My Love of Running

By Uta Pippig
© private
© private

I love running—it is as simple as that. What more can I say? Without a run, I am not really myself! If I don’t run for a few days, I really start to miss it.

Where Did This Motivation Come From?

Ever since I was a child, I have loved to run, and I have loved the sport of running since I started it at age 13. Back then, things were not as sophisticated as they are today. I remember my first little workout, how I was so happy, even going crazy. How else would you describe running endless laps of a tiny circuit, a little over 100 meters in all, round and round the biggest chestnut tree in my parents’ backyard?

Back then, I had another favorite workout: speed training on a dirt track at the nearby forest. I would usually do some 200-meter reps, and during the recovery between each one I would lie on the grass on the soccer infield and watch the clouds go by…

Run and Become

Running brings me close to nature: I listen to my breathing, it is a time to be alone, to enjoy the views on my favorite trails and forget about the cares of the day. I can even get ideas for solving some problem or other.

And I can feel the seasons changing by the different aromas. Every season, sometimes every day, has a different smell. In fact, my friends joke that sometimes I sound like a weather forecaster, predicting rain or snow.

Of course, being so close to nature is exciting, and it makes me feel humble. I love finding different flowers or just letting my mind and body relax by looking at the flowers along the way. Sometimes it’s as if they talk to me, and I just wave back and say hello.

© Betty Shepherd
© Betty Shepherd

I am often surprised by all the animals I see when I go out for an easy run. Sometimes I just stop and watch what they are doing, searching for food or whatever, and they don’t know I am watching. In spring and summer, when I’m training in Boulder, I might even see a little—or a big!—snake, as well as foxes and grounddogs or the most beautiful birds. It might sound scary, but they are more scared than I am.

One of the reasons I love running so much is that wherever the sport of running takes me, I can find new routes and go off exploring. In the past, it helped me see more of a city than just the race route or the stadium track, because normally I would have to go straight into a competition and then leave right after, returning to training in Boulder or go off to another race.

Running and Health

Another aspect of my motivation and deep passion for running is what it does for my health, especially my heart and cardiovascular system, the way it helps me concentrate better throughout the day, improving memory, getting rid of headaches, improving skin tone and giving me a better looking physique. As a runner, you stay at the right weight for you. It is a great way to lose weight, too—there’s no need for diets. (In my view, they don’t really work anyway.)

Being in good physical shape makes you feel better about yourself and brings more confidence. That’s so important! Running is definitely good for getting rid of stress because it runs off the bad hormones, quite literally. You have more energy, feel younger and live longer. It sounds great, doesn’t it?

Set Yourself A Goal

Let's run together! © Betty Shepherd
Let’s run together! © Betty Shepherd

If you are going to stay motivated, it’s very important to have a goal! Over the years, having a goal was a big help for me. I always had a big race to look forward to, or was trying to achieve a good performance. It was always exciting to build up over the months and weeks to the big day.

It certainly helps to prepare for the ultimate objective step-by-step. You could set yourself a specific time as a target. There might be a particular race you want to do with friends, or it could be your birthday or Christmas or maybe New Year’s. Not everyone likes doing so, but it could help to keep a training log. Include times for a particular route or schedule and add up the miles. This can act as motivation to improve the following week or month or year—monitoring your progress will be fun and keeps you interested.

I often look forward to meeting friends for a run in Berlin or Boston. I want to stay in shape to keep up with them. Or when I go to my favorite races, I want to be with fellow runners. I want to show them you can enjoy training. Don’t give up and enjoy your races as well—that’s what I love to do. Think about training with friends or joining a group—that way can be more fun and exciting.

Running is such a wonderful and powerful sport. It is my passion and part of my identity. When I go out for an easy run for a few miles, I feel happy and alive. I reckon I am going to run all my life…and that’s why.

Let’s Run Together!

Posted many years ago… 😉