Why Is Running So Hard On The Body & Mind?
No matter your fitness level, everyone finds running hard at some point. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting out and trying to run your first 5k or pushing through an interval session. Running is a sport that is both hard on the mind and body, regardless of your fitness level.
Even though running is a simple sport that only requires lifting your body weight and propelling yourself forward, many factors can make running hard.
In this article, we discuss why running is so hard on the body and mind. So, if you are struggling to complete a training session or even head out the door, this article may give you a little insight into why it is so hard.
Is Running Suppose to be Hard?
Running certainly is not supposed to feel easy. However, if it continues to feel hard or even gets harder, it might be a sign something is wrong.
Since most runners will experience a constant improvement of fitness with consistency. If you are continually struggling and feel like running is hard. you may be pushing your body too much or not at all.
To see improvements in your running, you need to stress the cardiovascular system and build stronger muscles, tendons, and bones. To improve, you will need adequate recovery planned into your training schedule. Without this, running will start to feel much harder than it needs to be, and the body will slowly break down over time.
Why Is Running So Hard On The Body?
There are many reasons people find running so hard, regardless of their ability.
Because running requires strong muscles and a developed cardiovascular system, there is no shortcut to making running easier on the body. That is why most beginner runners struggle during the first few months of training. The body needs time to adapt to the stress of running and to develop stronger muscles, bones, and tendons.
Even though your muscles, tendons, and bones may have adapted to the impact and stress of running, you might still find running hard on the body. This can come down to a few things:
– You are running at a pace that you have not adapted to yet.
– You may not have fully recovered from your previous run.
– You are running further than you have done before.
– You are doing interval sessions for the first time.
– Muscles, bones, and tendons have not yet adapted to high-impact exercise.
– Lack of energy and poor nutrition
All of the reasons above can make running feel much harder on the body.
However, most runners can agree that running starts to feel easier as time goes on. Your typical distance run will start feeling more comfortable, and your breathing will become more relaxed. However, other runs like your interval sessions will still be hard on your breathing and body. This is because the muscles and cardiovascular system need to work much harder than in a zone 2 run.
Why Is Running So Hard On The Mind?
Running is not just hard physically but also mentally. For many people, the mental side of running can be much harder than the physical side.
Some reasons why you may feel running is mentally tough are:
– Lack of motivation
– Poor fitness
– Lack of concentration
– Mental fatigue
There’s no surprise once you get fitter, the mental strength needed to push through a run becomes easier. However, this generally applies to easy runs and runs that you are used to doing. Once you step into intervals and harder workouts, it can really test your mental strength.
Often runners will experience highs and lows during a workout, which is normal. The more you can direct these thoughts into a positive one, the easier it will become.
When Does Running Get Easier?
Usually, the first thing a beginner wants to know is when running will get easier. Unfortunately, everyone is different, and this will depend on a lot of factors. However, most people will find that running will start to feel easier after six to eight weeks.
During this time, most people will feel like running is getting easier once they start running for 30 minutes consecutively.
However, this doesn’t mean running will continue to be easy. If your goal is to run longer or improve your speed, you will need to continue to push your body past being comfortable.
When Does Running Become Enjoyable?
For most beginners, running becomes enjoyable once they reach a good level of fitness. This is usually when they are able to run comfortably for 30 minutes or more without stopping.
Once they reach this turning point, beginners find their muscles, breathing, and cardiovascular fitness has improved. This is when beginners start to enjoy running, as there is no laboured breathing, no sore muscles after running, and their mental state is often at an all-time high.
For other people running can become enjoyable once they see results, like weight loss, increased speed, or the ability to run longer. For everyone, the time when running becomes enjoyable will vary.