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The Mental & Physical Sides of Running: What Keeps Me Going

The Mental & Physical Sides of Running: What Keeps Me Going

by Matthew Klayman, PT, DPT, OCS, Cert. DNLeave a Comment

I don’t have to be the first to tell you that this has been a tough year for everyone emotionally, mentally and physically. Sticking to a healthy routine has never been more important. Throughout the last year, running has always been an outlet for me. Through tough, lonely, and cold days where it was an effort to even get out of the house, running has always put my mind and body at ease, providing stress relief and happiness, even if for a short period of time.

Getting Started

At times it can be tough to get out there. The idea of lacing up shoes and mentally taking the step to work out is something that I, like many people, struggle with. Even though there are days when I have no interest in doing it, I never regret a running workout. It challenges me physically to fight though another half mile when my legs get heavy, and challenges my mental strength to continue to motivate myself to keep moving my feet.

The Mental Side Effect of Running

Why do I keep running through these obstacles that I put in front of me? It is because of the euphoria that is achieved from those breakthroughs. It is that runner’s high we all hear about. It is that feeling I get in my head when my favorite song comes through my headphones or that perfect city view that reminds me of where I get to live. Sometimes it is getting to experience that time of mental escape from a hectic clinic day, or it becomes that time where a decision becomes so much clearer. Whenever I go, I have no idea what I will get out of my run, but there is always something good on the other side.

Finding Your Healthy Running Routine

The great thing about running is it can be whatever you want it to be! Want to get out of the house for a quick 20 minutes? Run. Want to feel healthier and more productive? Run. Want some stress relief? Run. Regardless of the reason you choose to run, realize you are doing something good for you. Running can be stimulating for our mental, physical, and emotional states regardless of where we start. Try these helpful hints and find a healthy routine with running. Let the difficulty in getting started become the happy escape we sometimes need.

  • Pep Yourself Up: Tell yourself you’ll start walking in a quarter mile and then push to run a half mile and so on. Remind yourself of how proud and good you will feel if you keep running!
  • Break Up Your Run: Utilize the run/walk method to break up the run with short periods of walking. It is a great way to build mileage without over-straining yourself.
  • Find a Playlist or Podcast: Pick a new album or an episode of a podcast you have been saving. Different genres or stories may motivate you to keep going.
  • Manage Discomfort: Be proactive with stretching, foam rolling and strengthening to decrease the risk of injuries.

Choose Physical Therapy

Running should be enjoyable! It’s important to listen to your body and steadily increase your running mileage to avoid overuse activities. Should you experience pain or injury when running, schedule a Free Assessment with our endurance experts. Free assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.

Request a Free Assessment

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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Matthew Klayman was a physical therapist at Athletico Physical Therapy at the time of this blog.

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