Reasons We Run

If there’s one thing I can say about runners, it’s that we are all unique.

Whether it’s the length of races that we run, the types of shoes that we wear, the foods we eat before/during/after a race, or a whole host of other subtle nuances, every runner is different.

And as such, we also have our own reasons we run.

Why do you run?

After talking to hundreds of runners over the past few years, there are several common themes that motivate runners to get out the door on a consistent basis.

Your reason for running is unique to you, but I’d bet you probably resonate with at least one of these themes that I’ve heard over and over from fellow runners.

7 Common Reasons We Run

Health: Many people start running, and continue to run, for the health benefits associated with regular physical activity. Running can help you lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, improve your cardiovascular health, and increase bone density. And those are just a few of the many health benefits associated with running!

Community: The running community is awesome! No matter where you go, you can almost always find a friendly runner to join you for a few easy miles. Whether you’re running with the same group of people for years on end or joining a fellow runner for the first time, the sense of community that exists within the running world, both in person and online, is one of the most special reasons we run.

Stress Management: Life gets complicated. One of the most important reasons we run is to find stability in our daily lives. When everything else is going crazy, running can help to relieve stress and just keep you moving forward.

Making a Difference: Runners are good people. Whether you’re running for a charity or participating in a race that benefits one, many runners are more than happy to give back. I don’t know how much money runners have raised for various causes, but the number has to be a big one.

Time to Think: I do some of my best thinking when I am running. There are no distractions, no alerts from my cell phone, nothing but me and my thoughts. And it is glorious. In this fast-paced world in which we live, it can be a struggle to find consistent quiet time. Running can provide that time.

Competition: Many runners have a desire to compete. One of the great things about running is that our only true competition is the person we see in the mirror every morning. Sure, other runners can push us to new heights, but at the end of the day, our true success is measured only against ourselves.

Fun: For many runners I know, few things beat the joy of running. Whether you love running with friends or by yourself, in a big city or on a wooded trail, listening to music or being alone with your thoughts, no matter what your preferences are, running can absolutely bring you joy, which is certainly one the best reasons we run.

So I’m going to ask again: why do you run?

By Denny Krahe

Denny Krahe is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Running Coach specializing in helping runners prevent common running injuries and being able to run pain free. He is also the host of the "Diz Runs With..." podcast.