The weather is cooling down and we are almost upon my favorite season, winter! However, I do enjoy the fall. I find myself in a much happier state of mind and extremely productive. A big part of this is due to running. I have found running to be my biggest stress and anxiety reliever. The fall is my favorite time to run as I am able to go longer distances without the summer heat beating down on me. Also I love the beautiful colors fall provides us with, it’s like I’m running in a whole new world.
Never in a million years did I think I would enjoy running. Had you said to my high school self that one day I would run a half marathon by choice, I would’ve laughed in your face! Truth is, I have come to love running. It all began with signing up for a fun 5K race. The Run or Dye in Fargo North Dakota. I was living there at the time, fresh from college. Fast forward to the present, I have now competed in several fun races, including obstacle courses, half marathons, triathlons and this year I raced in an unique event, an “Adventure Triathlon”, check out my experience racing in an adventure triathlon here.
Though running can seem long and grueling at times, I have come to love it. I also use it as a tool to release my anxiety as I mentioned earlier and a tool to help me progress in my favorite sport, snowboarding. Throughout the summer I train on hills to help with strength for hiking mountains for those fresh backcountry lines in the winter and endurance to better acclimate in the mountains. Here are a few ways, if you are a social butterfly like myself, you can trick yourself into enjoy running.
Sign up for a “fun” race.
A great way to get into running is by participating in a fun event. There are many of what I consider “fun” races out there. Some with colors, others with bubbles and some with mud! These races are all about creating a unique experience and having a good time. These type of races are generally advertised as a walk/run race as they are not timed or competitive with the exception of some offering a competitive wave. Set an attainable goal and have fun!
Some of these races include:
- The Color Run
- Warrior Dash
- Electric Run
- Bubble Run
- Insane Inflatable 5K
- Espirit De She <–Women only, one of my favorite races, you even get champagne at the end!
This will give you a small taste of the world of running. Trust me, once you start participating in races you will want to find more!
Buy Sweet Gear
Getting new goodies is always fun! The racing community has a lot of running specific clothing, shoes and accessories. Find gear that makes you both feel and look good, it will help encourage you to get out and run! Some of my personal favorite places to shop for running gear are are:
Join a local run club.
Utilize both Facebook and Meetup to find local running groups. You also can check out your local running store to see if they host any social runs throughout the week. Here in Minneapolis I have a store called the Running Room in multiple locations. Each host a social run on different days of the week that are FREE with varying distances for runners of all levels.
You will also gain great endurance from this and you will find yourself having conversations while you run with others.
The all natural high.
Ow ow lookin’ good!!! Okay the biggest benefit of running is it produces happy endorphins! This is why I personally use it as a remedy to help relieve stress and anxiety. You will often hear me complain when in a stressfull situation that I just want to go run around the block. When you are in a good mood, you glow. It’s simple. Once you get into running and start going for longer distances you will also experience this natural phenomenon of a runners high. I usually hit mine at about the 6 mile mark, but for every runner it’s different. I cannot put this feeling into words, but once you hit it you will understand what I mean. It takes work to get to distances but don’t let it discourage you. I think it took me personally two years to hit this point, but the fun races and the great gear had me hooked to continue on this journey.
A healthy lifestyle.
CAUTION – Side effects of running:
- Muscle Growth
- Possible Weight Loss
Honestly, what have you got to lose? Except maybe a few pounds. Keep track and celebrate all gains.