42. Elizabeth Lovria says:

    I love running because what else could I be doing in which wearing obnoxiously awful neon colors would be completely acceptable…..because I am not all that graceful so dancing was never my forte but I can still move and listen to music and move to the beat……because the nicest people I meet are other runners and the friendships that are forged last…..because I feel free of all stress when I am running…..because it helps heal wounds or provides therapy when no other form of therapy helps…..because I want to be a good, healthy role model to my daughter, my niece, nephew and all those around me. Those are a few but the most important reasons why I love running.

  43. I love running because that feeling of pushing myself and achieving all those little goals, be they hill reps, longer runs, core exercises and so on, make me feel I can achieve anything if I break it up into bite sized chunks. That, and a million other reasons, esp getting the baby to sleep in the running buggy, whilst I exercise at the same time 😀

  44. Running is so peaceful, painful, and rewarding at the same time. But the results and experiences along the way are priceless!

  45. Lots of reasons why I run and love running – gets you through the tough times in life, gets you outdoors, races give you a “reason” to visit new cities, neat way to connect with people, old and young.

  46. I love running because it makes me feel powerful. I am always amazed by what the human body is capable of and how something so simple as physical activity can lift you to a new place.

  47. Running is the ultimate playground where you train for life. Challenges, wins, losses, disappointments, achievements… Anything that can be expected in life is practiced through living it in running. Then, you know who you are and what you are made of. You have been to the bootcamp and are ready. A PR, a good race or simply a good run is a bonus!

  48. Running has given me my own identity again – separate from being a wife and mom. I love that I have met such encouraging people in the running community. I love my time alone and I love time running with others.

  49. Jennifer says:

    All my life there has been situation after situation to deal with. I always coped by moving away, ending relationships, quitting jobs. As I got older, I did better but when huge things happened, my instinct was still to “run”. After temporarily running away from some things then coming back, I had to find a way to deal with these big things. I HAD to stop running. So last year, I started RUNNING. Its the only thing in 40 years I have done that has helped me feel as strong and confident. I run….then I come back. And know how strong I am. I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

  50. I love running because of how it makes me feel physically and emotionally. I love the sense of freedom I have stepping out of the house and going for a run. I love to race fast and see how much I can push myself. I love how my body feels after a long, hard workout, like I can feel every cell and they’re all exerted and alive (only other runners will know what I’m talking about!). I love how I can explore new places and how I can literally sometimes run an errand.

  51. Nicole Wong says:

    I run for so many reasons…
    For fun
    To destress
    Eliminate anxiety
    Have fun
    Be with nature
    To travel to new places
    To see the world in new ways
    To meet friends
    For the camaraderie
    To be healthy
    To solve life’s challenges
    To challenge myself physically and mentally
    To test my limits
    To accomplish goals I once deemed impossible
    To feel like I can do anything
    To get the most out of life
    To be inspired. (Have you watched the last finishers of a half or full marathon?)
    To support others.
    To inspire friends.
    To eat more. I mean fuel more. 😉
    Because it makes me happy.

    And so much more…
    No big story here, just a lot of little ones. Each race is such a great adventure, and fills me with such gratitude for all the wonderful things in my life.

  52. Deniece says:

    I love running because through this experience, I have learned about just how capable my body is and can be. When I began this journey not quite a year ago, I truly could not even run 100 yards without getting quite winded. The first time I was able to run 5 minutes straight, I bawled like a baby. I never, ever thought I could be a runner. I didn’t even start running until I was 49 years old. To celebrate my 50th birthday, I am running for St. Jude, 30 miles! I have to say, the running community has been such a support and inspiration. No one, not even the people who regularly get the 1st place medals, has ever made me feel like I am less of a runner, even though I am slower than a turtle in peanut butter. Running has truly changed my life.

  53. When I run I feel free and alive. Running has saved my life in so many ways. When I met running it was love at first sight. I couldn’t imagine my life without it. Running has given me some of the best and dearest friends one could ever have. When I run, the world is quiet, all is well with the world.

  54. I started running because I wanted to run away. Run away from all the anxiety that used to consume me everyday. So when I first started running, I would push all my stress, anger and sadness into my feet. It literally felt like I was fighting the pavement. I became a runner, when after all the emotions and pushing myself to exhaustion that I realized that this was one special healthy way that i finally had my head to myself. I was blank, full of adrenaline and at peace. Still get the same feeling after every run today!

  55. James @RedDirtRunner says:

    For a long time the reason I loved running were purely selfish. PRs, new distances and such. After a while I guess others began to see me as a “runner”. An expert of sorts. First, non-running friends began to ask me about running. Then even runners I see as peers began to ask for advice. PRs are still nice. AG and overall awards are nice too. But the coolest thing, the part I truly treasure now, is seeing my friends achieve milestones. Friends that I have the pleasure of sharing trail time with. Buddies that join up for early morning road runs. Running has led me to be more selfless.
    That and Jason in those short splits.
    Rock on people.

