The ABC… of running

The ABC… of running
August 8, 2019 No Comments Running journey Pietro

Spoiler alert: even if called the ABC of running, this post is NOT going to be seriously finding what is the explanation of mystery that every day lets millions of people from all over the world to lace their shoes… and start running. This is a facetious way to make a list describing my relationship with running… from A to Z.

Let’s get started! 🙂


A: Achievements

Running allows us to achieve many things: for example, a personal best, a medal, a new friend. In my opinion, the most important achievement we can get is a new way of seeing and facing life, and a better knowledge of ourselves.

B: Body

Running is definitely changing the relation with our body, pushing our limits, changing our routines. Help running to make you stronger and more healthy, and avoid an obsessive disruption of your fibers pursuing the ultimate performance: like everything, running is fun until it does not take control of who we are.

C: Challenges

I haven’t met yet a runner who hasn’t a challenge in his/her mind: a new race, a personal best, a new training plan… Setting goals challenging enough to trigger that sense of achievement, without being too hard to generate frustration when not met, is a secret for happiness 🙂

D: Discipline

Unfortunately achievements do not come easy without discipline! Improvements require a certain degree of discipline that can be useful in other aspects of life 🙂

E: Endorphins

If discipline is the stick, endorphins are the carrot :). The sensation, post run or in the shower, after a successful training is a huge payoff. Also called runner’s high, these effects of the aerobic exercise deliver great benefits, helping concentration, stress management and self-esteem.

F: Friends

As a traveling runner, I noticed participating to events worldwide how the community of runners is open and friendly. You can pack your shoes and travel alone: the chances of going back with new friends are very high.

G: Green

Green are the parks many of us are running in, the hills we are climbing, the fields we are crossing. But green is also the lifestyle of using our legs as a mean for transportation: the planet thanks us, if we can extend our healthy habits also to daily life, walking, biking or using public transport, instead of a car, when possible.

H: Hills

They can be hard and make a severe selection during a race, but they can also be a fun break of monotony during a flat course: running on a hilly path in any case will increase our heartbeat 🙂

I: Injury

In the ABC of running, this is the word we never want to say, but it represent a risk we have to face: warm-up, stretching, listening our body, avoiding over-training… all important elements we have to consider to avoid using this word 🙂

J: Journey

Running is fun. But running and traveling is a powerful combination and the reason I created this website. There is no better excuse than enrolling to a running event in a beautiful place, booking the plane tickets… and convince good friends in coming along! A journey that will nourish your body and mind is already set with these basic steps!

K: Kudos

As you should not be too hard on yourself when skipping a training or having a performance below expectations… give yourself and others kudos when things are going well! This will reinforce your motivation, in a virtuous circle 🙂

L: Limits

That is exactly what we want to push and go through! As mentioned for the challenges, don’t be too pushy and know your body before asking some improvements: everything is improvable, the secret is to allow time the right time, and work for it!

M: Motivation

My best friend, or worse enemy: that voice that suggest me to put the shoes on, as it will be a great day… or the one telling me to call a day off, and spend the afternoon with Netflix and the couch. The waltz with motivation is one of the most important elements of the ABC of running… and the mental fuel of our machine.

N: Nature

Running on a treadmill is sometimes needed. But it can be boring, boring, boring. The beauty of some landscapes on a coast, in a city park or in the country side can put us in contact with the beauty of the nature, giving another charm to our running experience.

O: Obsession

Everything that is fun, healthy, good can become the opposite when turns into an obsession. Running is fun, for me especially when combined with traveling. But I am happy that so far, it has improved, and not disrupted, my habits, my routines, my being who I am. That’s my advise: make a life balance: is there anything disrupting it? If yes, do some corrections and work on a better mix in your lifestyle 😉

P: Performance

AKA Personal best, it is the numeric value we give to our limits: how can we beat our last record? But it is also the way of tacking our progresses and seeing that all this time spent running and sweating is making our body-machine more efficient.

Q: Questions

Questions will be always through the running path: am I training too hard? Can I do better? But also questions from other runners, questions from friends and family (“how can you do that?”) and finally, time spent with yourself running will give you time to ask and answer some questions about you…

R: Runners

Running is a solo experience… nothing can be more far from the truth! Since I started I met communities of people, I convinced friends to challenge themselves, and I learned a lot of this pulsing universe: the beauty of running are the runners and, how the motto of both Prague and Napoli half marathon say: all runners are beautiful!

S: Sweat

There is no running without sweating, this is almost axiomatic. Perspiration helps our body to be cool and efficient during the exercise: thanks to the two to four millions of sweat glands, we can perform our running activity limiting the risks of overheating.

T: Traveling

As mentioned before, I think that traveling, participating to events abroad, seeing new places and meeting new friends is giving a complete new dimension of fun to the running act. Believe me, follow this page and contact me, I am sure I will convince you 🙂

U: Universality

History teaches us that you don’t need much for running, as many barefoot athletes dominated the scene long ago. Running is an act that connects wealthy and poor people, from all countries. Running is universal, based on the respect to anyone challenge himself or herself into the venture of completing a distance, from one mile to an ultra marathon. Even people disabled can complete long distance runs with the help of volunteers and be part of this world. Running is respect of differences, is union of people, it is a language everyone can speak. It taught me a lot too.

V: Velocity

Pace too slow? Too fast? Too short duration of the training? Running is based on how fast you are – how obvious was that? – and velocity is distance divided by time. We cannot do much with the distance… it is usually given! Our challenge is often a bittersweet wrestling against time! I use a running watch (I am pretty satisfied with my Garmin Fenix 5) to keep track of my speed and progresses, and you? How do you track how fast you are?

W: Weather

Sun, clouds, rain, wind, snow, hale, cold, hot… how many ways has the weather to turn a pleasant running experience into a challenging experience of quasi-survival (with the inner voice saying “why am I doing this?”). Weather can be a strong motivation killer, as well as an enhancer. And remember: sometimes there is no shame in surrendering and hit the treadmill instead of a storm! 😀

X: X-perience

If I had to define what being a traveling runner is, it’s all about the experience. An experience involving deeply both mind and body. An experience to be lived alone or, better, in company with friends who at least share one of these two passions 🙂

Y: You

Running long distances is often a journey with your best friend: yourself! All that time spent alone will help you knowing not only your limits, pushing through them. You will have time to think, make decisions, reconsider things, plan… or just enjoy how nice is to be with yourself!

Z: Zebra

Unless running in Africa (but then be careful as there might be lions too!) I am talking of the crossing signs, and in general, the challenges of running in an urban environment. Be careful, watch out as cars can be faster, and even more dangerous, than the mentioned kings of the jungle!


Did you enjoy my ABC of running? Contact me for any request or Sign in and help me making this community a better place! 🙂

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About The Author
Pietro
Pietro I am an italian living in Denmark, where the culture of running touched me and combined with my passion for travelling. I finally found a very good excuse to visit new places: organizing running trips, usually for half marathon.

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