#4 — The first mile is the hardest.
People who are new to the sport of running often do not understand the appeal. Still, many try it out, hoping to find the magic in it.
As a veteran runner of over ten years, I can confidently say that there is magic in running. However, it is not in the sense that you might think. There is magic in completing a run, in the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other, in the endorphin rush that accompanies doing hard workouts, and in the strength you feel pushing through a difficult task.
However, there is not some guaranteed runner's high that you obtain by going out and running each day. Sometimes, you feel tired, bored, or unmotivated to go run.
Runners are know to brag about the joys of being a runner. They assure newcomers that the sport truly is worth their time. However, in talking only about the good parts of running, people often set newcomers up to fail.
Running isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are hardships in running that you sometimes have to work through. In the end, running is a sport that is worth your time, but that doesn't mean it always feels amazing. So, here are nine things no one tells you about running that I feel you should know.
1. You are going to be sore a lot of the time.
If you think running is an endless flow of happiness and bliss, you are very wrong. Running breaks your body down so that you can come back stronger and more resilient than ever before. This causes an immense amount of soreness, especially for those who are new to the sport or training more heavily than they previous were.
When I got to college, I gradually increased the duration and intensity of my workouts, and this led to more soreness, even for someone as experienced as I was. However, it ultimately did make me a stronger, faster endurance runner.
So, if you find yourself hobbling up the stairs due to soreness after a 10 mile long run, don’t feel bad about it. Instead, rejoice in the fact that you are making yourself a better runner.
2. It does not get easier, you just get faster.
So many people start running, and then a few days into it, they ask me when it is going to get easier.
My answer is always the same — it won’t. Running is hard, and it always will be. That’s the beauty of it though. Running teaches you to work through difficulty in order to find success.
While it never gets easier, you will get faster if you stick with it.
3. The hunger never ends.
My stomach is a bottomless pit. Even when I think I’m full, I find myself heading back to the kitchen an hour later.
But, I guess that comes with the territory when you’re burning hundreds of calories on the daily.
4. The first mile is usually the hardest.
If you find yourself lacking motivation to get out the door on any given day, just tell yourself to run a mile.
By pushing yourself to get out the door, you will soon find that it wasn’t so bad after all. You will probably find your groove within the first mile, and then you’ll want to keep going.
Once you get through that first mile, I promise it’s smooth sailing from there.
5. You might become a coffee addict.
I never knew a runner who didn’t like caffeine, or who didn’t at least tolerate it to enhance their performance.
When I wake up groggily at 6 am, I rely on caffeine to give me a boost and jumpstart my day. After I down that first cup of coffee, I feel powerful, energetic, and ready to roll on my morning run.
6. Your feet will look bad.
There is no getting around this. Just accept it. Cramming your feet into a pair of running shoes every day takes its toll.
Beyond that, you sweat immensely on your run, so it’s impossible to keep your feet from blistering.
You may even lose a few toenails. But, don’t be discouraged. It’s worth giving up those perfect looking feet in exchange for the post-run endorphins.
7. Injury is pretty much unavoidable.
If someone ever told you they’ve never been injured, then they probably haven’t run enough. While you can and should do all the little things like icing, stretching, and rolling, injury is pretty much inevitable.
I have been running for over 10 years consistently, and while I haven’t had any serious injuries, I have had a few minor issues pop up.
When this happens, give your body time to rest and recover. Then, you can get right back to doing what you love.
8. Cool running gear is expensive.
So you think running is an inexpensive sport? Think again. In today’s age, there are many pieces of tech that runners just HAVE to have.
I’m talking about the GPS watches, wireless ear buds, and sweat-wicking clothing. Not to mention the outrageously priced race entry fees.
Although you don’t need cool gadgets to be a runner, some of them are really useful tools that can help you improve. Still, I would suggest waiting until you have been running for a while before investing in any expensive running gear.
9. You will meet some phenomenal people.
Most of my best friends are runners.
The coolest part about running is that there is a tight-knit community of runners who get what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
While most people wouldn’t push themselves to the point of pain willingly, runners do it on a daily basis.
It’s nice to know that there are other people out there who value the sport of running just as much as you do.
All in all, running is a unique sport that requires a special drive to pursue. It tests you, challenges you, breaks you down, and exhilarates you all at the same time.
So, if you’re willing to push through the hardships, you might just find one of your true passions in life.