Friday, April 27, 2012

Should you run?

A while back, a friend and I were talking about whether everyone should run. He believes that everyone should run, so long as they are physically able. To him, running is the perfect exercise. It works most of your big muscle groups, it builds muscle and works the cardiovascular system. If someone can run, they should, and they should start as soon as possible.

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Obviously, my friend is a runner. He sees the benefits of running in his own life. He's lean and mean and in great shape. He has plenty of energy and is in great health.

I'm a runner, too, obviously. I love to run and think it's the greatest exercise known to man. I try to convince all of my friends to run with me. I've actually managed to convince a few. It's so exciting to see someone run their first race and get all jazzed up about their accomplishments.

However, I really don't think running is for everyone. Some people will always hate the run. They might go out there and get the health benefits, lose weight, etc., but mentally, they feel murderous. I think that if the majority of your running is spent thinking "what the hell am I doing out here???" running probably isn't for you.

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I DO believe that everyone should exercise, but I think you should find something that you actually enjoy. If you want to kill yourself at the thought of running, maybe cycling is a better bet.

I used to believe that I wasn't a runner and I measured my worth on distance. I believed that when I could tackle a certain number of miles, that meant I was a runner. I changed my mind. I think no matter how far you run, if you think of running as a punishment or a chore, you are not a runner. You exercise.

However, if you love everything about running (you're allowed to have terrible murderous runs every once in a while) no matter what the distance, you are a runner.


Do you think everyone should run?

What is your definition of a runner?

34 comments:

  1. As much as I love running, there are definitely people for whom it's not a good fit. I know too many people who run just to complete races, but truly despise the training. I think they need to find another activity, one that they enjoy!

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  2. I just heard from a woman who wants to run a 50 mile race with 2 weekly runs and Crossfit. My take on that is: YOU ARE FUCKING CRAZY. Listen, if you love Crossfit, awesome do it. But don't line up at an event for people who LOVE running when you prepared by avoiding running as much as possible. Jesus, just run a fucking half marathon or something if that's the level of preparation you want to put in. Ultras aren't for everyone and Crossfit, while I'm sure is a great workout, isn't the same as running and is not an acceptable substitute. There are NO substitutes for putting in the miles, but that's ok because races are optional.

    I feel better now.

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    1. Hahaha does this crazy person have a blog? I'd like to watch this unfold.

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    2. Me three! I am so over people signing up for races and not training. Especially with my money :)

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    3. Me four!!! I get so irritated with people signing up for races, not training, and then whining when it doesn't go the way they wanted.

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  3. I am the opposite... I love running, but I have serious knee problems that keep me from doing so. It really frustrates me when people say things like "oh, everyone can run a marathon if they really put the work in." Sadly, if I tried to train for a marathon, I'd be facing a double knee replacement about halfway through. I am in physical therapy now, but I won't be able to seriously run again.

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    1. That is the worst! I'd get so pissed at people for saying things like that too!

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  4. I don't run because it hurts me. I racewalk because it doesn't and I can walk as fast as some runners. I get the same workout - and my knees are saved! If I ran, I'd look like the second picture!

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  5. I'm with you. If you hate running don't do it. I like variety so I run AND do lots of other things. That's why 13.1 is basically my limit. If I did nothing but run I'd begin to hate it too.

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    1. You say that now but I will get you to agree to 26.2 eventually!!!

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  6. i do believe that barring some limitations almost anyone CAN run...but I dn't believe that it's something everyone should do...i mean it takes a lot of time and effort and really doesn't make some peiople happy

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  7. I'm with you. Runners are people who run...to run. We do it for act itself. Yes, I train for lots of races but that's not why I run. I follow a training plan for a race; I run for joy of running. Races are a celebration of all those miles, not the reason. I think if you run for a different primary reason, then you're exercising. Which is totally fine...just doesn't make you a runner.

