. . . 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.
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?