Why do you run?

Just wondering really, why do you do this?
What made you start, what keeps you going?
What do you like or hate about it all? How do you keep motivated?

I'll start:
Started running as I'd got bored looking at the same 4 walls in the gym and I got "challenged" into running a 10k race. Felt honour bound to do it, and have actully quite enjoyed it all.
I run outside and I like the fresh air and the way the scenery is constantly changing. Run on my own and quite like the time alone - I'm not the most sociable person you've ever met!
I don't like hills, running in heavy rain or strong winds. I'm also slightly afraid of making a fool of myself in a race situation. Not sure what that might be, but a stupidly slow time or similar is one thing that does worry me.

Over to you...


  • I started running on the treadmill as part of my gym routine in an effort to lose weight. Got encouraged by a friend to try a bit of running outside and somehow got totally hooked. Once I joined a running club and started racing, there was no going back (despite a steady stream of knee problems!).

    What do I love about running? Loads of things. I love running on sunny evenings but I also love running in the rain and on crisp frosty mornings (and had a brilliant run in a blizzard once!). I love the company of my clubmates and all the banter that goes on during training sessions. I love running as fast as I can (it makes me feel like a kid again - even if I can't keep it up for long) and I love running off road. I love the thrill of racing and the feeling of pushing myself to my limit. Actually, it's a lot simpler to say what I don't like about running - injuries! :-(
  • I started running after watching the London Mara one Sunday and finding Cliff Temple's "Marathon, Cross Country and Road Running book in the libary. I was in a hellish relationship, 18 1/2 stone and on 40 fags a day. My first run (early morning when I wouldn't be quizzed over who I was seeing) was 5 mins and I managed 3 and my lungs were bursting out of my mouth every exhalation. Built up to 1hr 40 mins. Still not got a mara done coz been on and off but could not live without it. Thankfully I gained the confidence to get out of the relationship. Now happily married to someone else:O)
  • I wanted to run a marathon

    and then it got a bit out of hand

    I now run because i feel terrible if i dont(im not one of these who gets a buzz in training runs, they are all hard)

    i race to socialise

    Guess you could say my social life IS running, now
  • ..& Plodding Hippo, now you are an inspiration to us all!!

    I effectively broke my back in 2000. Although it was never THAT serious (i.e. I was never not going to be able to walk or anything), I realised just how important health is and how we need to get out there and make the most of it! I became so appreciative of being able to get out for a walk, which became a run and the rest as they say is history...
  • I started running to improve my fitness, beacame addicted to it and now I run to get faster in marathons and beacuse I enjoy it. I have found that I much prefer long races to short fast ones like 10k now.
  • Went to the gym, did aerobics and stuff for years. Lost my dad and didnt bother. Just drank and ate instead.

    Friend asked me to do RFL with her a while after I started going back to the gym. Made a silly comment about seeing me at the end as she actually thought she was going to beat me. So I trained and trained and beat her. (She is still one of my best mates!!!!)

    Then did a 5 mile race. Then decided to run the GNR in memory of my dad. It was the 25th running and my dad had done the first two. Couldnt train like I do now for halfs cos of work and stuff. But did do a lot of ten k's leading up to it. Still managed to finish it comfortably though. Looking back it must have been sheer bloody-mindedness that got me to the finish and I didnt want to let my dad down.

    Finishing the GNR was possibly the best moment of my life.

    Now running is a huge part of my life. Love doing different races, joined a running club (Im even on the committe-How Sad!!!), doing my fifth half in two and a half weeks.

    Apologies to those Ive bored with this story before;-)
  • Chris.52Chris.52 ✭✭✭
    Enjoyment of the moment.

    Encounter with the physical world with all its constraints and givenness for someone who tends to live in his head.

    Lots of small achievements and some big ones.

    Feeling of health.

    Respect of unfit people around me.

    And on a less exalted level, being able to run past walkers in winter or wet weather, me being lightly clad and them in layer after layer of warm and waterproof clothing.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    I first started running to lose weight and it was part of my gym routine (with weights etc). Then after moving abroad (and having no gym) made the bold step to run outside and it was actually my new boss that started giving me routes to run and little bits of motivation and wanting to run with me.

    The main thing that keeps me going is the end goal. I know that at the end of this (and the run it will all be worth it). But lacking motivation at the current stage due to illness.

    The one thing i hate about running is the weather - i like spring and autumn, but summer is always too hot and my times drop dramatically and winter is so cold that i have trouble leaving the house for work let alone exercise outside.

    My motivation is seeing others run. Since i started i have got my 55 year old mother running and whenever i'm in the country will train with her. But being able to run with someone else is a great motivation and it keeps me going.
  • I love the freedom of it.

    Being out in the countryside, running alone, is vital for my mental and physical health. When I can't run I'll do something else.

    The feeling of pushing yourself.

