Category Archives: Running

If Running is Boring, Maybe It’s You.

While there are many good reasons to run with other runners, I would like to look at the benefits of running alone. Now, I have it on good authority from a number of non-runners that running is boring. They may think that, but they don’t know it, because they never tried it.

Just how boring is it to be with you? Aren’t you interesting? Don’t you have any novel thoughts or insights? One of the advantages to running (alone) is being alone with your thoughts. You can think like you run, following an established course, or just let your thoughts roam freely and see where they go.

If you do this running thing long enough you may reach the point where your running is more at ease. You may eventually experience the zen-like state of non-effort combined with non-thought. This can be very therapeutic beyond the act of exercise, much like a meditation for both body and mind. You are now roaming the world like a free spirit, looking for beauty everywhere – and often finding it.

You may come to realize that the same route looks different every day – in subtle ways. You will realize that the world itself isn’t boring – you are. Well,  only if you so choose.

Want to know what’s way more boring than running? Watching TV.

Who wants to watch other people do interesting and exciting things when you could be doing them yourself? I would rather play basketball than watch it, even if I’m not very good at it. Instead of watching other people travelling through Ireland why not go there and experience it for yourself? Not enough time or money? I see. Well, go for a run. It’s a free way to travel – trade in some couch time for an adventure.

While you are enjoying the aspects of an outer world you have never seen, don’t pass up the chance to explore your inner world as well. An entire universe awaits you. Get to know yourself. Many sages throughout history have proposed this to be the essential goal in life.

Just Forget Your Second Wind

Athletes who are competing strenuously in an endurance event have been know to experience something referred to as the second wind. For example, a runner is participating in a 10 kilometer road race. After thirty or forty minutes they seem to have come to the end of their endurance. Their legs are wobbly and there is a feeling of being out of gas. If the runner persists in their effort they may notice, after ten minutes of agony, a resurrgance of energy.

I will not go into all the theories or explanations for the second-wind phenomena, except to explain on my own terms what is the cause, how it can be overcome, and how it has nothing to do with breathing.


The energy your body expends in physical effort comes from glycogen stored in your muscles and liver. At least this is the energy source at the outset – enough for thirty to sixty minutes of strenuous effort and readily available. When an inexperienced or out-of-shape runner goes past this point for the first time the effects will seem strange and awful.

When your glycogen stores run low, your body will switch to an alternate energy source – burning fat. This energy source is not so readily available, and if your body is not used to this switching-over process, it may not happen very quickly either . Hence, the runner experiences a lack of energy for a few, very long minutes, then slowly it comes back. They may have had to walk for a little while, but that second wind eventually did kick in.

As the athlete gets in better shape, and repeats this process of switching from glycogen to fat-burning, the switch becomes less noticeable and more efficient. You no longer need that second-wind and you now know it has nothing to do with breathing or lung capacity.