  56. I run because I love having time to myself to reflect on things that are bothering me in life, to acknowledge the joys in my life, to listen to my music with beautiful scenery and to spend time with friends.

    I took up running after my lung spontaneously collapsed a few years back while I was asleep. I didn’t lead the healthiest life and I knew I needed to change. I always liked walking and listening to music, so I figured to run wasn’t that much different.

  57. Rajiv Sharma says:

    I love running because it helps me to connect to myself.I stared serious running 1.5 year back and ran my first marathon this year.
    While running you can actually see your whole body in motion and get connected with each and every part of your body.
    Watching myself breathing and taking out all my stress with each breath is wonderful feeling.
    Relaxing your body after a long run and giving time to recover is like a meditation where you are always aware about yourself and closely monitoring yourself. You don’t have time to waste in other things because you want to get ready for your next run.

    So for me it’s is continuos meditation which I don’t get in any other form of exercise.

  58. It makes me healthier, it’s an opportunity to achieve and improve and set new goals, I meet and make friends from all walks of life.

    Nelson Mandela once said that “Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”

    Running is one of the best because you can be young or old, short or tall, big or small and still do it.

  59. Jon Niehof says:

    So many things, but right now what I think is the greatest is that there’s always something new to do. You can try to run farther, or faster. Go for a PR, or an age-adjusted PR. Go for a particular place in your AG. Race a new distance: shorter, longer, in between (12K? 9K?). Go run in a new place. Run alone. Run with a new group. Try something new in training.

  60. Shelly Browne says:

    My best days start with a run. My worse days end with a run. There’s always something new to learn on how to be faster, better, stronger. It’s all about personal growth and sticktuitiveness. Plus who doesn’t enjoy sweating, sweat drying, then sweating again and the most awesomeness that calf cramps are.

  61. I am 53+age. I started running two years ago after 25 years. My dream is of running HM but have not done so. I trained for 3Miles and completed the circuit in 0:24:28 this Jan in the event. That feeling was superb. The other part I loved was running my 10K and feeling bored during run without getting exhausted. However, now I am down with back pain which I am unable to address and missing my rush of wind on my face.

  62. running has been the key to reinventing myself – athletically, nutritionally, in terms of focus and goals, and connecting with a new tribe of fantastic people. i find that there are always new challenges and (self-)discoveries along the running journey, so i’m constantly experiencing ways in which i am being renewed.

  63. Lindsay says:

    I love running! But, running keeps me humble, centered and peaceful. Running is one of the most vulnerable yet most freeing things I feel I can do. You lay it all out there! You choose the pace, you can go faster or slower, comfortable or painful, surrender or PUSH! It’s your run, it’s you, and you have to own it. Running is who I am since I broke my femur in half when I was 14 – it was questionable I’d walk again. Once able, I started to run and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Even though I’m not as fast as I’d like to be – I love that I still get out there.

    • Lindsay says:

      Oops also forgot to mention – running is my friend. It is always there, waiting, willing and ready to listen or to fight through frustration with me. <3

  64. charles black says:

    Running is a way to “work” the body. I don’t think we should be sitting at a desk all day then to go home and sit on a couch. Sometimes, I don’t want to go out and run-not because I am hurting or injured. And in fact, I may be tired or I may not have eaten that well that day, but I still need to do something physical-running is what I do. At 62, I am sadly aware that I am slowly losing muscle mass and coordination and stamina. But I will not just stop. Running (and related physical activities) is a wonderful way to slow the unfortunate effects of aging. I get a great deal of joy out of “learning” how my body works and how to “use” it to the max. It’s like mastering any skill. There’s always something you can do better. That’s what I get a “Kick” out of. Each run is bit like a test/experiment to see how I’m learning.

  65. Allison says:

    I originally began running to get back into shape (I used to play a lot of team sports until a pretty significant injury threw me off track), but the more I did it, the more hooked I became. I love to run because it makes me feel so good. Of course we all have our big goals we want to achieve, but there are so many little goals you can accomplish pretty much all of the time. Being outside and enjoying everything around me is another reason I love running. I also run because it is one of the best ways a person can take care of their body and keep it in good working order. I feel like everyone owes that to themselves. It kind of helps you fall into a completely healthy lifestyle, even in areas outside of running. Anyone who is really into running probably knows what I’m talking about. We were each given one body and only one lifetime to take care of it, so I want to take advantage of that. As I’ve gotten a little older, I’ve realized that. I could go on for much longer about why I run and why I love it, but I’ve covered my main reasons!

