Friday, May 6, 2011
Why We Run
Social Runner. This person runs to meet fellow runners. They want to chat, eat, and drink with others. In general, they aren't trying to run the fastest, or the slowest, just enough to hang with friends...and make a few more friends. They'll seek out group and club runs each week. Solo runs aren't their forte. Drinking beer might be.
Competitive Runner. They want to be fast...or at least faster than you! And faster than they were last week or at their last race. Personal records are important. They track their PRs and try to lower them whenever they can. They'll be on training programs to improve their racing times. They'll hop on the track to run intervals. They'll run with a group...to push the pace. They'll run alone to test themselves.
Healthy Runner. This person wants to be "fit." They run to stay in shape, keep the weight off, keep the cholesterol levels in check. They run to reduce stress. Maybe they are running to be healthy and fit for another sport. They might race a few times, but running is not their life. If you are running to be healthy, you probably aren't running long distances or fast paces. Moderation is the key.
Weight Loss Runner. This person wants to lose weight and keep it off. Running burns a ton of calories and can pump up our metabolism. These people will likely run at a slow to moderate "fat burning" pace. Weight lose can be a social thing too so these folks may find others wishing to lose weight and run together.
Barefoot Runner. Do people actually run barefoot? Yep. They think mankind was born to run this way. We evolved to run...with our own bare feet! While I'm heading in this direction, I'm not "one of them" yet. When I've met them (or read about them), they are pretty "down to earth" and friendly folks. Sometimes a bit too spiritual for me, but really nice.
Ultrarunner. Do I need to cover this freak? I'm one. Enough said. Barefoot ultrarunner? Come on, that's impossible! Right???
Of course, you can be more than one kind of runner. In some sense, I'm all of the above. We all have different needs and running can satisfy many of them. The main reason I'm posting this is to remind you, and me, that we run for various reasons and we should keep those reasons in mind. You'll be happier, and a more successful runner, if you think about WHY you run and then try to arrange your runs to meet those needs.
If you enjoy the social side of running, then make sure you connect with other runners every single week. Join a runnign club, do their fun runs, find a low-key 5K and race it...then meet new runners at the start and finish line. Hang out and socialize. You'll be happier.
If you are competitive, then dedicate yourself to an improvement plan. Pick a race and train for it. You'll be fitter and faster and happier if you are training and running faster.
If you want to lose weight, then run easy every day. Keep yourself in the aerobic fat-burning zone. Add a few minutes to your runs so you burn more calories.
Running...it's all good...but some running is better than others...because it makes you happier. Find your niche. So, why do you run? Are you one of them ultrarunners?