Title image of Why I run

Why I run

17 October 2023


I’m not the quickest runner.

I don’t run the furthest distance.

I have many friends on Strava who beat me every day on speed and distance.

I’ve never entered an organised race or even a park run.

I can’t say I even run in very interesting places. It’s mostly the same 7 or 8 routes over and over again around where I live.

So, as I close in on my 1,000 run on Strava I ask the question... Why do I bother running?


Most people have the equation for energy and exercise wrong.

They think that exercise costs energy.

To be fair it does take some to get going. You can’t start running without any energy at all. But you get so much more back than what you put in. The more you exercise the more energy you have.

So that’s the first reason I run: To have more energy.

Feeling good in my body

Ryan Holiday in Discipline is Destiny:

Who do you think felt better in when they woke up in the morning? The lazy King George, whose life was all about pleasure? Or the occasionally sore Theodore Roosevelt, who chose the strenuous life?

We only have one body, it’s our vehicle through this world (Very cliche I know but some cliches are true).

I don’t want my vehicle to sputter and stall when it starts in the morning. It’s embarrassing if your vehicle is the slowest on the road and struggles up hills. I don’t need to go as fast as an F1 car but I need confidence in it. It needs to turn when I want it to and be able to handle a few potholes. I want it to be comfortable and last a long time.

I run to stop my body from turning into an old banger, they’re not very comfortable.

Unclogging my brain

Jerry Seinfeld when talking about depression on the Tim Ferriss show:

A pair of running shoes is probably better than any of the drugs they have on the market, depending on the severity, of course.

I cannot overstate the mental benefits I get from running.

My normal running routine is 5 times a week after work at 6 p.m. I’ve tried running in the morning but it doesn’t work for me. The body doesn’t like it and I don’t get the same benefits from it.

I like running after work because of the way it clears my head. During the day my head fills with gunk. I lose motivation and energy. I feel pressure behind my eyes. Running clears all of that. It completely unclogs my brain and I can feel like myself again.


Ryan Holiday in Discipline is Destiny:

The pleasure of excess is always fleeting. Which is why self-discipline is not a rejection of pleasure but a way to embrace it. Treating our body well, moderating our desires, working hard, exercising, hustling - this is not punishment. This is simply the work for which pleasure is the reward.

I have a desk job. I spend 99% of my time sitting down staring at a screen. It takes a surprising toll on both mind and body. It’s not what we were designed for, we were made to move.

When I finish work and my brain is fried, relaxing on the sofa sounds like the best thing to do. But that’s more sitting and we’re made to move. So when I try to relax on the sofa I can’t. It doesn’t matter how fried my brain is the sofa doesn’t feel good. The problem is my body hasn’t been worked.

So I run and when I finish my body is content. A tired dog is a happy dog. Relaxing feels good. Not just good but like 1000 times better. I run to relax.