Learning To Love Running

by Kilo on May 16, 2011

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt sprinting

I ran cross country in High School. I told everyone I was doing it to get in shape for basketball season, but in fact the cutest girls in school were all runners. That was where I wanted to be.


Problem was, I hated it. I hated it so badly that…well, so badly that I can barely even describe it, so I won’t try. If you hate running, you know what I’m talking about.

I was about as mediocre a distance runner as you could find. I usually finished in the bottom third of the pack, although I actually did run pretty hard in practices. I had friends on the team that I couldn’t stand losing to, but they were runners first, and I never came close to them, although I tried.

Around the two mile mark of the races–sometimes around the two yard mark–my body would just say “Nah.” And I would happily allow my mind to follow, spending the rest of the race wondering where we’d eat that night, and if we could get the girls on the bus to play truth or dare. Oh, the shenanigans. (few truly interesting encounters ever occurred).

Once I got more interested in muscles and might, I was thrilled to find that I could chuck the rancid specter of running out for good. After all, running didn’t make you strong. At least not running as I envisioned it.

Any anyway, you could get all of the cardio benefits from swinging a kettlebell, or just keeping a brisk pace during weight lifting.

Then the 2008 Olympics came and I found myself wondering why on earth some of the sprinters had physiques to rival those of the male gymnasts.

Introducing sprinting into workouts

There are days when I want to train, but don’t have any interest in lifting. Those are now the days when I sprint. I can’t remember the last time I ran more than one mile at a stretch, but I have absolutely fallen in love with the 200 and 400 meter sprints, and hill sprinting.

And for my aims–I want to get a training buzz but I don’t want to burn off all the muscle I’m building by lifting–I don’t have to do much. A couple of times a week I am sprinting over a period of about 5 minutes total.

It makes me feel strong. That is what I never understood about running. The mental aspect of distance running never appealed to me enough to bear down and develop distance toughness and endurance.

But moving fast is fun. Moving fast makes me feel powerful. And if my own results are anything to go on, it works wonders for fat loss.

The point of all this? I didn’t mean to suggest that there actually was a point, but if I had to choose, it would be this:

Don’t be so sure that you hate running, if all you have ever done is distance.



{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Sifferman May 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I, too, ran cross country in high school. It was a love/hate relationship most of the time. Even after a 5 year hiatus, I do still run regularly, although without the pain and agony I endured in high school. Today, I just do it for the love of running.

When I started adding short sprints into my distance runs, my eyes opened to the possibilities. Even a 50 meter dash spruces things up a bit. And sprinting sessions are highly under-rated for conditioning purposes, and it’s good to see them getting noticed more and more.


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