Why do I run?

I’ve had people ask me why I run instead of riding a bicycle, rollerblading, or other lower impact exercise. Mostly, it’s because I prefer to do exercise that requires minimal equipment. I’ve never been a gym rat or someone who likes to use equipment to work out with. While I used to ride a bicycle a lot as a kid, it was more a means to an end: it got me around town efficiently and quickly.

There’s also the fact that as a National Guard soldier, I am required to maintain a level of fitness that is measured through an annual physical fitness test that includes a two-mile run. Therefore, it’s important for me to run on my own to keep my fitness levels high and to keep me prepared for anything that may come.

Then there’s the fact that running is one of the most physically demanding exercises you can do. Sure, there is super high intensity training that folks can do on a stair stepper, elliptical, or rowing machine, but again, those require you to use equipment. Meh. Running takes a lot of effort, and you can’t coast when running. If you stop moving your feet and legs, you stop.

I watch people who ride their bikes around the very same park I run in. Every corner they go into, they’re coasting. I watch them peddle and then just coast. I’d say they’re coasting 1/4-1/5th of the time. The amount of sweat on me versus them is noticeable. I know not everyone can run or likes to run, but seeing bike riders only makes me feel better about my decision to run.

I enjoy riding bikes, but not primarily for exercise. I prefer to run to get my exercise and ride bikes for fun. I have a nice mountain bike. I need to get it off the ceiling of the garage and take it out sometime. I hear there are some trails around here that I need to go discover.

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