Running — just something you gotta do for mental fitness

By Rich

Running has been a love hate relationship with me for years.

I’m sure I’m not alone in making this statement. The benefits of running are well known to most, better blood flow, lower resting heart rate and some studies show better cognitive function in runners.

But the reason I’m fascinated with running is for the other mental aspect that is required in all runners: Mental toughness.

It doesn’t matter if you sprint, run a 5k or an ultra-marathon. It takes a huge amount of mental toughness to do all of those types of running events.

Beginning runners have to run through the pain of sore legs, stitches/cramps in their sides and burning lungs.

Intermediate runners deal with the pains of adding in more mileage, pushing the pace on longer runs and adding more days, again, more sore legs and all the while they have to have the mental toughness to endure more and more running.

Turn up the notch and add in the competitive runner and you’ve got someone that is not only challenging their own abilities daily, but working harder and harder to beat other competitors.

So, if you want to get some mental toughness, look no further than your own body and a pair of decent running shoes. The road, sidewalk and track are never closed and you can discover a lot about how tough you are by lacing up those shoes and logging some miles.

Rich is a former U.S. Army infantryman and member of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The “Old Guard”) who responded to the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, as our nation was attacked by international terrorists. He is co-founder of Survival Legion, a vet-owned company that stresses functional fitness and draws it’s uniqueness from the Roman Legions

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