    My pet peeve is people who say they "can't" run (not the legit ones with real injuries, but the people who simply say "oh I could never do that!"). That's not true. The vast majority of people CAN do it. They CHOOSE not to. And if you choose not to, that's perfectly fine! But I say, own that decision...say you don't want to run a marathon. Don't just cop out and say you can't. Most people have never tried.

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  8. Wow, this makes me think of all the conversations I've had with people who think I'm nuts for running. Some of those people have tried running but HATE that awkward feeling of the first run they go on. Sure, the first is always the worst, I mean, after all, you're sweating like a pig, you can't go far and your heart is beating out of your chest. Not a dazzling alternative to say, shopping. I loved that feeling of exhaustion and I still do. I think I crave the rhythm and the quiet time in my head.

    I don't think running is for everyone but I do think some form of exercise is! I have a friend of mine that's a mom. She got wayyy overweight and she lost ALL her weight on a bike trainer IN HER HOME! Don't hear of that one very often :)

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    1. Everyone should definitely exercise, but if you hate what you're doing, it's time to find something new, you know?

      A bike trainer? That's nuts!

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  9. Running is totally not for everybody. People are not going to stick with an exercise they hate, so there's no point in forcing yourself to be a runner because it's trendy to do a 5K. I actually think I was more fit before I became a runner because I did more things like Body Pump that work your entire body, not just your legs. For me, running is not even an everyday activity, because I would die of boredom. I love it, but I love other exercises too!

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    1. I'm in better shape now, but I was way more balanced when I was doing pump and only running like 20-30 miles a week. I've thought about joining a gym again for the classes, but I can't justify the costs. I'm so cheap.

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  10. I love running! But I love other exercises too (body pump, spinning, yoga etc.). I do consider myself a runner (I train for events and love every minute of it) but also ensure I get my other 2 non-running work outs in a week.

    If you don't love running - find something you do love to stay fit!! Yoga, cycling, etc. I'd never want to be a cyclist :) just a spinner. ;)

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  11. I tried running but every time I run I'm tempted to play other sports. Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a runner.

    Trisha

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  12. I agree with your definition of a runner. I don't think you are a runner just because you run. I think you have to love it and crave it!

    And I don't think everyone should run. I think people should give it a try with an open mind, but not everyone will fall in love with it.

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  13. I think everybody should try. By try, I mean don't just run once and say, nope it's not for me. I love running but I don't really feel good until 2 miles in. I believe you should try it 3 times a week for 3 weeks and if you still don't like it, just say you don't like it. Don't tell me you CAN'T run. Sorry, it's sore topic.

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  14. Running is not for everyone. I believe you should do it only if you (mostly) enjoy it.

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  15. I agree that running is not for everyone. My husband is the most talented sprinter I know, but does not enjoy running more that 100 meters. He thinks I am nuts.

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  16. I like to run but only some of the time. I cannot imagine people just starting out enjoying running with you for the first time. You are a little speedster. I would be left in the dust.

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  17. I feel torn on this one. I used to HATE running. Like seriously hate it. It took a few months of doing it and then one day I liked it and then I loved it and then I was obsessed! So maybe people just need to stick with it longer?

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  18. Love this post! I agree about your definite of runner.

    Although - I agree with the one comment about how some people can grow to love it too.

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  19. I think your friend should tell that to someone in a wheelchair.

    Ok, I get that isn't the point, but some people really aren't designed to run, either physically or mentally and I don't think that's a problem. Why force something you hate or that injuries you when there are so many other options?

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  20. I don't know if I LOVE running (yet), but I do absolutely love the feeling of getting stronger, the measurable improvement in miles and speed (at least early on), and most of all, the mood boost that is probably a combination of physical stress relief/body chemistry and feeling less useless. I think it's one thing to let your hatred of running influence your happiness elsewhere in life, but even if the running itself is tough and you can feel proud of yourself for pushing your boundaries, it's still worthwhile.

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  21. I love running but I wasn't always like that. Once I stopped caring about what others thought of me as a runner, it became more fun.
    I say if you like it do it. If you don't you'll never stick with it and will grow to hate it even more...

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