Why is Running So Hard in the First Place?

Even the fittest of us can end up struggling tremendously when we take on the challenge of running. It doesn’t matter how many hours we’ve spent at the gym beforehand – running gets the best of us. But why exactly is that? What is it about running that makes it so challenging compared to all the other scary looking exercises we’ve already mastered? Here are 6 reasons why running is so difficult in the first place!

  • Running is a cardio exercise. Cardio stands for “cardiovascular” which means it targets your heart. So you’re not just working out the muscles in your legs, you’re working out the muscles of your heart too. Cardio exercises get your blood pumping at a very rapid rate and often leave you out of breath because your heart is trying to efficiently supply your blood stream with enough oxygen as quickly as it is pumping. But the good news is, cardio exercises are also the most efficient when it comes to losing fat.
  • Running is also a form of strength training exercise. Strength training exercises are great for targeting muscle growth. Because running is something you do with your legs, your upper body acts as extra weight. By using your own body weight while running, you essentially incorporate an element of strength training. So not only is your heart working hard and that fat is burning off but your muscles are getting stronger too.
  • You engage your entire body. Unlike some other exercises, running is something that requires you to engage your entire body. Even if you’re not running with your upper body, you still need to make sure your form is correct. By having an incorrect form, you put yourself at risk of getting injured and the run is harder to do in general.
  • It requires stamina. With other cardio exercises like HIIT (high intensity interval training), you usually get a small interval of rest between different exercises. However, in running, usually it is a constant effort. Which is why it requires the same level of focus, effort and concentration throughout. This makes it harder because engaging all aspects of your body for extended periods of time while also doing a cardio based exercise? Pretty tough.
  • There are many factors to consider. When you’re a runner, things aren’t as simple as “just run”. You have to start to take into account different aspects of your run to make sure you’re as efficient as possible. This can include: Running form, Breathing, Posture, Strides, Diet, Weather etc.

Read our articles on the proper running form for an injury-free run or how to breathe when running so you’re not out of breath to help you out!

  • You might be ill prepared as a beginner. With anything new in life, if you’re a beginner chances are you’re gonna be ill prepared. You haven’t had the chance to learn all the intricate details and tips and tricks of whatever you’re doing. Which is the same trend with runners. As a beginner, it will take you some time to figure out what the heck you’re doing and how to do it better so it is easier. 

Want to know of some of the common mistakes beginner runners make? Read our article on 11 mistakes you’ll make as a beginner and how to avoid them!

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