For the past three years, I’ve been proud to call myself a “runner.” At first, I used the word pretty loosely, and I felt kind of like a fraud. Now, with two half-marathons under my belt and a third right around the corner, I feel way more confident in saying I’m a part of the club.
But while I do run and train, I don’t always look forward to it. In fact, sometimes getting myself laced up to go for a run (especially when the temperature is anything different than a perfect 70 degrees) is a huge struggle. That ‘runner’s high’ people talk about? I don’t really feel it until a few miles in, sometimes not until after I’m done logging my miles and showering.
READ MORE: What Should I Eat Before Running a Half-Marathon?
So, how do I actually get out there? How do I actually make a 3, 4, or 11 mile run happen?
It may seem superficial, but I run for carbs. Or burgers. Or burritos. Those graphic t-shirts that declare “Will Run for Pizza,” basically sum up everything I stand for. And recently I learned that Rihanna shares the same diet-fitness philosophy too. At the end of the day, I love to eat. But I pay attention to the nutrients I’m eating and how balanced my diet is.
When I’m training for a race and running 10 miles, it’s not to lose weight—it’s to increase endurance and become stronger. Which means that after I burn those 1,000 calories, I can happily treat myself to whatever carby, starchy goodness I want. After all, your post-workout meal should include a solid carb-protein-fat ratio, with carb count being the highest. And I just pushed myself, damnit. I deserve something delicious. And to be honest, a burger never tastes better than when you’re ravenous. That’s a scientific fact.
READ MORE: 8 Signs You’re Running Wrong
Of course, there are more serious factors encouraging me to get my sweat on regularly: fending off disease, extending my life, keeping my body functioning like a well-oiled machine. But in the midst of gasping for air, I’m not exactly thinking about staving off diabetes.
And then there’s the in-the-moment motivator: good music—it’s pretty impossible to log that mileage without some uplifting beats keeping your legs and brain moving in sync. I’ve recently started using Spotify Running, which lets you choose a genre, and then actually adjusts the tempo to your pace, as you speed up or slow down. So not only can you get in a good rhythm and let the music move you (literally), but you also don’t have to worry about fidgeting with your phone and finding a faster song when you need every last bit of energy to focus on your breath. Anything that takes some of the work off me belongs in my running arsenal forever.
So, we want to know: What will you run for? Maybe you share my love of food, or maybe it’s for the amazing views along your route.
READ MORE: 15 Sick Beats to Boost Your Fall Running Playlist