Why do we run? It doesn’t always have to be about winning or setting personal bests. It doesn’t even have to be about being healthy.
Instead, I explore how running can be a common thread for your life.
Alright, five minute warm up. Welcome. Let's get started.
Today I wanted to talk about a slightly different topic. And this is, this is the idea of why do we run? Why do we run? And, you know, I thought about this because it's something that I think can help people frame the relationship to running, which can be beneficial at some point in their running life.
A lot of people start running because they find out they're really good at it. Maybe when they're in high school, or they're in college, they're fast, and they're winning races, and they're getting better. And they are competing at a high level. And that gets them addicted to the running, because they are just natural athletes.
The vast majority of people aren't like that the vast majority, people probably aren't even starting to run in high school or college, at least not seriously. And they don't start running until maybe in their late 20s, or 30s, or even later. And these people likely aren't winning overall races, they may be winning the race group. And that's motivating for sure. But they may still be getting faster. And so then there's that attraction of, you know, running the 5k, or the 10k faster and getting better, or running a longer and longer distance. And that can be a really exciting thing to bring people into the sport. But that's also not true for everybody.
What is true for everybody is that at some point, that's all going to go away. At some point, you won't be setting PRs anymore. At some point, you may not be running your long distances anymore, at some point, you're not going to, you know, be consistently winning at some point, you're just not. And that's just how it works.
If you only approach running as a mechanism by which you can win, and you can consistently get faster, it isn't a sustainable way to think about running. I would offer is that there's another way to think about running. And the way that I have come to think about it over time is that is an activity that you can do. That's very accessible. There's very low barriers to entry, it doesn't take much to get started running.
But the activity itself can create this narrative for your life, it can create this common thread that runs through all your days, where no matter what's happening, good days, bad days, whatever you can run, and you do run in the run is a common element in all your days.
So when you look back on your life, there is something that has always been there for you this activity, and you start having memories that are associated with running, I have these things too, I think about the day I took the GMAT, to get into business school, and it went well. And I went for a run in Central Park. And I still think about that run. I think about races that I've been in races that I haven't set PRs, but I persevere through something and I have vivid memories of those runs. I have memories of running in different places and cities that I live, when I first it becomes this element that almost is a way to timestamp your life. And when you look back on your life, you have this common narrative.
If you approach running like that, if you approach as an activity that you can use to consistently get better as a person every single day. That's a really good way to think about it. Because getting better at running doesn't always mean getting faster. It could mean getting more disciplined about when you go be more disciplined about how you approach training, gain more discipline about all the other things you do in your life to support running your nutrition, your weight training, etc. It becomes this organizing central principle of your life, which can always be better.
In summary, when you look back, you can start saying to yourself, the reason why running is good for you is because it allows you to have some unifying Goal and focus for your entire life. It is an activity by which you can measure progress because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is improving upon yourself being better than the person you were yesterday. And running is one of the best barometers there is for that.