Why I Run

Why I Run

By Aaron Carter, Total Sport & TIM founder


Apparently we are firmly entrenched in the second running boom. The first happened in the 1970’s – 80’s where there were an estimated 25 million runners worldwide. According to Brad Beer’s book “You Can Run Pain Free” the boom we are in presently estimates there are around 200 million of us pounding pavements, trails and all manner of other surfaces! That’s some serious growth.

There are a number of key drivers according to the research, and probably none of it too surprising – women leading the way and embracing running perhaps the most unexpected (and awesome!), a huge increase in the popularity of the Half Marathon distance, Ultras making a big play, and of course the “fad” events – mud runs, obstacle course runs, stadium stomps, and the like. The market has responded as we would expect it to, and the result is an enormous amount of new events, offering us the consumer, a myriad of choice each and every weekend of the year.

Asics conducted a survey in 2009, the purpose being to dig a little deeper and understand why we run. Again, not surprisingly the key findings around why people run were as follows; 54% run for fitness, 40% to lose weight, and 35% to relieve stress.

I believe when we dig even deeper than this, we all have our own, sometimes very personal reasons, for why we lace up and do what we do.

I thought I’d share my key reasons for running, and it’s no surprise that these reasons became very clear to me while running trails in Taupo, which is where I'm lucky enough to live nowadays. In no particular order;

1. Fantails

I like to believe that fantails are the reincarnated spirits and beings of our favourite people that are no longer with us. It is remarkable how often I have a fantail, often two actually, flutter along with me on the trails. They are one of, or a combo of; my Mum, my best childhood friend - Stef, or the unbreakable Steve Neary - friend and team member at Total Sport). I talk to them, and they have got me through some tough times out there

2. Alone “think” time

By nature I enjoy being by myself, and trails are the place I go to get my solitude fix, to just be me on the trails, with no agenda except to run. I’ve recently read the book “Shoe Dog”, Phil Knight’s personal memoir of the Nike journey, and I resonate strongly with his words, “my psyche was in true harmony when I had a mix of alone time and team time”

3. Problem-solving and de-cluttering

We all have problems and issues that arise, in all aspects of our somewhat complex and “busy” lives. I often take my issues and niggles onto the trail, and it’s rare that they come back with me. I can also feel my mind de-fragging while I’m out there, bits get filed into the places where they should be, and create space for me to think more effectively when I head back into my world

4. Gratitude

Sometimes it’s really easy to say things like “I have to go for a run”, knowing that you should. Try replacing one wee word in that sentence, and try this on for size, “I get to go for a run”. The majority of us are very lucky, we get to, a lot can’t and would love to End of the day, for me it’s very basic - I’m a better person when I run regularly. My world becomes balanced and my existence becomes simplified, and I like that!

We'd love to hear your reasons for running, too! If you feel like sharing, pop over to this Google form and tell us your story

Posted: Wednesday 22 March 2017


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