It’s a question that anyone who has had any interest in fitness, at any point in their lives, has asked themselves. Whether you are a runner and experience pain or you are not yet a runner, but are considering taking it up, you have probably wondered if it is good for you.
You may have even Googled to find out whether or not it’s something you should do. You probably found information and opinions that strongly support either side. I think it’s ludicrous to say whether it is good or bad for the majority of people in one article. I don’t know you, your motivations or your body mechanics. So, before you read any further, I should tell you that this article isn’t going to delve into your body type and why you should or should not run.
I am a runner and I love it deep down to my core. I am also a trainer with an education in physical therapy who knows the physical detriments of running first hand. Still, I am not going to try and talk you into or out of running. I just want to give you some things to think about when you are pondering the question “Should I run?”
First of all, there are many aspects of consideration. The first being your motivation. What is it that interests you in running in the first place? What do you want to get out of it?
Secondly, is running the best way to get what you want? Maybe you aren’t sure. That’s something that will be covered at a later date. If running sounds horrendous to you, there are many forms of exercise, so spare yourself now and know that you don’t have to run to get fit, lose weight, or change your body.
Thirdly, are you willing to do what it takes to train to run pain and injury free? Some people need more corrective and strength exercise than others, but, everyone who runs should be doing appropriate types of strength training. I am not talking about sitting on machines in a gym, but, that’s a topic for another day. The point is, the majority of people have no business running if they aren’t going to strenth train.
Last, but, not least, what does it do for your mind? Often times your first answer is also the answer to this question. Does running bring you joy, stress relief, confidence or clarity?
The reason these questions really need to be answered before determining if running is right for you is so that you can weigh the risk versus the reward. Running is an advanced exercise and there are risks involved. If the rewards aren’t going to be great enough to outweigh the risks involved, then running probably really isn’t your best choice.
Once you determine that you are ready to take a go at running or want to look at your current running to see how you can boost the rewards and maybe lower your risks, it’s time to look at what kind of runner you are going to be. There are lots of options out there. Don’t think you have to run a 1/2 or a full marathon to call yourself a runner.
I recently formed a running group that is going to complete a race together at the end of October. For some people this will be an introduction to running. For others this will be a good time to look at their running and strategize the best way to have longevity in their running careers. Either way, it is going to be a fun group! There’s still room to join us. Check out the information here.