Why Do I Run Everyday?
By: Marc Bergman
Let me begin by stating that I am neither a licensed doctor nor any type of certified coach. I’m just a runner who laces up my shoes everyday. You heard me correctly: every single day. With the exception of a break to have a non-running related shoulder repair in 2010, I haven’t taken a voluntary rest day since December 29, 2006. I’m not going to list and rebut all the criticisms I’ve been told over the past 6 years, because you can imagine all the naysaying that goes on about our sport. What I can do is tell you that streak running is ambitious, productive and healthy for us.
Let’s start with the obvious. I consume a Michael Phelps-ian amount of calories on any given day. This 6 foot, 150 pound physique is not purely derived from genetics. There is no single better way to stay in shape and feel good than to burn the fuel that we put into our bodies. Again, I’m no doctor, but we eat for energy and running is a great use of this energy.
Also, let’s not disregard our most powerful muscle, our brain. Running is one of the best exercises that allows us to utilize all five of our senses. It’s strange to say, but at times while running we learn to focus on a goal or our bodies or a specific thought, while at other times we practice the opposite, letting our minds wander and our imaginations take over. Either way, it’s a great mental warm up every day.
Let’s talk about performance. If you are a marathoner, there is no doubt that at some point in our race, our minds and bodies are going to get fatigued. If we skip the rest day and go out for a short to medium run, we are training ourselves to perform even when we are not at our peaks. We can channel these muscle memories late in races to let our minds know that we have done this before.
If I’ve been asked once, I’ve been asked a million times: “If you don’t take a day off, aren’t you going to get hurt?” This question is so absurd that I have spent the last 6 years running to prove the exact opposite. My motivation to run everyday is because I WAS routinely injured. For my first 6 years of endurance running, I was plagued by foot, knee, and back problems. The root cause was that I was tight, stiff and as limber as a steel beam. Running everyday allows my body to warm up, enabling me to stretch effectively and giving me a convenient excuse to do core strength and body weight drills on what normally would be a day off.
Of course there’s the peripheral reasons I run everyday, like obsession and addiction, but there are worse alternatives and that’s an article for another day. Most of all, I run everyday because I love it. God has given me the ability to productively use my body and I have cultivated the desire to witness everything that each unique run brings to my life. That’s why I make this promise to myself while I am able: I will run everyday for the rest of my life.