If there's one thing runners love...
it's that feeling of exhilaration and freedom that comes from hitting the open road,
breathing fresh air, and keeping pace to a favorite song.
Running is something you do for yourself, and it feels great...
until it doesn't.
Even though running brings a lot of amazing things to your life,
there's no denying it's often a love-hate relationship,
and once you get started,
you can probably provide a laundry list of things you hate about this fitness activity.
Here are some of the most common gripes from seasoned runners.
Blisters aren't the worst that can happen - they're not nearly as bad as shin splints, pulled muscles, runner's knee, or stress fractures, for example. However, they can be pretty annoying when they develop during a long run and you don't have a Band-Aid to patch them up. Soon, all you're thinking about is that pinpoint of pain on your heel.
Aches and pains are part and parcel of this high-impact activity, but injuriescan derail your progress and set you back significantly. This a real bummer when you've spent months training for a marathon.
Especially from non-runners. Expert critique from experienced runners can really help you to correct your form, find your pace, and improve the entire running experience. What you don't need is non-runners offering up nuggets of wisdom about how running is bad for your body or discussing the merits of barefoot running because they read about it online.
Oh, lord. Is there anything worse than cramping up and trying to find a toilet in the middle of your trail run or qualifying marathon? Any runner who has experienced this uncomfortable and embarrassing phenomena will do just about anything to avoid a repeat.
Running has many benefits. It can help you to clear your head, reconnect with nature, and build your physical strength and endurance, along with your mental fortitude. It can make you feel healthy, energetic, and confident. The endorphins are pretty awesome, too.
What you're sure to discover if you frequently run long distances, however, is that running can also be terribly tedious, and it's easy to get bored. A good playlist, new terrain, and running partners can help to alleviate the boredom, but there will be times on the open road when you are utterly bored with the proceedings.
Like any social activity, there is etiquette involved in running. New runners may exhibit all kinds of rude behavior. Some of them start in the wrong corral or clog the fast lane. Others stop at the water station to drink instead of getting out of the way, or take all the best stuff at the food station after the race. Or they might hop the line at the toilets because they "really have to go". Hey, so does everyone else, buddy.
Earbuds that just won't stay put. Wick-away fabric that doesn't really stop the chafing between your thighs or under your arms. Running underwear that bunches up despite claims that it is totally slip-proof. Shoes that just don't provide the level of cushion you need. Runners spend a lot to get gear that is specially designed to make the activity easier, and when these products don't work, it's a real let-down.
It's kind of nice when another runner acknowledges your shared effort with a nod, a wave, or a high-five in passing. What's not cool is the idiots that honk their horns or shout catcalls as you run, like you're there to entertain their lazy butts.
Yuck. There's just nothing worse than setting aside time for your run only to get hung up with stoplights, sidewalks full of pedestrians, or cramps that slow you down and ruin your pacing and your finish time. Even worse is when your technology fails you by losing GPS signal or running low on battery life partway through your run. These things happen, but they can really sour the running experience.
Is running the answer to your weight loss woes?
41% of Americans make new year resolutions, with exercise and weight loss topping the list of desired changes. That's perhaps not surprising when you consider that over 45% of Americans aren't getting enough aerobic exercise and 2 in 3 are overweight.
But what's the solution?