You Can Run When You Want To...

...well, not really.

For most of us runners, we have other obligations other than running. Unfortunate, I know, but most of us have jobs, school, spouses, kids, you name it. It definitely compromises when we run or even if we run at all.

For me, I have to get my shorter distances in after work. I will lace up around 5:30, hit my route and come home for dinner. Weekends aren't much different. I will run in the morning to beat the heat or because I have a 10 foot long list of things to do within the day. So whether I like it or not, I run because if I don't, then I know I won't later or at least think I won't.

Running when you don't want to can really mess with your spirit. It may even make you feel rushed, fatigued, or stressed. Now, 99.9% of the time you will be happy that you did go out there and run, but again, we want to make the best of our sessions. We want to feel good from beginning to end.

So what to do?

I decided to test out an idea. Whether or not I have run that day, if my schedule allows and I get the feeling that I want to run, I am going to run. It doesn't have to be a long session. Maybe a mile or less. I want to give my body the opportunity to have its own input on when it wants to run.

I tried this yesterday since I had nothing major on the agenda. I woke up and did not want to do my morning run. I was more amped about making waffles and finishing out some wreath orders.

It wasn't until about 6:30 pm that I actually had the urge to run. So I went out there and ran a route I have never touched before. In fact, it doesn't look like many people touch this route at all because the road went from asphalt to gravel and continued that way for a couple of miles.

I found this exciting to say the least, but the road which had just trees and farmland, eventually led me to the Antietam Battlefield. At that point, I decided it was time to head home.

Upon arriving at my front door, I looked at my phone and realized I had been out running for over an hour! My intention was to run an hour or less just to have about 6 miles in. When I mapped it out, it turned out I ran 7.74 miles!!! It didn't even feel like it!

I definitely need to experiment with this more to gather sufficent evidence that it has an overall improvement to your running session. Still, I encourage you to try it! If you feel like running, do it! I am not saying up and walk out of work to run while you are on the clock. Try it when you are sitting at home on your rest day and you suddenly have the urge. Or if it is a scheduled running day, try to find a time in the day where you have more desire to run and not just because you have to. Changing the time alone may create excitement since it takes you out of the norm.

Do you follow a running schedule where you have set times that you run?

Do you ever run on impulse?

Have you ever gone out on a run and ended up doing more than anticipated?


  1. I'm a huge believer in intuitive running. Instead of following a set training plan, I let my body dictate when I feel like running long, short, fast, slow - whatever! I think this approach fights burn out and keeps me happy and healthy. :)

    1. You are right! I don't know why I never took this approach to running before! My last burn out was horrible and at times, I wondered why I was even a runner. After becoming more in tune with running, I am realizing again why I love running so much! :)


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