Running is a sport that is relatively easy to jump into. Of the many endurance sports, all it requires is a good pair of workout clothes and a good pair of kicks. Nowadays, people are hitting the register more than ever. In the world of endurance sports, there are so many amazing stories. You, the viewer, have a story. Often, we get caught up in the parade of numbers and forget what sparked our journey. In the beginning, something sparked that first run or that first race registration. This is what we call your “why”. Now, you’re probably thinking about who, what, where, when, and how for your races. Think of the last time you asked why. Here’s why it matters.

A Mental Sport

Running is a hard thing, but humans are capable of doing hard things. That medal wouldn’t mean much if it wasn’t earned with some challenge. With the proper training and dedication, doing the race physically is not the issue. Think back to the last time you did something really tough and the voice in your head starts trying to talk you out of it. This could be a life thing or a sports thing. During that moment, how did you find the courage to keep going? That was your WHY.

The Last Stretch

When you reach mile 10 of a half marathon or the last stretch of a 5K, you’re probably on fire. Naturally, your quads might be sore and your lungs burning. Then, you hear the voice and it tells you that you can’t. Suddenly, another voice calls upon your training and encourages you to push. With all your might, you empty the tank as much as you can, bringing out strength you never thought you had. Your training can get you ready, but it takes a strong reason to unlock the fuel reserves.

What is a Good Reason?

People have many takes on what a good WHY is. Personally, my definition of a good why is one that improves yourself or others. On the personal front, this could be a goal to push your limits by doing a new race distance. Your goal could be as simple as being a healthier person or as layered as being healthier to run with your grandkids when you’re 60. On the selfless front, you could run for charity or a cause. A why can be as simple or layered as you want. That’s the beauty of a strong WHY. It’s a well of power.

Reassess your Why Often

Your why is your why. In life, we keep growing and evolving as people. Sit down every once in a while and reassess your why. Yesterday, you weren’t a runner. Today, you might have run 5 races and your reason for running has changed. That’s totally normal! Your why can change and you can have more than one why.

Now that you know the importance of a WHY, here’s an exercise for you: grab a piece of paper and write out the three things that matter the most to you. Now, ask yourself if you can tie your reason for running into it. For example, one of the things that matters to you is your kids. Maybe your why for running is to be stronger for your kids. Whatever your reasons are, it matters. Find your why and chase that dream race!