Friday, 9 May 2014

Why do we run?

Asking yourself why you would do any sport is always a tough question. the first thought is always, 'becase I enjoy it', I play football because i enjoy the game. but with running its difficult to answer that, especially for an ENFP like myself. I get distracted easily, i get bored doing just thing at a time and I feel like I always have to multi-task. Not the sport you would have paired me up with.

Recently I convinced Annie (my wife) to come running with me. It always good to do things with your significant other, and include eaach other in different parts of your life, but her attitude, like many other people I have heard, was 'I hate running, its awful, what's the point?'. It started to be a very trying time for me, having patience, showing love, being encouraging... when I could have easily run on, and left her behind. But I am not that type of guy, and not how one should treat their wife (or husband for that matter, girls). 

Running needs to be enjoyed, but if like me, you need to work towards something, setting goals is paramount to running. In football and other team sports you have an opponent, you win or you lose, you have something to measure your progress by. But in running, you don't have that so much, (unless you are willing to compete with the likes of Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe). You have to do running for yourself. 

For me running is for myself, it is not about winning or losing, it is about enndurance and discipline, and proving to myself that i can do it. I need to know what I can do, and then what to improve on, it is a competition with myself, I can chose to win by getting out on the road and run, or lose to myself by being lazy and staying in. A few friends have started running that same time as me, and there is the usual, 'what time have you got?' 'what's your average pace time for the 21km?' 'You'll be leaving me behind after 5 mins'. But I'm not interested in being a good runner to be better than others, I want to be better than my last run, but I also want to have fun. 

If you don't enjoy running, fitness is probably the main reason that you run, or at least it is the reason that you start running. That was the case for me. For those serious about running, there are health issues to be aware of, and it is always good to get checked out by your doctor before you start working out. I am mildly asthmatic, but that is managed by inhalers and after running 2 practise half marathons, there has been no issues. 

I did read today on Runners World of 2 runners who died in 2 different half marathons on the same day. One a teenager, one still quite young. Both pretty active people, so longer distances need to be managed properly. Both incidences were tragedies and it is saddening to hear that this happened. My prayers go out to the families who have been hurting for the last 7 weeks. Running is still a low risk sport and managed properly, even long distances are harmless. You can read the report here

When I first ran a practise 21km, I was completely unprepared. I hadn't planned to run so far, but I felt good at the 10km, 13km and 17km marks, so carried on. But when I finished, I was heavily dehydrated and spent 2 hours on my sofa feeling ill and forced some salty spinach soup and egg down. I did it all wrong. I rested a week, and read up on long distance running, then 3 weeks later I tried again and itwas a lot better. I made 20 minutes on my time, and refueled in the right places. I felt tired after, but not exhausted. 

Running raises the heart rate, and when hydrated well increases good bloodflow. Raising your heart rate reguarly helps fitness levels and ou can run faster and for longer, and you get in general better health. Mixed with a good diet of fruit and veg and life will start to look better. I am not a healthcare professional, so I would welcome comments on this. 

If you would like to donate to my marathon run and support me in my training (the money all goes to the charity, I will be supported in the encouragement I get from the donations), please give via my giving site.

I will post again about refueling and eating right, but what do you think? Why do you run? Do you enjoy it, or do you force yourself to run? How do you keep it going?