50 Reasons Why I Run

Why run? All runners have been asked this question at some point. Sometimes we brush off the question with funny quips. Sometimes we attempt to confer at least part of what running means to us. It's difficult to put into words and completely impossible to capture in a single neat sentence. Runista recently started a list of 100 reasons why she runs, and it drove me to think about why I run. I will try to explain...

I like the physiological benefits. I run to build strong and muscled legs. I run for the future and current health of my heart and for robust lung strength. I run so that I can run further next time and faster next time. I run to feel smugly virtuous and I run to get my ass handed to me by a tough session. I run to feel the rush of blood to my head, the pounding acid in my legs, and the next-day DOMS. I run for the flooding endorphins that get me high.

Running is an adventure. I run to explore places I have never been and I run to find a new perspective and notice new details in places I have been a million times. I run to get to appointments faster and I run because I prefer it to taking the bus. I run to be with nature and escape from the claustrophobic grip of man-made things. I run to immerse myself in the city and surround myself with the buzz of people. I run to bathe in the rare Scottish sun, I run to soak myself in lashing rain, and I run to feel the pillowy fresh snow below my feet. I run to play with my environment- bouncing rock to rock or from pavement to wall.

I like the psychological effects. I run up hills to feel as though I'm dying- to push into the red. It feels like screaming, like tearing out of your own skin. I push through the descent to feel like I'm flying. I run because hundreds of thousands of years of evolution in human history has lead my body to this point and has given it these abilities. I run because I love my body and often I run because I hate it. Most importantly, I run to build a link between my body and my mind, to teach them how to communicate.

I run to find stillness. The world can be loud and invasive so I press forward to find a place where nothing can touch you. I run to find purpose. I run away from life's numerous stresses and I run to ruminate on those stresses or to blow off my anger. I run to stop thinking and I run to think. I run because I have to and I run specifically because I don't want to. I run because my training schedule tells me to and I run just because I can sometimes. I run because I like who running has transformed me into.

I run to connect with people; all the exceptional men and women who I have met and bonded with through joint footfalls. I run to be really, truly alone. I run to prove myself to others and I run to prove myself to myself. I run to think about people who have touched my life and I run to stop myself thinking about them too.

I run because I don't know many better ways to wield your passion or demonstrate your tenacity. I run partially because it is inherently pointless and selfish; because there is no grand meaning to running. With the exception of some effects on bodily physical and mental health, running does not mean much to anyone else. But the joy is that the experience of running is so much more, means so much more, than the sum of its parts.


Why do you run?

Post written by Scallywag and published on Scallywag Sprints on 06/07/2016


  1. I think you've captured it beautifully. I'm trying to think of a clever answer to your question, but in all honesty I just run because I love it!

  2. Love this, I really enjoy running but I have to admit i'm a cyclist at heart.