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The solution to all your problems? A 15-minute everyday run
If you’re looking at running as a workout, then you've missed the point. Simply put, a 15 minute everyday run would turn you into the better version of yourself.
I always thought of a run as something to do if I’d want to get in shape. Initially, there’s no way you could enjoy running. You would be just doing it as a means to an end.
That’s stage zero. I initially started running around four years ago, when I read a stunning book by the founder of Nike. I would consider this book a hypnosis session to convince you to run.
Back then, I wasn’t a stranger to running, I would do it as a method of getting in shape faster or losing weight if I needed to. The way the book brands the action of running is revolutionary. Nike’s founder, Phil Knight, used running as a solution to his everyday stress and needs. When he is worried, he would run. If he is excited, he would run. When he is afraid, he would run.
I finished the book in a couple of weeks, then all of a sudden had ideas of wanting to run. So I did. I ran a 10-minute run. I kept doing so for five days to accustom my body to it. Then I bumped it up to 20-minutes. Again, I waited a few weeks till my body got saturated with it. Then I bumped it to 30, and so on.
Nowadays, I have different runs for different purposes.
I don’t do all of them on the same day. I am usually sustained with 3–5 runs per week.
1. My energetic morning run. — 10 minutes
If I feel lazy or down in the morning, I’d jump to it. I would force myself to run on an empty stomach and put the image of a hot cup of coffee on my mind, to reward myself post-running.
2. My “stressed out” run — 20 minutes
Whatever it is that’s stressing me, whether it’s a client who needs work done, whether it’s my crypto investment crashing, or whether it’s my financial burdens, this 20-minute-run gets out a lot of the stress away. You see, the more you run, the less stressed you are. Here’s the science, but it’s really common sense.
3. My “good news” run — 20 minutes
I’ve been waiting for a $6k transfer for work that I’ll do with a client, and BAM, it shows up in my bank account. I’m happy. I’m excited. I go for this particular run. This is the most human-run I could do. If you observe children, you’d see that they would run when they receive good news. It’s a basic human act.
4. Running when I need to think about something serious — 25–30 minutes
Sometimes a decision is not easy to take. The most beautiful feature of running is where it takes your mind. You’d think that you’re body is the only runner in the operation. Truth is, your mind is running faster towards all kinds of thoughts. A logical analysis would be that if you’d sit at home, and think of a solution, then you’d be taking in all the anxiety that comes with either decision. However, if you run it out, then you would be actively losing your anxiety whilst thinking.
I, personally, programmed these runs. Custom created to fit my life. You should have your own. You might prefer a pre-sleeping run, or a pre-work sprint, whatever works for you.
5. My favorite is the 15 minute everyday run
Consider this the integration of all the above.
It's a run that would benefit almost anyone who'd do it on daily basis. It would resolve a tiny bit of every element of the elements mentioned in the previous four runs, which is what's needed on daily basis.
What is important to take from this, is that running is almost not about getting in shape.
You will get in shape if you run this frequently, that’s obvious. But it’s not your take-home message. If one decides to run as means to an end, then this will not be durable. He/she will either reach that end or give up.
Yet, if one’s running for a different and stronger reason, that’s a true benefit.
You wear socks when your feet feel cold.
You meet people when you’re lonely.
Hence, you should run when it’s needed. When you’re sad, mad, stressed, disappointed, happy, or worried. It’s a universal solution.
I’m not a personal trainer, nor am I an athlete. I’m a business consulting freelancer who just works from home and gets clients. My work does not force me to need to run. I do it, because of the return and psychological benefits I obtain from it.
Of course, running itself is not the challenge.
The challenge is maintaining. Initially, it will not be easy. Yet, eventually, it will be as difficult as sitting down. If you break through the first few months of the mind “pain” you feel when you run, when your mind is asking you to sit at home and lazy out on today’s run, only then, when you see the beauty of this human activity that can be done anywhere, at any time.
I would recommend trying the 15 minute everyday run 3 days per week, then advancing to 5 days per week. Additionally, you could try out any of my programmed runs, or create your own.
You would eventually be not only running towards the end of the line but also towards everything you’re putting as a goal.
I’m Al, a business consultant in Zurich, Switzerland. I believe in providing readers with value.