What is in Running

What is in Running

What is in running is improvement of your physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual state of being.  Runners know health benefits that few others that don’t run or work out for long periods of time can know.

As a runner, and former marathon runner myself, I have experienced first hand the many joys of running.  When I first started running in the military, I found it difficult, and unpleasant.

I was of course out of shape, and I also was a smoker, drinker, and never really did anything to get in shape prior to this point, except for the occasional pick up game of basketball or tackle football with the neighborhood crew.

What is in Running

Even in the military, in my branch, we would never run for more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time.  To me it was drudgery, but it did show me that even this relatively short amount of time running was helping me lose fat, especially around my belly.

It wasn’t until about 8 years after I was out of the military that I started running again. I was out of shape, and was still beating up my body with smoking, and drinking. I made  up my mind that I was going to get healthy, so I gave up the smoking, and drinking and started running.

I believe that the excess nervous energy I had from not smoking cigarettes helped me with my running. I decided to push myself to run longer than I had before, and when I did, I discovered something magical that changed my life.

Runner’s High
What is in running
Running has many health related benefits.

One day I was out running, and having run for about 25 or 30 minutes I began to feel a new energy.  My lungs filled up with air, and breathing became easier, and deeper.

Mentally I felt more peaceful, and less stressed. My legs, and arms felt lighter. I could feel the blood in my body coursing through my veins.

All of a sudden I felt like I could run all day for miles and miles. Instead of drudgery, running suddenly became an exhilarating experience.

This must be the runner’s high that I had read and heard about. Wow, I thought, this is much better than what I had anticipated.

Within a few weeks, I was in the best shape of my life. My belly fat was gone, my physique was much more defined, and I felt better than I could ever remember feeling.

I found that I could eat what I wanted, and as much as I wanted, and I didn’t gain weight or fat. And now, instead of dreading having to get out and run, I actually looked forward to it.

I knew that  if I could withstand the first 20-30 minutes of running, that runner’s high would kick in, and running would again be very enjoyable.

It was a great feeling  knowing that I not only that my emotional, mental state was much improved, but I was looking great also, if I may say so myself.

This was all made easier because of where I was living, Los Angeles, California.  The weather in LA is normally in the mid 70’s, sunny, and low humidity.  Almost perfect running weather.

Most runners will tell you that they prefer the temperatures to be a bit cooler, but LA weather is darn fine running weather.

Before long I was running for an hour and a half to two hours at a time for usually 6 days a week.  I tried to take one day a week off from running to recover, and rest a bit.

I decided at this point to try to run a marathon. After all, I was running up to 2 hours at a time on a regular basis. I was sure I could accomplish it.

I lived in LA, so I decided to run the LA marathon. I signed up, and ran on the designated day. I found it more difficult than I thought, mostly from the pounding on the hard pavement, but I did finish, and my half marathon time was respectable.

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What Runners Need
What is in running
Runners only need 3 things to get going.

There are three basic things that runners need.  They need a great pair of running shoes, the right pair of running shorts, or running outfit, and a good place to run.

One of the great things about being a runner is the sport/hobby is not an expensive one.  There are a few pieces of equipment however that every runner needs.

The most important piece of equipment is a great pair of running shoes.  Notice I said great, not good.  A great pair of running shoes will make the experience of running more enjoyable, and will greatly limit the chance for injury both in the present, as well as down the road, pardon the pun.

A great pair of running shoes will do a great job of minimizing the impact on your legs, and skeleton.  They will be comfortable on your feet even after hours of running.  They will lessen the chance for blisters and sores, even if you have to run through rain, and puddles.

If you are just starting out as a runner, I strongly suggest that you don’t skimp here.  If you have been a runner for a period of time, especially a distance runner then I am preaching to the choir.

Buy a well known name brand pair of running shoes that are engineered specifically for running.  Don’t try to get by with a pair of shoes that are made for playing tennis, or basketball for instance.

Doing so will decrease your chances of staying with running, as your feet and body will likely revolt.  There are several fine brands of running shoes.  I recommend that you go with Saucony, as I have used them for years with excellent results.

The next most important piece of equipment is a good pair of running shorts.  This may seem like an insignificant consideration, but I have found that most shorts will cause chaffing, and soreness during, and after a long run.

You want to be sure that your running shorts have taken this into consideration with their design, and that they will do you no harm.  Again, it’s a good idea to not skimp here either, although most running shorts are not prohibitively expensive.

Something else to consider with your running outfit is the right running shirt or top. I can only speak for men here first hand, but I’m sure that women have this problem also, perhaps more so.

A lot of t-shirts that I wore while running would cause pain in my nipples. At one point I was forced to apply band-aids over them to keep them from hurting after running.

This is an area where the right fabric, or the right fit will make a difference. You may have to use trial and error here as I did to find a shirt that doesn’t cause pain.

And last but not least is to find a good place to run.  Another great plus with running is being able to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and the fresh air.

Depending on where you live, however, could present a challenge some months of the year for runners.  Ideally you want to find a place that is relatively safe where you won’t have to dodge traffic, or be subjected to surfaces that can cause injury or excess strain on your skeleton.

If you can find a place that also offers great scenery, and natural beauty, such as near the mountains or on or by the beach, all the better.

I like to run in parks, nature preserves, and on high school tracks.  I don’t have to worry about traffic, and I know that for the most part, the surfaces I run on will not cause me injury as long as I pay attention to where I’m going.

What is in Running

If finding a good place to run is difficult due to inclement weather or other circumstances, having a treadmill in the home is a good option.

This will allow you to get your running in, and not be subjected to the adverse elements.

What is in running.
Running long distances can be rewarding.
What is in Running – Summary

What is in running is improvement of your physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual state of being.  Runners, especially long distance runners know health benefits that few others do.

Running for 25 minutes or so will bring about a runner’s high.  You will feel more energized, lighter, and have a desire to keep on running.

Runners need three basic things: A great pair of running shoes, a comfortable pair of running shorts or running outfit, and a good place to run.

If finding a good place to run is difficult due to inclement weather or other circumstances, having a treadmill in the home is a good option.

What is your favorite pair of running shoes?  Do you have a good place to run?  Please share your comments, suggestions, and questions below.

Please also feel free to share on Facebook or other social media. Thanks for reading What is in Running.  Have a nice run. Tom

 

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2 thoughts on “What is in Running”

  1. Hey Tom,
    Glad you were able to share your history with running. I have not been very fond of running in the past, but have been wiling to run a bit to stay in shape and feel the sense of accomplishment when I hit a mile or feel like I’ve sprinted very quickly for a short distance.

    For the past year or so, having an energetic dog has really helped. He loves to run and be outside so that is a huge factor in just zooming around at random instead of making excuses to stay inside. I think getting a young dog that likes to run is a great idea for anyone trying to lose weight and/or get in better shape.

    I like your recommendations for locations too – outside is good, but a treadmill can help a lot, especially if you live in a place with snowy winters like me.

    Thanks!
    Ben

    1. Hi Ben, thank you for your comments. Yes, I agree. There is nothing like an energetic dog to get one out and about and getting some exercise. I also agree that treadmills are ideal for anyone that lives in a colder, snowy climate, and can only run outside for maybe half the year. Good luck, Tom

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