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Running in itself seems like a fairly simple sport: lace up your shoes, head out the door and put one foot in front of the other. But while the sport may seem fairly simplistic on the outside, there is still a fair bit to learn in those first few days.
A large part of being a runner is the unique experiences, knowledge and tidbits that we share which can only be learned from actually trying the sport itself. However, if you’re looking to start running, or maybe just a bit of camaraderie, you might appreciate these things no one tells you about running.
12 Things No One Tells You About Running
1. Everyone hates it when they start.
If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that they tried running and hated it…
When you’re starting something new, 99% of the time it’s going to feel challenging. That elite runner you see on TV? Running was hard for them when they started. Your friend who is obsessed with running? They probably hated it when they started too.
Just about everyone hates running when they first start – because it’s hard. Your body is not used to this constant pounding so everything hurts and trying to breathe is a nightmare. But with each run, things get a little easier and eventually you might even learn to love it.
If you’ve given up on running after a few tries because you don’t like it – keep going. Everyone goes through this initial phase. It will get easier and easier with time, and while it does, you might even begin to enjoy it.
2. It can get pretty expensive.
No matter how many times you hear that running is a “cheap” sport (“all you need are a pair of shoes!”) – be warned, it can get pretty pricey.
Sure, it’s possible to run in your baggy t-shirt and sweat pants. But the longer you run, the more you’ll begin to appreciate the ease and comfort of running clothes and well-fitting shoes. Those running tights and shorts aren’t cheap either – but they’re always worth it.
3. You will meet a lot of people – even if you run alone.
Whether you run around your block or hit up a 5k every Saturday, you’re bound to meet some new people. Even if you run solo each and every week, you’ll likely pass a few people on a trail once and a while or make polite conversation with someone at the starting line of a race.
Runners love to talk about running, and once you’ve met someone else who shares the same hobby, you’re bound to become fast friends.
4. You’ll feel hungry all the time.
Whether you’re logging 2 miles or 50 each week, those extra miles can really help you shed calories quickly. Your body will respond with unusual bursts of hunger.
Be prepared to find yourself grabbing for anything in the pantry to fill that mid-afternoon void. You might impress yourself at dinner when you find that you’re able to eat the entire meal, salad and bread sticks and still have room for a hearty dessert.
5. Your weekly laundry load will sky rocket.
No matter how hard you try, your weekly laundry load is going to increase. The extra outfit change each day is enough to make your laundry load double, but throw in winter running on top – when 4 miles requires 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants – and you’ll be doing laundry for days.
6. You’ll wear workout clothes all the time.
Once you discover the comfort and ease of running clothes, it’s hard to go back. Those lightweight shorts and slick shirts are really easy to throw on for any occasion. Before you know it, jeans will become a thing of the past and you’ll regularly head out into public wearing workout clothes.
7. You’ll run through some crazy weather.
When running becomes a habit, it’s very hard to break. You might be surprised when you don’t even think twice about heading out in a blizzard or downpour of rain. When miles and workouts are on the schedule, you’ll get them done no matter what it takes.
8. There will still be times when you hate running.
Regardless of how joyful and accomplished you feel at the end of each run, there will be plenty of days when you just hate running. Everyone has those bad runs – times when your legs feel like lead and your breathing can be heard from a mile away. But luckily, these moments pass and are often followed by another great run.
9. Endorphins are a real thing.
Those endorphins you hear about so often? They’re a real thing. It won’t take long to experience the endorphin high after a tough run or hard workout. These endorphins help you stay motivated and feel accomplished at the end of each run. That endorphin high is awfully addicting, too.
10. Your feet will turn into a calloused mess.
No matter how hard you try, your feet eventually will take a beating. Even with the best fitting shoes, your bound to get a few callouses. The more mileage you complete, the more disgusting your feet will look. Blisters, bruises, callouses and black toenails are all common runner ailments.
11. You’ll plan your days and weeks around running.
Whether you can’t wait to get out there for your run each day or just simply enjoy the satisfaction that comes with completing a workout, it won’t be long before you find yourself scheduling your social life around running.
Friends wanting to go out on Friday night? Hm, that’s probably not the best idea with a long run on Saturday morning. Weekday dinner meetings? Those will have to happen later so you have time to fit in your miles beforehand.
12. You’ll get addicted.
Regardless of how much you might “hate” running when you begin, it won’t take long to get addicted. The feeling of pure bliss combined with satisfaction and accomplishment at the end of each run is enough to make anyone want to try again. Before long, you’ll be logging miles, training for a race and being referred to as “that runner we know”.
Starting to run brings along many surprises, and there are so many more that you’ll discover along the way. A fair share of the fun is discovering all the things that no one tells you about running. This hobby of ours is what brings us together and keeps us sane during the monotony of everyday life.
No matter how long you’ve been running, there is always something new to discover. Running never fails to surprise you with new challenges, rewards, techniques and information. There is always more to learn! And what’s the best way to learn? To get out there and try.