WWW: Running For Fun?

I used to think this was the stupidest saying in the world. Who does that? Running isn’t fun! What are they thinking? You just go outside and run? 

There are people that have this gift. I for one, though, do not. I used to think running was something of torture. As I’ve grown older, though, I’ve begun to understand the importance and art of it. And very rarely, on those days that you just want to scream, get out of the house, had a terrible day of work, I have the urge to go run with no agenda, routine, or goal. Just wanting to run.

After my couple of months inside a home doing Insanity I was itching to get outside. However, it snowed and iced over. So I woke up the next morning with multiple layers on and patches of snow and ice and went for a leisure fun run at 19 degrees (not including the wind chill). It was brutally painful due to the cold. If I ever got close to frost bite, this would’ve been it. But, at the same time, it was exhilarating. Just going and going with nowhere to go and nowhere to be. It was freeing. My Pandora playlist kept shuffling through, my counter of miles kept going up, and my shoes pounded the asphalt with every step I took. It was a much needed fun run after so many scheduled days of workouts. However, I found a problem about halfway through my run: when do I stop.

If you’ve ever just gone to the gym to work out with no agenda or just decided to go walking or running or whatever it is you do, you may understand this feeling. How do you know when the workout is over? How do you know when you’ve done enough? How do you know that you’ve completed anything? I struggled with this as I got to the 3 mile mark, the 5 mile, the 6, and then finally at the 7 I realized I needed to stop soon. Luckily, my husband had told me he would be home by a certain time and I had a time requirement on my run. Otherwise, I may still be running. I kept pushing myself and saying I could do more, and I truly believed I could. However, was that correct? Was that what my body needed? How do you know when to stop? How do you know enough is enough?

I still don’t know the answers to these questions. But I do know that my freeing run became very imprisoned about halfway through when my feet and fingers were telling me to stop but my mind was saying go. I couldn’t reason stopping with myself. I knew I could do better and go further. 

That’s why I’m such an advocate of a workout plan. It tells you when to stop so you know how to push yourself and how to start and finish strong. I started at a leisure pace of about 10 minutes and ended up at time going to 13 and then back down. I fluctuated because I never knew when enough was enough. I admire those of you that can have that freeing feeling. My mind relaxed enough for about 30 minutes, but by one hour and a half, I was at war with myself. After an hour and 45 minutes, I decided to stop due to the time crunch I was on. And looking back, I’m thankful for that. However, it may be a while before I go on any more spontaneous runs.

The biggest complication is the aspect of over-training versus under-training. Our minds all work different, and if it’s similar to mine, you’ll most likely over-train and put you at risk for injuries or maybe even frost bite or heat stroke. You don’t know when to stop. However, others just go out for a short period and aren’t there to really push themselves. This is when you get into under-training and people get frustrated because they don’t see results. Therefore, I’ve found running can be fun, just maybe not all the time and more than often have a plan.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

The Accute Effects Of Different Squat Intensities on Vertical Jump Performances
The Accute Effects of Different Squat Intensities On Jump Performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.