  66. I love running because it is a great for the daily stresses. I started last year a few days a week and have found that not only is my stress level less but so is my weight. The opportunity to run through some beautiful cities and other runners who love to run. at 52 I just completed my first HM and am now training for the Marine Corps Marathon this fall. I can’t wait!!

  67. I love the feeling when I run just a little bit further than the furthest distance I’ve run. Makes merealize what I’m capable of. It’s a great stress reliever.

  68. There’s so much to love about running, but one of the things that keeps me out on the roads and trails is the opportunity to face resistance head-on, each and every time I run. When everything in me wants to give up – to just stop running and catch my breath – I get to find out exactly how I’ll respond to that situation.

  69. Running is a way for us to see that some challenges come with great rewards, and we can control the entire process of obtaining them.

  70. Nothing – and I do mean nothing – else helps me manage my chronic depression the way running does. It’s a critical part of how I take care of myself.

  71. You can run anywhere, any place, any time without having to cart anything more than shorts, socks, shoes and a top. I have worked all over Africa, the US and Europe, and have not found a place that I could not run. Gotta love the single most versatile and rewarding sport ever!!!

  72. I love to run more now than when I was young and faster. I love the fact that I CAN, after being sidelined with injuries for dearly a decade. I love being “in the zone” on a long run, just my footfalls and breath and the here and now. I love how alive it makes me feel.

  73. Isabelle M says:

    Running is my alone time. As a mom of 2 young children and a wife to a man working shifts, I really appreciate escaping from the demands of daily life and focusing on me.

  74. I run for peaceful prayers, for fitness, to challenge myself, to find some self time, to solve problems and to meditate. I also run to visit and bond with friends, to stay sane, to keep weight off and to get to eat what I want. After running on trails and roads for the past four years, I can’t imagine ever stopping.

  75. I love running because it is the ultimate test for an individual. For the most part, it is just you versus your mind. You think you cannot go further or faster. You think that you can’t shave 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes off of your last time. You put in the hours, days, weeks, and months of training. You cannot blame anyone else if you do not succeed with your goal. You alone get the satisfaction when you block it all out and succeed beyond what you thought you could ever do.


    I’ve running intermittently for several years 14 ago. In 2001 to 2011 I hardly run at all. In August 2011 I joined my first fun run — a 5-km run which feels like running almost endlessly. However, instead of being discouraged, it motivated me. Almost 3 yrs later, I gained lots of muscles, loss lots of fats, I became fitter and healthier, became more health and fitness conscious, gained lots of friends, and had run numerous races including 4 ultramarathons. I might not be a fast and strong runner, but I’m getting to that goal slowly, steadily, patiently, and surely. Indeed, running has changed my life for the better. 😉

  77. I love running because it shows me my potential. I like to challenge myself. “Running is the best way to experience the world” but I would say it’s the best way to experience yourself. Thank you for the post! It’s really great!

  78. Francesca says:

    I love running because it gets me outside! As an adult it’s a whole lot harder to make friends than it was as kids – and I’ve made all my friends in my newest city through running groups! 🙂

  79. I love running because of the improvement cycle. Goals. Plan. Commit. Do. Test. Do. Adversity. Do. Discipline. Do. Achieve. I am sure there are 8 billion variations on that theme, but those are the words that popped into my head.

  80. Amanda’s comment of how running quiets an overactive mind, hit home with me. I love feeling BLANK, like a cloudless sky, about an hour after a run. I am more effective.

  81. Knowing that my daughter Tiffany, who we lost in 2003, is there with me, and has arranged to have all the birds and the animals I see, there to watch us run together.

  82. To beat my MS so I can WALK my daughters down the isle at their weddings. So I can solve the worlds problems (or maybe just mine) without interruption. To counteract my desk job….Reasons? There are many.

  83. I love running because it allows me to think more clearly. There’s nothing like a successful run outside that connects you with nature to help you really put everything in perspective! I also love how it helps me sleep better at night and feel like a healthier woman overall!

  84. Laura Bramble says:

    I run because it lets me do OCRs and because it’s hard for me. Busting through new plateaus, challenging myself and achieving more than I thought I was capable of all make me feel great. I always told myself I could not run. Now I can and I do!

  85. Kevin Bennett says:

    I started running regularly to become a better soccer referee. Now I enjoy just going for a run when no one is yelling at me.

  86. I love running because it shows me every day that I can do more than I think I can.

  87. I love running because it offers me a chance to clear my head, and a chance to release any tension or anxiety. I love it because it offers me the chance to be better than I was yesterday, and subsequently, for that rush that comes from accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.

  88. I love running trails. I feel like a gazelle when I fly through the really technical stuff.


  1. […] blogger, Jason Fitzgerald of Strength Running (whom I interviewed here), posed a question on his blog the other […]