I know people start running for all sorts of reasons – returning to an old sport, to meet new people, for your health or even for a challenge.
I started 8 years ago to get fit – and because Dan (my husband – then boyfriend) ran. I stupidly thought it was something we could do together – it was silly in hindsight as Dan is much faster than me and in an actual fact we have rarely run together since. Not from a lack of willing on Dan’s part – I just find him too ..... bouncy.
But what keeps people running?
Obviously if you’re good at something it helps you to keep going. But what drives the rest of us out the door in all weather? When I look at my fellow LFR’s I can see some very clear motivations – challenges like running 1000 miles in a year or running 100 marathons, the great social side of running with friends and the drive to improve going further and faster.
Personally my motivation to run has changed dramatically over the years. That very first run I did with Dan was a disaster and I had an Asthma attack after 15 mins. I tried again a few months later and thought how impossible it would be to run 5k in one go.
But I continued – why? I didn’t particularly enjoy it and I very definitely wasn’t what I would call a natural runner. So why – it was cheap, I could do it any time and I could continue my chocolate habit.
And that’s how it continued – running on a regular basis on my own, listening to music. A few races to motivate me – that way I had to train. The fear of skipping a session and not getting back out drove me on. I learnt to enjoy being outside and I was running further and faster – I hit a half marathon.
Then Dan joined LFR and I started to see a different side to running. Lots of people enjoying running for running sakes. Not just because of PBs.
So I joined and discovered the joy of trail raining and social runs – being part of a community. I tried different types of training and my speed and stamina improved.
Recently I have come to the conclusion that although its good to get PBs that is not why I am going to run anymore. Being outside, socialising with friends, the joy of running through beautiful countryside. This week I went over for a quick 2 miles just because the sun was shining – and it was glorious. I’m even going to go for a trail run with Dan Easter weekend.
Of course I would be lying if I said I didn’t do it for health reasons – and the PBs still seem to be coming. I put that down to my willingness to run more as I now actually enjoy it – I couldn’t go a week without running.
Different reasons drive us to running and LFR, but we all stay because we enjoy running and everything that comes with that. I am sure my motivations will continue to shift. But I also know that I will always run.