Sunday, 21 December 2014

Possibly the best reason to run?

Yesterday morning I went for another 10+ mile run along the Grand Union canal towpath.  As usual I think of many different things such as work, my surroundings, blogging, sorting through problems and so on.  I was thinking about running itself and I was working through why I like running so much (perhaps even more than cycling).

I have blogged before about the best Reasons to Run.  As I see it today it occurred to me:

running is pure simplicity

Some of the nice simple features of running are:

  • No need fancy equipment.  Just you, your feet, your legs and a sense of challenge
  • Once you have your running shoes, it can cost nothing to run
  • You don't need to go to a special place to run; you can run almost anywhere.  If you can find a variety of routes, taking you over different terrain, so much the better
  • You can run whenever you want
  • You don't actually need GPS tracking, music or other gizmos
  • You listen to your breathing, your heart beating and your footfall. You're more in tune with your own body and how it all fits together
  • No need to worry about any technical problems - i.e. you won't get a puncture, run out of petrol
  • It's simply you, your feet and legs moving you forward.  What could be simpler?
To become a "runner" you need a start and this can be at different points.  For some fortunate people, they might already be fit, active, healthy, young, ideal weight and can just start to run with the minimum of fuss.  Others might be none of those things and will have to endure many times of staggering around their neighbourhood, gasping, heaving, panting, hurting and throwing up.  You might end up getting home in a real mess, snot all over your face and you're bright red.  Your legs might feel like jelly and you remember all those horrible school PE lessons when you were sent out to run around a field in the pouring rain.  You resented the PE teacher who'd be nice and warm in a waterproof jacket and you would be wearing a short sleeved tee shirt and feel all self conscious in your shorts.  And now, years later, you're doing this voluntarily.  Does it make sense?  You ask WHY?  AM I INSANE FOR WANTING TO BECOME A RUNNER?

Once you're past initial that stage and can run further and then you get to the point where you're actually starting to enjoy it, you are then a RUNNER!  At this stage you realise how simple it can be.

Sure, you need proper running shoes and I have always advocated this.  Having the right clothing can help you stay a little more comfortable.  Other than that you don't need anything at all.

Simple.  Pure simplicity.  Enjoy it.

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