Do it With Passion: How to Enjoy Your Running
"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." ~Rumi
Learning to run with passion is one of the most important lessons you'll have as an athlete and a human being. Running with passion will keep you running longer and performing better. The passion you bring to your runs will spill over into the rest of your life as well, creating a more fulfilling, thrilling existence.
A life without passion, one where we follow the same routines, go through the motions and quietly slink under the radar, goes by quickly and sadly. In fact, studies show that new experiences increase our happiness levels, as well as make time feel slower. So let's learn how to run passionately and live more fully, appreciating all of the beautiful, painful, complex and miraculous journey we call life.
Whether you're just beginning to run or have been running marathons for years, sometimes it's a struggle to enjoy running. On days when the weather hurls sleet, snow or unrelenting heat, you question your sanity when heading out for a run. Then there are those runs when the miles go by as slowly and painfully as a breakup. And times when it's all gotten too routine and your heart's just not in it.
But before you resign yourself to the humdrum life of a reluctant runner - trudging by under the radar - or even worse, join the ranks of ex runners - stop! You can learn to appreciate and love running. And when you do, you'll be much more likely to stick to running for a lifetime of better health, more happiness and adventure, ongoing inspiration and more connection to yourself and others.
If you're stuck in a running rut, here are 5 steps to get that fire back and run with passion:
- Make a list of what you love about running. I know, I know, writing is so last decade, but whip out your iPhone and use the Notes app for this if necessary. Brainstorm all the things you love about running - from the highs of racing, to running friends, feeling healthier, having more energy, losing weight, feeling strong, exploring new areas, and the chance to always challenge yourself with new goals. You'll probably find there's more than just a few things that keep you coming back to run. As you'll see, the reasons for running are much bigger than one race or goal.
- Relax. Many runners get so caught up in their goals or upcoming races that they forget to enjoy the whole process of training. They get tunnel vision and obsess about miles, paces, races and finish times. Remember to appreciate the amazing ability to glide through the world totally independently, on your own two feet. Take one day a week where you run without checking your time or pace, and just enjoy exploring a new route or neighborhood. Even as you train for your big goal race, keep the larger picture of running and life in mind, and vow to enjoy the experience.
- Slow down to check out the roses. Ok so we don't all have roses to smell on our runs (cough, NYC garbage days), but every time you run, even if it's the same route, there is new activity and life happening all around you. Whether you see a deer gliding through the woods or an amazing street art mural brightening the concrete jungle, take note and appreciate the beauty around you. Running is a time to relax, soak in the environment and enjoy your body's abilities. Be thankful for that, as there will be a time when you can no longer run and explore the world.
- Appreciate your body. Instead of beating yourself up for what you think you can't do, or what someone else is doing, think about all the amazing ways your body works for you, in your running and in life. Enjoy this amazing body you inhabit, and all the adventures it allows you to go on.
- Fall in love with running. You'll find that running is one of the most rewarding relationships you'll have in your life, and the best thing you can do for your physical and mental health. Running healthy and happy will allow you to enjoy your life more fully and passionately.
Cheers to more passionate running and living, Team Runstreet!