Running has been a very powerful tool in my life. Running literally opened up the “can of worms” and was my jumping off point in fitness and why I’ve never looked back. I’ve actually learned a lot simply by making running part of my fitness routine.
Here are a few of my favorite life lessons learned from running that I hope will inspire your own journey:
1. You Don’t Have to Be a Runner to Be a Runner
If you run, even if it’s one race per year or running around your neighborhood, you ARE a runner.
I’ve heard several people say they run but are hesitant to call themselves a runner. They think that once they label themselves as a “runner”, they have to be able to run a certain pace or should be able to go a certain distance. That’s simply not the case, though!
There’s no number of races or a certain pace you need to achieve to “become” a runner. If you love it and enjoy it, just run!
2. Running is Great for the Soul
I ran track for one season in high school, and it was fun because I got to run with my friends, but I wasn’t really in love with running. It wasn’t until college that I found my love for running – not for a track team, but for myself. I was really stressed trying to do my best in college and one day I didn’t know what I was doing with myself and I just decided to put on my running shoes, get outside & start running. It was amazing!
After that run, I started taking my running shoes wherever I went. I decided that if I had time in between classes, I would fit fitness into my schedule. This helped me prepare my schedule and capitalize on the time I was probably wasting, and it made me feel great in the process.
I had energy, I had focus, and I was ready to tackle whatever my classes threw at me!
Overall, I learned how to make time for the things I loved. This has been one of the most invaluable lessons I’ve ever learned in my life and it continues to serve me well and help me be the best version of myself.
I always track my runs using the adidas Running app so I can focus on MY metrics, running my race and making personal improvements.
3. You Don’t Need Special Gear to Enjoy Running
I’ve ran a few half marathons and several 5Ks and 10Ks in the past. When I was getting started with races, I would visit the expo and look at all the booths and see all these weird but cool things for running I never knew existed. I would wonder if I needed these gels or hydration belts, and of course the vendors would say yes.
But looking back, I could have saved myself a lot of guesswork (and money!) if I’d realized that you can run without investing your life savings into gear. All you really need are comfortable clothing and supportive running shoes. That’s literally it.
This is actually true with a lot of hobbies and exercises. You could buy all the things, but they’re not always what you really need to develop yourself.
4. Have a Plan
One of the most important life lessons learned from running is to always have a plan. I will never forget a half marathon I was in where I got to the race site and realized I didn’t have my number. I was allowed to run the race but I didn’t have an “official” time. I didn’t practice with my fancy new hydration belt ahead of time and ended up tossing the thing during the race. And I didn’t try the gels ahead of time and surprised my taste buds when I popped one during the race (they were horrible!).
The next race went much smoother, and I’m now a firm believer that planning is everything…and being able to “swerve” and be flexible, too. And sharing these learnings to help YOU is exactly what I’m here for.