Why Do You Run?

Everyone has different goals and motivations when it comes to running. For Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya, the sole objective is running at top speed for 26.2 miles over grueling courses. On April 18th, he did just that at the Boston Marathon, finishing the race in 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 2 seconds, setting a new world record for the fastest time ever logged.

While the majority of the running community only dream of running that fast for that long, they too have a passion for racing and pursue their own unique challenges. But why do these individuals dish out registration fees, make time commitments to running, and sign up for races months before the race day? Every one of them has found their own, distinctive reason for why they run. Whether it’s raising money for a charity, running in memory of a loved one, or simply striving to get in better shape, your reason must be something important to you, to get you out the door on cold, rainy days, or to make you drive to the gym after an exhausting day of work. Your reason must be important enough that you can overcome adversity on the way to completing your goal.

After establishing why you run, write down goals that you will accomplish, because “a goal not reduced to writing and reviewed often is a mere wish” (Rem Jackson). And with each objective, be “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) while writing the goals. For example, a 20-year female misses training for the sports she played during high school and wants to begin training for a half marathon 4 months away. She will likely have success because she has a specific goal of finishing a half marathon, an underlying reason for why she wants to run, and sufficient training time to be ready for the race day.

Jim Rohn has popularized the concept of the mastermind alliance and he states, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Therefore, if there’s someone in your running group who often misses workouts or tries to encourage you to skip your planned runs, maybe it’s time to find a new running crew that shares your aspirations. Even if you don’t dream of running a 2 hour marathon, your reasons for running could be include anything from reducing stress to waking up at 6am to run with Fido.

Whatever the reasons, make it personal, write it down, and always find enjoyment during this journey!
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.