Competitive running is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK at the moment. It’s an easy pastime to get into, all it really costs is a pair of trainers, and the number of people who are taking part in the sport is growing all of the time. This is apparent by the record number of competitors a this year’s London Marathon with an astronomical 40,255 people taking part. Why do people enjoy competitive running so much though?
The thrill of competition
Some people like to take part in competitive running because they enjoy the challenge. It’s not just the challenge of competing against other people that inspires runners, it’s also competing against themselves. Having a personal best to aim for means that even if it is just running for training, there is always something to compete with. This ensures that the motivation is always there to keep improving.
For others it allows them something to focus on. People who suffer from addictions and other lifestyle habits that are detrimental to their health often need to find something to focus on to help steer them clear of relapsing into their addictions again. It’s the increased focus and the almost obsessive dedication that competitive running requires that really helps people with addictive personalities to avoid their demons.
Improved general fitness
There are also people out there who use running as a stepping stone back into gaining fitness. As age catches up your body can start to give up on you slightly. Competitive running allows people to slowly and steadily build up their fitness levels back up. This has a number of health benefits, such as fewer aches and pains and a lower risk of suffering a heart attack.
Improved mental health
Finally, some people just use it as a way to destress after a hard day at work. It allows them time alone with their thoughts where they can just run and allow everything that had got on top of them throughout the day disappear into the ether. This allows people the release that they sometimes require to make sure that they can effectively unwind. It is vital to be able to do this and maintain your mental health and competitive running gives people the opportunity to do so.