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Six Things No One Told You about Running

July 30, 2019

Six Things No One Told You about Running

When you are a brand new runner it is easy to see the sport through rose-colored glasses.  Runner’s highs, personal records every weekend, and new friends will dominate your experience.  Listed here is the other side of the coin, the six things that no one told you before you became a runner.

  1. Running is expensive.
    You might have been lured into running because of the sport’s relative value. After all, what more do you need besides running shoes?  Unfortunately, the answer is quite a bit more.  Race entry fees, a new running watch, fuel, hydration, regular pairs of new shoes, comfortable running clothing, strength training implements, and recovery tools all add up. 
  2. You might not lose weight.
    A growing number of runners complain that they have taken up the sport and not lost weight, particularly when marathon training. What gives?  Athletes tend to overestimate how many calories they burned during their workouts and use hard training as an excuse to fuel up on junk food and sweets.  Additionally, running helps you gain muscle, which weighs more than fat.
  3. You will dread running…
    Sometimes you will flat out dread going for a run. In fact, running will occasionally sound like the absolute worst activity in the world, and putting on your running shoes will feel like a monumental task.
  4. …but you will become depressed if you can’t run
    However, despite occasionally dreading going for a run, you will become angry, sullen, moody, anxious, and depressed if you are told you cannot run. Aside from the fact that being unable to run usually stems from illness or injury – which in itself is depressing – running delivers feel-good chemicals to the brain and stimulates cannabinoid receptors.  When these receptors are no longer being stimulated, runners can experience withdrawals similar to a drug addict. 
  5. Running never gets easier
    While the effort required to hit different running paces might change, there are certain aspects of running that remain the same. For instance, workouts and races will always be as difficult as when you first started running.  If they weren’t, it would mean you were no longer improving or getting out of your comfort zone.  While running doesn’t get easier you do get better, even if the leg burning, lung searing feeling of reaching maximum effort never fully goes away. 
  6. You will discover new truths about yourself
    Before you signed up for your first 5k, did you expect the emotional roller coaster that came with it? No one tells you that becoming runner means you will come face to face with your darkest demons or that conquering them will make you realize you can handle far more than you ever thought possible.  You will have to answer difficult questions and sometimes will have to dig deep in order to find the answers.  Ultimately, running will help you discover parts of yourself that you never knew existed but are happy to have uncovered. 

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