Happy Global Running Day!
Ask any runner about their last run. They’ll likely talk your ear off about every last detail of it—down to what they ate before hitting the pavement. Yeah, running has that effect on people. If you’re one of the many who have fallen wholeheartedly into the obsession that is running, you understand exactly what we’re talking about.
Running fantastic for your body (ahem, research shows that runners live longer than non-runners!). However, it also offers a host of other mental and physical benefits. In honor of Global Running Day, we talked to real-life runners and Aaptiv trainers. Read on to discover why they love the sport so much.
“[Running] is simple and easy, and you can basically do it anywhere. All you need is a pair of shoes—barefoot running isn’t my thing unless it’s on the beach. When I find my runner’s high, it’s amazing. I zone out on what’s going on in my world and become one wherever I am, even indoors on the treadmill. The days I don’t want to run, I focus on the results I want. I let that drive me.” — Benjamin Green, multi-sport athlete and Aaptiv trainer
“There is a great sense of accomplishment when you can successfully do something as challenging as running. Starting the day with a run helps me clear my head. I feel both physically and mentally stronger when I’ve finished a run. I use running as a way to get to know a city I’m traveling to, or even explore a new neighborhood where I live. It’s a sport that gives back as much as you put in.” — Michelle P., Brooklyn runner
“I started running in junior high school as a part of the track team, looking for somewhere to channel all that teenage angst. At that age I was painfully thin (not in a good way), and I was hoping to gain muscle to have ‘some’ sort of womanly shape seeing as how all the other girls were developing into women. [Today] I have a love/hate relationship with running. It has been one of the most defining things in my life. It gave me confidence, paid for my college, and gave me an identity. But with that came quite a bit of physical pain and mental disappointment (losing when competing). That being said, overall it has given me more than it has taken from me. And it still does.” — Ann B., former college athlete and NYC runner
“Every run has a purpose. For me, running answers so many questions and serves as a multidimensional way to get more in tune with myself and my body. It’s my outlet when I’m stressed, it’s my medicine when I’m anxious, and it’s my confidence boost when I need it. It’s my clarity when I’m confused, my pick-me-up when I’m sluggish, and my escape from reality when I need it—which is usually daily. When I run, nothing exists but the rhythm of my breathing and the thoughts in my head. When I’m finished, I get that feeling of accomplishment which acts as momentum to help me do whatever else I need to do that day.” — Meghan Takacs, runner and Aaptiv trainer
“I love running because no matter how much is on my mind, I can let it go while I run. And I just truly enjoy it. I don’t run to be the fastest, or to be the best. Simply, I run because I love every second of it and that’s what really counts for me.” — Sydney M., marketing associate at Aaptiv
“I started running when I played soccer in high school; we used to do laps and/or go on group runs for endurance purposes. That habit morphed into general running when I quit soccer. [Why I love running] is two-pronged—it really helps me clear my head in that I find that running helps drive creativity (both during the run and immediately afterwards); people often refer to this as a runner’s high. At this point it’s also another ‘thing’ that I have to cross off my list for the day and accomplishing that gives a level of satisfaction.” — Karim E., NYC runner
“I’ve been running since my junior high track days (25 years ago). Now it’s as much of a mental relief for me as it is a physical sport. When I’m outside—or even on the treadmill at a Mile High Run Club class—I feel like I’m in my element. I’m able to check in or check out—I can push myself to new goals, new times, new milestones. There’s nothing like the runner’s high after a stellar run. I also love that running is something you can do no matter what age or state of life you’re in. Last July, I was trotting along the Ventnor, NJ boardwalk on a run the day before my son was born.” — Jaime M., New Jersey runner
“I’m not a natural born runner. It has taken a lot of training to be comfortable running. But now I feel as though I have a secret weapon. Whenever I’m trying to work out a problem or come up with creative solutions at work, I run. I’ve had my best ideas during a hard workout.” — Bethany Cantor, content marketing director at Aaptiv