5 Reasons Running is . . .


. . .  more than racing

Just last week I wrote about why racing can be important, even if you never win an award (read that post here), even if you’re DFL. So this week I’m turning around and telling you why it’s also important to just run.


Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to share some of the benefits of running that have nothing to do with racing.

It helps us avoid burn out
Has running begun to seem like a chore? Sometimes when we have big dreams and train hard for it, it keeps us motivated — and it also has a way of making us forget just how enjoyable running can really be.

It gets us out in nature
When we’re focused on training, often we’re running workouts that may be harder or longer. We can’t run two hard workouts back to back (or you shouldn’t). It can easily increase the likelihood that the only way we’ll be able to get that running in is on the treadmill. And sometimes the treadmill just saves time.

Yet one of the greatest benefits of running is getting us out of our house and into nature. There’s something very healing and soothing about being outside. And it’s easier to squeeze in even a shorter run outside if we’re not worried about completing our workout.

It’s easier to listen to our bodies
Racing sometimes pressures us to feel we must do all the workouts on our training plan to have a good race. I know not all runners feel that way, but many runners tend to be type A personalities and have to dot their i’s and cross their t’s.

If you’re running for fun, and you feel a niggle, it’s much easier to take a day, several, or even a week off until you feel ready to run again. When you’re training, you often don’t want to lose your fitness and you have a tendency to push yourself when you shouldn’t . . . like right into an injury.

It’s easier to socialize
You’ve probably seen the meme about runners and going to bed early because they have a long run the next day. Okay, so personally, whether or not I have a long run scheduled, I’m an early to bed, early to rise kind of gal.

It’s still easier to socialize more when you don’t have to worry about getting up super early to squeeze a run in.

It’s easier to be more daring
Who hasn’t been afraid to run a trail, or a certain distance, or in certain weather, or really push themselves on the run — or heck, even to take a jump photo — for fear that it will interfere with their race?

So let me know in the comments:

Why do you think sometimes it’s good to stop focusing on racing?

If you could never race again, would you still run?

What would you try if you weren’t worried about injuries?

27 thoughts on “5 Reasons Running is . . .

  1. I always look forward to the time after a race, when I get to just run. And yes, I’d run if I couldn’t race anymore. I did that when the boys were little–I didn’t race at all for about 10 years. After all, I started running for reasons other than races.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I would definitely run if I couldn’t race. I was not the least interested in racing when I started running, after all.

      There is definitely something about just running for fun — but those goals also keep me motivated. 🙂


  2. This is interesting! I often wondered why so many people would run but never enter a race! ( I get it now).
    For me, running is hard so I need that incentive at the end. I need to know I am working towards something. Even if I didn’t have a race, i’d have to set some kind of goal for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do actually enjoy running for running’s sake. I’m with you, though, in the motivating goals.

      But sometimes it’s just so nice to run without an agenda. Sometimes I enjoy it more. And it’s been a really long time since I have!


  3. I am proof that you can race and not get stressed out about getting all your runs in, worrying about your paces and doing those awful long runs.

    That only happens when you are not obsessed about PRs. And yes, I like to run well but if I don’t, there’s always another race to try again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YOU can run that way. Not every one can. Every one — every BODY — is different.

      Most of the time I don’t consider long runs awful. Otherwise why would I do them? Of course occasionally you have a miserable one.


      1. I don’t mean awful as in a bad run. I mean it cuts into your weekend.

        You do them because they’re on your plan.

        And you don’t know if you can until you try.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I stopped focusing on speed and just enjoy myself out there. When I’m not obsessed with something small not going my way, I have a much better time, and more fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. AS much as I enjoy “doing races,” I do not consider myself a racer. I truly just enjoy running and do not need the constant PR’s or accolades to validate that. Maybe it’s because I’m more of an artsy-fartsy type and not a Type-A gal ? I like having a training plan, but also sometimes resent having everything planned out for me LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m definitely creative, but in some areas of my life I’m also very type a. I enjoy racing–not as much as some, more than others.

      I also enjoy an off season; been a long time since I’ve had one!


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