Intrinsic or extrinsic perspectives whilst running
At a basic level, the motives for running can be viewed from an intrinsic and extrinsic perspective. A person with an intrinsic motivation to run might gain satisfaction from running around a local scenic route on a calm, sunny day. An extrinsic person might run the same route with the ultimate goal of winning their age group in an upcoming local race.
For the intrinsic people there is a basic joy inherent in the simple act of running. Running can invigorate one's sensory faculties through seeing the natural landscape, feeling the cool wind on your skin, hearing the rustle of the trees or feeling the contours of the changing terrain beneath your feet. The extrinsic people are often drawn to the challenge of running where they are responsible for setting and achieving their goals. Many people of course are a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic running mindsets.
Escape through running
Running can be motivated by a need to escape from the pressures of everyday life. It is not uncommon to feel a weight lift off of the runner's shoulders as frustrations, stress and burdens are left behind. Running can also create much needed mind space where new ideas can flow freely, and older, established ones can take on new light.
Improving mental alertness by running
Running during a lunch break cannot only provide physical benefits but also enhances mental alertness. Just give it a try and go for a run during your lunch break and see what your productivity and mental alertness is like during the afternoon.
Looking good through running
There are those that are motivated to run by the opportunity to wear the very latest sporting gear and footwear. The world's leading running companies do a great job in supplying a myriad of styles, fabrics, soles and assorted paraphernalia to go running in. Of course, you’ll only actually look good in them if you put the work in to get in shape.
Running for the love of food!
Running can be used to justify our consumption of great tasting foods like chocolate, and beer. Running triggers the production of aerobic enzymes that stimulate our appetite and makes food taste so good. The increased metabolism induced by the physical demands of running allows those who indulge in it to eat more generously in portion as well.
The running events
Running can be motivated by the physical challenge of having a go at new events and training runs. There are plenty of running events out there, from short races such as a 5k up to the marathon distance and beyond. You surely need to put at least one major marathon on your bucket list.
The runner's high
The release of endorphins after running is widely acknowledged as a strong motivation to run. This 'runner high' is a powerful and satisfying mental state often experienced by the runner at the end of a memorable training run or race. This feeling is a mixture of elation, fatigue and satisfaction.
Spiritual running motivation
At a metaphysical level, some claim running can be motivated spiritually. Sri Chinmoy is the proclaimed leader of a spiritual ideology that uses meditation as a source of inner strength and immense spiritual power. By tapping into the inner joy and peace from meditation, the capacity to run is greatly inspired and energised. Sri Chinmoy followers talk of the enriching experience of self-discovery and inner growth to be gained from the personal challenge of running.
The social life of a runner
Running is sociable. Or it can be if you run for a club or enter races. It gives you the chance to mix with like-minded individuals and meet new people. It is no coincidence that runners flock to the major city marathons around the world to collectively share in the ultimate of running experiences. This extends to an unspoken understanding and mutual respect of the effort and commitment required to train for running.
People find a wide range of reasoning and benefits for their involvement in running. However, perhaps the greatest motivation is the personal growth and life changing experiences that running is able to give you. Whatever your motivation, enjoy your running.