    Seeing what the body is capable of. And on the other side, respect for it when injured - learning not to challenge the healing process. You will not win.

    Physically it's what we're designed to do.
  • Because I can, and some others can't, so it seems a pity to waste it....

  • Why did I start - after quitting smoking and getting fat, then getting thin again, I discovered that my body still worked (remarkably) and that exercise actually made me feel quite good.

    This coincided with the realisation of my wife's plan to get a dog, so after a while me taking the dog out for a walk started to turn into me taking the dog out for a run.

    Then I started getting up early to have a run before work, and that was it.

    What keeps me going - I like it. I like being fit and being able to eat & drink plenty in the knowledge that I can burn it all off. I like the glow of satisfaction from a good run and I like the excitement of racing. I also know that I'll be really cross with myself if I don't run.

    I like being a member of my club & I like lurking on this forum.

    Happy running, y'all!
  • I cheered my sister on at a R4L and thought - I could do that!!

    The rest as they say, is history!!

  • Being brutally honest with myself i started running to try and lose weight. It never worked!!

    Now I run because i am hooked to the feeling you get when you finish a race - even the bad ones.

    Also, it makes me feel proud of what my body can acheive even if it's not the shape or size I want it to be.
  • not too different to the motivations of those above really.

    ive always enjoyed sport of almost all types, and play a lot of football and tennis. i always used to go for a jog every now and then. ive never been into gyms, ive always preferred to be outdoors if at all possible, especially when exercising.

    ive always had a nagging feeling about my body shape, despite being relatively fit, i didnt look it or feel it. and ive always wanted to run more committedly and perhaps acheive something in doing so. so i signed up for the leeds half marathon this year, my mate was supposed to but dropped out, so now its just me.

    and ive loved every minute of it. increasing my fitness and health, getting out and about, time to yourself, and i just enjoy having achieved something at the end of it. now i cant wait for the race in a couple of weeks time, and then i can keep going, its become such a key part of my weekly schedules over the past few months that id feel lost without my running time!
  • I started running cos we acquired a dog and the only way I could find time to exercise her was for us to run (me very slowly).

    When we got our current dog (spaniel, age unknown, from the RSPCA) I had to 'teach' him how to run at my speed etc.

    I run because its part of me. It gives me time on my own and the energy to do everything else I want although I could do with an extra 3 or 4 hours in the day.
  • rofl at 'a bit out of hand' hippo :0)

    I started running in Feb 2002 to train for a 'must do it once' shot at the Great North Run

    I seem to have forgotten the 'once only' bit - oops !

  • Just wondering really, why do you do this?
    I've lost weight, gained confidence, enjoy getting outside, time on my own, time with a group.

    What made you start, what keeps you going?
    I was challenged to a half marathon. It was horrid but I carried on because I enjoy the running but hated the pressure of the race

    What do you like or hate about it all?
    I need to race but am frightened of having another bad experience. I love the fact that it keeps stress at bay. A run makes me put life into perspective

    How do you keep motivated?
    I look at my bottom in the mirror
  • SticklessStickless ✭✭✭
    I went with my Mr. who wanted to go on Foulees de la Soie, a running trip to China. Bit of a bummer thought I, since I was able to walk then only with the help of a pair of sticks.

    I did the walking option as an honourary quadruped. The encouragement from the runners was extraordinary, something I still think of every day. When the situation improved through change of diet and good anti-inflammatories, I began to run, and decided I would go back as a runner and do the same trip. Three years later, in 2004, I did it.

    Running remains an affirmation of the freedom to walk stickless. It is the best physio going. It is a tribute to those who accompanied me in China, and those on the forums, whose continuing encouragement never fails to tide me over the sticky patches. It's a rehearsal of the power of positive thinking. It's a time of rededication, each run, each day, to making best use of the abilities I have. I don't waste much time thinking about life without it.
  • What an inspirational story, Stickless.
    I have often wondered about your nom-de-forum.
  • I can't believe I can possibly run, so I have to keep proving it.
  • like someone already said, i run because i can. It still amazes me after five years that i can run (not fast admittedly) but the fact that i can run distances of up to 13 miles. I HATED running at school and only started at the age of 41 ( i had left school a lot earlier however). It clears my head and gives me such a sense of well being and self satisfaction. I also like the idea that , unlike any other sport, we can line up in the same race as professional athletes and compete against them. Ok so we may not see them or stand a cat in hells chance but the opportunity is there. Lets face it , no matter how good you are in your local football team , you aint never going to play against MAN UTD.
  • I started running because Mrs W started and I didn't like seeing her having a good time without me.

    I now run for the challenge of getting faster and going further. If I ever struggle to get out of the door I just think of spending time with the great people I run with and that gives me a motivational boost.

