Running is not all Roses or Sunshine

P5270014No sport, interest or hobby is all roses or sunshine and running is no exception.

Don’t get me wrong I love running.  It is not simply something that I do, running is a part of who I am.

However, one of the things that many runners (including me) tend to gloss over are some of the less enjoyable parts of running.

Running can Hurt

You hear a lot about the runner’s high and how great it feels to run from us runners an awful lot.

What many of us don’t talk too much, is how much that fast workout or how after our long runs our (knees, hips, ankles) also HURTS. Especially, if you are pushing yourself to run faster or farther – like we do in races or tough training workouts.

What this can’t be – running and racing is supposed to be fun – not painful.

To be brutally honest (I am a bit old school here), if you are not hurting during a race or a hard training session you probably are not challenging yourself enough.

Runners usually sort of joke about it, downplay how much it hurts and “brag” about how they "embraced" the pain during such and such run or race. Hell you even read about “embracing the pain” in some popular books on getting better as a runner. 

From my vantage point, any way you look at it running faster and/or farther  involves some discomfort and it can hurt – a lot.


Injuries are definitely part of the discomfort and pain of running – runners almost always seem to be either recovering from an injury or developing an injury, which usually means more discomfort or pain.

Runners talk an awful lot about their injuries, but they also talk even more about getting back out there and running – crazy isn’t it.

Running takes Time

Running takes time out of the rest of your life.

Time you could be doing something else (more productive).

The time you spend running, can be any where from a few minutes a day to several hours a week, dependent upon why you are running and what your running goals are.

Even if you have decided to train for a shorter race, say a 5K, if you look at popular training plans, they still have you running over 6 hours a week after so many weeks. This almost equals a whole work day, over the course of the week.

Stop and think for a minute about how much time running takes out of your life if you are training for a marathon or an ultra – it is pretty significant.

Runners have to be fairly creative at times to find time to run. Either we have to find time early in the morning (how many runners get up at "ridiculous" A.M. hours just to get a run in), try to get a run in at work, or later in the night – after things calm down around the house.

Running is not a sport where most of us can simply lace ‘em up and go run without putting in time running before hand.

@Wise_Running had a great quote on Twitter  this morning: "Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do."


Running is a relatively cheap sport compared to many others, but at the same time it does cost money.

If you run a lot of miles, you probably will go through running shoes pretty quickly 4-5 pair a year. At around $100 a pair, they add up quickly.

When you add in the costs for seasonal running clothing (technical shocks, shirts, shorts, jackets, hats), accessories (GPS devices, running belts, hydration systems, etc.), and other miscellaneous running items, the costs continue to climb.

If you are on a fixed budget or do not have unlimited funds, running can become an expensive “hobby”.

Non Support

There has been a lot of talk in the online running/fitness community about  how the hardest part of running or (being active) is when your non-running partner/spouse/significant other doesn’t understand your need to run and the positives it brings to your life and theirs.

They don’t understand how you can endure the discomfort and pain (yet you say how much you enjoy running), along with the amount of time, money and energy you spend on running.

Your significant others only see how running takes away from the non-running part of your life, which can cause strife in a relationship or a reduction in the amount of running that you do.

This one is a pretty tough one to overcome and personally I believe has caused more runners to become former runners.

Negative Publicity

It seem that the media (all forms of it), seem to latch on the negative minority of stories that are running related. Making it sound as though we are all going to die from overtraining or that running is the worst thing you can do for your body, especially as you get older.

The media latches on to studies that “prove” their position, without looking at the other studies or even the whole study they are reference and benefits that are either ignored or downplayed. Cherry-picking study results to prove a point, is a great way to make a report sound tailor-made to prove a point or generate a headline.

The reality is that

running is a great sport that I enjoy immensely, but is not without its drawbacks.

Being a runner is not always easy, especially in today’s world of instant gratification, sensation seeking news reports or the electronic medium’s attempts to suck us in and lead us to believe that virtual reality is the answer to everything.

However, many of us see running as a lifestyle choice. It is a relatively simple action, you put one foot in front of the other at a pace you can maintain. I think in today’s complex world it is one of the draws of running – it brings us back to something simpler.

There are record numbers of runners participating in our sport throughout the world. On any given weekend (and many days) you can find multiple races to choose from.  So there must be some kind of allure that allows a runner to go beyond the negatives and keep running.

Running has become more than simply a sport we do and we while might acknowledge the negatives, then either overcome or we often run in spite of them.

Despite the above drawbacks and many others – that readers will add in their comments, I remain a runnah and plan to be one for as long as I can. Smile

What are some of the negatives or drawbacks that you see in running and how do you overcome them?


4 comments on “Running is not all Roses or Sunshine

  1. Great post and it’s all very true. I love running, but you’re right…it’s not all fun. Actually lately I haven’t been enjoying running for those reasons you mentioned…so that’s when I give it a break and do fitness other ways. Soon I miss running and get back to it again! 😛

  2. Take todays run. All fine and dandy until I hit those darn hills. I’m not talking about some little hill, more like a “make you hate life” type of hill that never seems to end. Work hard, play hard.

  3. Pingback: Week In Review – June 17th « A Veteran Runnah

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