Finishing a long, satisfying run can be the best feeling in the world.
Those early-morning wakeups, shin splints, uphill breathing exercises and desperate water breaks are all just part of the journey.
All runners know the joy of a post-run endorphin rush, but there are plenty of painful (and wonderful) truths only regular runners know.
If it’s not on Strava, it doesn’t count
Mapping your run on Strava or the equally impressive Nike app is a must for serious runners.
Seeing your pace and exact distance is an extremely satisfying feeling, especially if you are trying to beat a personal best.
Nothing feels worse than being mid-way through a big run and realising you completely forgot to track it on your app.
Plus, if you have friends on Strava or the Nike app, you can feel a rush of motivation after seeing they’ve already logged a run for the day.
Treadmills are hell on earth
After becoming used to running in fresh air and nature, swapping to a treadmill can be dreadful.
Nothing beats the joy of running outside — the views, the nods of passing runners and the sweet relief of a quick downhill slope.
Jogging on a treadmill for even 10 minutes can feel endless. It’s just not the same — the pace never changes and you’re stuck staring at the wall or watching the time intently, making it feel so much longer.
New shoes can be a blessing and a curse
Regular runners love to buy a pair of fresh kicks to get excited about their next route.
But a new pair of joggers can be a double-edged sword —sure, they look amazing and aren’t caked with dirt.
However, your poor feet are probably going to be covered in blisters as they get used to a stiff, unused shoe.
Putting on blister Band-Aids before a run with new shoes is imperative. You’ll thank us later.
The ‘runner’s high’ is very real
It’s hard to drag yourself out of bed or off the couch to go for a run.
Once you’re finished, though, it’s the most incredible feeling. Everyone knows about the ‘runner’s high’, and it’s a very real feeling.
Your brain is treated to a fresh wave of endorphins and you feel proud and satisfied with your achievement.
It’s a feeling which just can’t be replicated with anything else.
Downhill is worse than uphill
Sure, running uphill can be a slog and tests your endurance.
But your ankles and knees really feel the strain when you’re facing a steep, downhill road.
Running downhill is actually more physically demanding because your body is resisting the force of gravity — so remember that next time you’re struggling up a big hill.
A stray toenail can ruin your day
Picture this: you’re mid-way through an amazing run, feeling great and the wind is whipping through your hair.
Then, you feel the all-too-familiar scratch of a stray, sharp toenail rubbing against another one.
It can ruin your day. Leave it for too long, and the toenail can rub your poor foot so hard it leaves a blister or starts bleeding.
Keen runners know to always clip your toenails and check to sharp edges before a long slog.
Rain is fine, wind is lethal
Runners aren’t too fussed with a bit of rain. After all, it can be a cool, refreshing relief when you’re toughing it out on a long stretch.
The worse element runners contend with is strong winds. A heavy gust can make it 10-times harder to keep a good pace, especially if you’re heading up-hill.
The sound can also block out the podcast or music you’re listening to. Rain over wind any day!
The beauty of a morning run
It might be a daily struggle to drag yourself out of your warm, comfortable bed for a morning run, especially in winter.
But a morning run makes it all worth it, especially if you’re up early enough to watch the sunrise.
Plus, you can smugly brag about seeing the gorgeous sunrise to your friends and colleagues for the rest of the day.
9.9km just isn’t good enough
It can be utterly disappointing to finish up a run, only to realise you are a few hundred metres from your goal distance.
Runners know the unsatisfying feeling of logging a run at 4.9 or 9.9km, so you’ll put your shoes back on and run that extra 100m just to hit the full distance.
It might sound silly, but a nice round number feels so much better.
Shin splints are a part of life
Regular running has its painful side effects — the worst of which are the dreaded shin splints.
Shin splints are the inflammation of muscles, tendons and bone tissue around your tibia and it can hurt like hell.
If you’re experiencing the pain of shin splints, the best thing to do is take a break for a few days and ice your shin to reduce the swelling.
To avoid the pesky injury, you can try running on softer surfaces and stretching your calves before and after a run.
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