    I also like being fitter and feeling better than ever before.
  • I started so as not to be beaten by a load of kids in a race. As it turned out I wrenched my knee the week before beating them at netball so had to walk it! Beginning coincided with a difficult period in my life and running proved quite theraputic. In some ways I liked the silent plodding in the dark in the village where I live! I club run now and have gone beyond a standard where a gentle plod is what I need to do! I'd started biking before the running to ease the stress of work. Running and biking only leaves one thing ... swimming and now triathlon.

    Sometimes I wonder if I over do all my sport but then I didn't want to be one of those pissed sad 30/40 somethings you see in nightclubs.

    Any regrets? No I look great, feel great and really looking forward to a season of running and sprint tris. Intend to run a half in September. If I have a regret maybe it is that I didn't do it ten years ago!
  • 2Old2Old ✭✭✭
    I started to get fit to keep up with the younger members of my family when skiing.Then I was persuaded to enter a 10k to keep me going and from on then I was hooked.
  • Like some have alreeady said I started running on a tread mill and wanted to venture outside. I have my first 10 mile race coming up so I had to keep at it.
    I like running in the sun and rain but the wind I dont find much fun. Now I run regularly I feel much better.
  • Needed to get fit and lose weight as I had a really horrid photo taken in June last year, also got a birthday with a 0 at the end this year so had that as a target.

    Used to run as a teenager, but stopped pretty much the day I left home to go to college and only did the minimum needed while in the Navy. I enjoyed it then, so though it would be a cheap enjoyable way to get fit again.

    I keep motivated by not wanting to let my 12 year old ever beat me, and by loking at my fat a$$ in a mirror.
  • Why do you do this?

    I could get quite poetic - for winter and spring and summer and autumn. Running keeps me in touch with the real world around me (not the artificial one that we create around us) and keeps me in touch with the inside world, too.

    What made you start, what keeps you going?

    I got a punture on my bike and couldn't be bothered fixing it. My Dad ran regularly and so I thought I could get my excercise fix by going for a run - and so I set off on my first 1.5 miler. I was 13 at the time! I kept going forreasons that ultimately will elude me, but the hope of winning something was part of it all during my teenage years. Then I got all metaphysical and realistic, hence the reasons above. 25 years later I'm still going.

    What do you like or hate about it all? How do you keep motivated?

    Hard to answer - it has become an inextricable part of me. I am lucky to live now in the wilds and motivation is never hard to find. The occasional race keeps a bit of focus, but mostly it's about being out there.
  • I started when my little one turned two and I realised I couldn't keep blaming baby weight for my belly. I have started running programmes before but not being a natural, I never stuck at it. This time I entered myself for Race for Life, pestered people to death for sponsor money and raised over £200 for Cancer Research.

    My cousin was diagnosed around the same time with breast cancer so I was filled with missionary zeal.

    Now I have something to talk about other than kids. I get out in the fresh air 3 or 4 times a week. I can run eight miles without walking and my cuz is getting better (admittedly nothing to do with me!)

    Now when I am discouraged, I remember how I felt when I completed my first mile.
  • Dear All,
    I started after I watched my twin sister complete the London Marathon 2 years ago. She had never run before and had lost her best friend to cancer...she had entered the marathon without telling any of us.....I recall how inspired I was by her determination and if you keep it to yourself (fingers crossed she isn't reading this) I cried my eyes out when I saw her come over the finish line and even sharing this with you I get emotional....(She raised a large amount of money for cancer research)I then promised that I would do my bit...ok not the marathon but a race for life. I started training in the April and completed the race for life in the July....Ok I will admit I then got the bug....it is now 2 years to the day that I started my running I have just completed my first half and I have also entered many other races, even though my sister and I do not live that close we try to enter the same races and we now have a common interest...I have made some great friends who I have met at races and feel part of a real large community...and guess what my goal now is to run the marathon.....So thank you Sis it was all down to you.

    Also I have also turned 40 and quite like the idea that this running lark helps me maintain a healthy weight...so it is all good news.

    Lynn Edwards :)
  • i started running for the vain cause of shifting some beer weight. after a few months of treadmill plodding i realised that running was the highlight of my gym trip so took it outdoors - outdoors in aberdeen, i might add!

    after 8 years, what i love about it now is the pure honesty of the sport. with work, anyone will get to the top of their potential and deserve it.

    my first race was the 1999 BUPA 10km at balmoral and i was chuffed to finish and in 52mins. then came some GNRs and i got a half mara time of 1:45. from then, i dug in to do a full marathon and in 2006 got my ultimate goal of a sub 3:00.

    apart from reminiscing, what i want to convey is that i found something i love doing, that gives me confidence, discipline, a fair bit of ego boosting but mainly a refuge and a means of grounding. whenever i feel crap, the old me would go to the pub - now i go for a run and feel 100xbetter every time. that outlet will always be there even if the times stop improving.

    the bat
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