For many years, food was my addiction. Eventually, I think I replaced it with running.
It is now my belief that running can turn into an addiction. Many endurance ethusiasts are living like this, but have not realized it yet. Just like any addiction, running can negatively impact your life.
If you are a runner, ask yourself, "Why are you running?". Come up with 5-10 reasons, leave them in the comments or in a social media response because I would be interested to see what people come up with. If you love running, my guess is that it would be easy to think of 5 reasons.
- Are you running for health reasons? Was that the reason why you originally started? It was for me. But is ultra running healthy?
- Is it to replace a previous addiction? If so, are you now addicted to the new high? What happens when it goes away?
- Is it to get self-satisfaction because when you post your stats on social media, you enjoy people's comments about how great you did? If this is true for you, then you are probably running for the wrong reason.
- Or do you simply just love running?
Some other questions to ask yourself...
- When you get injured, do you become grumpy and crabby when you can't go for a run?
- After your long runs, are you too exhausted to spend time with the family?
- Is running replacing a previous addiction?
- Is running interfering with family time?
- Are bad running days creating a bad attitude for you?
- Do you use running to offset some bad eating habits?
- Do you use running to define who you are?
- Do you always use running to get away from personal issues?
- Is running for exercise, hobby or your profession?
- Did it start off as an exercise or hobby and now have taken it too far?
My suggestion is that you do not let any type of endurance sport take over your life. You should find a way to not let your hobby or exercise routine ruin any special relationships you have been lucky to have while you are here on earth.
Yes of course, use running and endurance events to challenge you...mentally and physically. But don't forget that running is supposed to be good for you.
Does anyone need to do 2 or 3 marathons in a year? Are 2-4 ultra marathons necessary over the next 12-24 months? What are you trying to prove by doing all these events?
Are you competing with a virtual runner on social media or some local running buddy,instead of thinking what is best for your personal body and lifestyle?
Wouldn't 1 marathon per year over the next 15-25 years be better than 2-3 marathons over the next 2 years that resulted with the body breaking down and causing recurring injuries?
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, there is nothing wrong with focusing and training one ONE marathon this year and then having an "off season" to let your body recover and ensure you catch up on your "personal life".
Enjoy being a great spouse, dad, mom, friend, brother, sister, etc. If running, cycling or swimming is taking over your life and negatively impacting other aspects then you should take a step back and evaluate what is going on.
What is the legacy you want to leave behind? Do you want to be remembered as a great spouse? An unbelievable parent? How does running contribute to those memories?
If running somehow makes you a better person...then run!
I am not saying there are not benefits to running. What I am saying is that I see too many people say, "I could not live with not being able to run." Really? Does running mean that much to you?
I know when my life is over, I do not want to be remembered as a good or great runner. I want my son (who will be my true legacy) to know that he was loved and guided to become the best he could possibly be by great parents.
Oh and I would love to be injury free and run a few half or full marathons in the future with him. :)
By: Fred Lechuga
AMAZON: If you make any type of purchases on Amazon.com, please use the banner at the top of my website. (Save it as one of your favorites to use for future purchases.)
You can also buy from our blender affiliates like Blendtec or Vitamix. They are powerful, high quality blenders that you will absolutely love and will bring healthy foods to your life.
We also have Ride Fit, Road Runner Sports, Performance Bike and Spartan Race as affiliates that you can make purchases through when visiting this website.