Fleur Runs explains more about her motivations to run in her second Rest and Run blog. Fleur is currently training for the Paris Marathon and the Virgin Money London Marathon this April!
The reasons I run are wide and varied. If I had to pick one just one, it would simply be that I feel so much better about life after a run.
When I started running I was under the impression I was primarily doing it for the benefit of my physical health. I wanted to be fit, healthy and feel energised. Little did I know that running would end up being even more beneficial to my mental health. By running regularly, I am more upbeat and positive and I find that I experience fewer negative thoughts and am less critical of myself. If I am having a day where I don’t feel as if I have achieved anything then a run can tick the box.
Another big motivator for me is the effect running has on my ability to sleep. I really struggle to fall asleep and regularly am awake by 3am thinking about work. I find that if I’m physically exhausted from running and have let go of some of the stress of the day by running it off then I am far more likely to be able to get a good night’s sleep. This consequently improves my productivity the following day.
I am a strong advocate of life in balance and running helps me achieve this. On a Saturday night I am quite content to have a takeaway or burger (the latter being my favourite post-run meal!) because I know that I’ve been running that morning. I don’t believe about feeling guilty about what you eat or running just to burn off food but it certainly allows me to eat the foods I enjoy without worrying about whether my jeans will fit.
All that said, I often struggle to run for these reasons alone. I like to have a goal to work towards, whether that’s striving towards a new PB, taking on a new distance or training for a marathon. I like to set myself challenges, draw up a training plan, cross off each session and feel myself become stronger week after week. All with the motivation hanging over me that I know just how painful it can be come race day if you haven’t put in the training. Because the real challenge isn’t the race itself, it’s the commitment to the training plan when you’ve had a long day at work and it’s pouring with rain.
One final reason, the thick, silky ribbon attached to the shiny medal for want of a better analogy than a cherry, being a part of the running community both in person and online. Runners really are a friendly sociable bunch. Put simply, run and you are accepted. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, whether you are training for you first 10km or on your 10th marathon. The support and wisdom is invaluable and at times when I’ve wanted to give it all up, being a part of this community has kept me motivated to keep running.