In 2012, I signed up for my first half-marathon and it had nothing to do with running; but running ended up training me for life.
Along the way, I noticed more benefits unrelated to running than those that were related to the actual running. Here’s what happens when you train for a long run:
10. You will save money. Yes, you’ll still go out for beers and have cupcakes. But you will do it less because you have to train and you’ll want to train.
9. You will treat your body way better. I was a smoker who ate anything in the beginning. Then, I didn’t want any of it. I wanted health and I learned that it’s more important to feel good about yourself than it is to feel good about a cupcake.
8. It’ll test your dedication to yourself. You’ll quickly realize just how cool your body is (and your mind, too) and you’ll enjoy challenging it and bettering your magic more than sitting around with a bottle of wine. But on your days off, totally do that, too.
7. It’ll rub off on those around you. It’s inevitable that you’ll share your running accomplishments with people. To them you’re an average person doing something above average, which means even if they just run 1km a night, it’s better than nothing. Be that person just don’t be preachy.
6. You’ll know your body way better. You’ll know weak parts, strong parts, normal pain, and dangerous pain. You’ll know when to rest and when to sweat it. Athletes know themselves better than anyone.
5. It’s a challenge that doesn’t involve other people. Stop comparing yourself to other people; all you need is your own pace. PS, most people start off way too fast on race day. Comparison is the thief of joy and success.
4. You’ll have a new outlet for frustration. When you “run it out” you don’t even notice you’ve run 10k. But those negative feelings are totally gone.
3. You’ll be so high on yourself. Even after a long run, you’ll be high, and it’s not a myth made up by runners. And this is why you should run it out (refer to reason 4).
2. You’ll explore so much! And you’ll want to explore. Not just new routes, but new ways to exercise, and new seasons, and new types of running.
1. It’ll teach you enormous lessons for your professional and personal life. You’re capable of more than you think, and it doesn’t end at 21kms or 42kms. Your work, your finances, your relationships, everything is a marathon. And now you know you can conquer them all.