Why do I run?
Why during stressful times do I feel compelled to get out the door and go for a run?
Why when my races are cancelled am I still determined to run?
When we are still so motivated to run during life stress, usually it is due to feeling much better, happier and proud after a run. But when being affected by intense stress levels, there are many other benefits from running than pride.
When dealing with stressful times, our running energy and performance can be affected, it can be harder to do a normal run. We should focus on enjoying the run.
Side Effects of Stress
Cortisol- The stress hormone is higher which crashes our body energy.
Mental and Emotional Stress- Our body will be affected by emotional stress, it causes lower energy and more fatigue.
Daily Schedule Change- With our regular daily routine affected, it does cause more stress.
Lack of Sleep- Stress affects our sleep pattern, which affects our energy level and recovery.
To manage this continuous stress, to keep running has so many benefits, as long as we follow our government and community recommendation to avoid any health issues.
10 Reasons to Keep Running
1. Runners Know How to Handle Discomfort- Every run causes some level of discomfort, it can be running faster, longer distance, fatigue, sweating, tough course, or intense weather. But once we finish our run we feel good, happy and proud, so it helps us deal with life discomfort issues.
2. Enjoy a Comfortable Pace Run- Don’t focus on PR’s or pace. Stress can affect our strength level, just enjoy a comfortable pace run when you feel stressed, tired or emotional.
3. Runners Know How to Create Habits- Runners know how to follow a scheduled training plan, running schedule, to wake up at 5:00am before every weekly long run, or run at night after a tough work schedule. Currently, with our daily schedule affected, as a runner we are able to reset our running schedule and plans to make sure we keep running and feel good.
4. Runners Can Handle Some Level of Fear- Runners are used to handling fear, before a race, running in the dark, running through busy areas, or technical terrain. If we don’t want to miss our nice running experience, we can choose to get over the fear, start running and feel much better after the run. Running gives us tools to handle these tough times.
5. All Those Kilometers Make Us Feel Healthier- When we run, we activate our metabolism, burn energy, burn fat, and it keeps us motivated to stay active. But running helps us shift our brain into a mode of choosing health.
6. Runners Can Achieve New Goals- On the days that our stress levels are not as intense, we can focus on increasing our speed, distance or running form. This will make us feel proud, more positive, and happier. Even when life is stressful and intense, it’s OK to want to improve our life. We can create a vision for what we want to achieve and our life to become, and settle into a calm zone, knowing that we have the motivation, power to get it done.
7. Focus on Every Steps- During a stressful time in life, running to the finish line is part of the motivation, but finding the joy in the journey, enjoying one step at a time, and the whole run, will provide joy with much better results. Our nice run will provide highlights and reminders that once we finish running we will feel mentally stronger and calmer.
8. We Need to Follow Our Own Path- During a stressful time, some runners need to run faster, some run longer distance, others perform low heart rate training. As long as we keep running, we will see some great health and mental benefits. Runners might need to handle their run differently, which is totally fine.
Figure out what makes you happy.
Determine what is reasonable right now for training.
Take one step at a time, don’t worry about running time, enjoy the whole run.
9. Run Whether You Think You Can or Not- Every run teaches us how we can do more than we thought. The key is to motivate ourselves to start, once we get started it is much easier to keep going and motivate ourselves to achieve our goal. Once we finish, again we will feel much better and happier.
10. Running is an Unofficial Therapy- Running will create runners high, clear our mind, reset our body, activate our brain positively, lower our stress levels.
Remind Yourself “I Am a Runner”- Running some daily mindful kilometers will provide a massive positive mental shift.
Run, Run, Run- Enjoy Stress Relief!