Woman in jogging outfit running outdoors

This is why we run

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Love it or hate it everyone has a reason why they run. To find out what motivates us to lace up our shoes and clock up the kms, fitness app Strava asked over 25,000 runners around the world why they run.

Why do we run?

With many people seeing running as more than just exercise, Strava decided to focus their efforts of their global study on its connection with wellbeing.

Anyone who is a runner (or knows a runner) can attest to the fact, that after a person has been running for long enough it becomes part of who they are.

With this in mind, Strava says that while they were interested in the more straightforward reasons why people run, they were also curious about why it can become so intrinsic to who we are.

4 key reasons why people run

1.    Health

Over 80 per cent had at least one physical motivation for running like being healthier, getting stronger or having more energy. 40% of those looking for benefits to their physical health and 61 per cent for benefits to their mental wellbeing.

2.    Routine

29 per cent of surveyed runners said that running provided them with a consistent routine and a place where they felt in control.

3.    Community

Running is a great way to build community and find connection and for 34 per cent of runners this was a key reason for them to run.

4.    Aspiration

Spirituality, self-betterment, overcoming challenges or justa way to have new experiences was a reason to run for 36 per cent.

What type of runner are you?

According to the report there are 5 types of runners

1. Passionate runners

Passionate runners run in social settings and feel more connected to others through running. Passionate runners believe in the psychosocial benefits of running – things like happiness and accomplishment.

2. Invested runners

Also a social runner and the type most likely to be racers. Strava says the invested runner are middle-of-the-pack when it comes to the social aspects of running.

3. Fitness runners

In this group you’ll find the runners who are less interested in the social side of running and more interested in supporting their health, body image and strength. They don’t race all that much and they are more likely to run on their own.

4. Mindful runners

Like the fitness runner the mindful type likes to run alone, however over 50 per cent compete in races. They too are motivated by the health and body benefits of running and unsurprising enjoy the psychosocial benefits. In fact over 80 per cent of both passionate and mindful runners said that 'running delivers happiness and a sense of accomplishment...'.

5. Reluctant runners

If you're more the reluctant type it's likely that you run alone, don’t compete in many races and are primarily motivated by the health and body benefits of running.
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What runners love about running

It turns out that not that many runners actually love getting out of the bed in the morning to go for a run. In fact only 10 per cent of runners ‘love’ this part.

The aspect of running that wins most runner’s hearts? Enjoyment increases once we pass the first few kms (20 per cent), hits a peak – unsurprisingly – as we get that finish line feeling (60 per cent), steadily declines until the all-important kudos from the community (25 percent) and interestingly goes up again when we are munching on a post-run snack (40 per cent).

If you want to know more about what motivates runner check out Strava’s interactive report.