What Have I Learned from Running?

Back in December 2014, when I took part in the Liverpool Santa Dash 5k, I thought running would be a one-off experience. Looking back now in hindsight, this was the beginning of something new and fulfilling, that would become a major part of my life.

It was not until January 2016, that I took up running as a hobby. This was because I wanted to do something different for a New Year’s resolution, and to improve my fitness.

Initially I would go for a run once a week. However, I was quickly bitten by the running bug, and was soon covering longer distances, as I was consumed by my growing enthusiasm for running. This led to me to running the 2016 Scouse 5k for charity, where I raised £980 for Maghull Young Adults Social Club, for young adults with autism like myself. I have since gone further by running in longer events in Liverpool, Port Sunlight, Hoylake, and Southport, culminating in running the 2018 BTR Liverpool Half-Marathon for the first time, which was a great experience, despite completing the race with an injury. In simple terms, outdoor running has forced me to push myself out of my comfort zone and has also taught me more about myself, than I could possibly have imagined previously.

My life has changed considerably since taking up running. Apart from getting physically fitter and stronger, it has given me plenty of self-confidence, in addition to having something in common with other enthusiasts, and it gets me outdoors and into the fresh air.

Running outdoors has also allowed me to explore my surroundings. From the streets of Liverpool, to country lanes and coastal areas, I have been able to take in sights of pure natural beauty and picturesque landmarks, some of which have been memorable. One example is running along Otterspool Promenade with the wind blowing in from the River Mersey, whilst another is running from Ormskirk to Kirkby on a glorious October morning with blue skies, little cloud, surrounded by peaceful countryside. However, my personal favourite was on holiday in Paphos, where I would run from my hotel to the town and back, complete with spectacular views of the early-morning sun, rising over the Mediterranean Sea.

One of the most spectacular views I have come across when running. An early-morning run from the town on Paphos to my nearby hotel, when on holiday in 2019.

I have found running to be an ideal way of relieving stress after a hard-working day. Running allows me to clear my head of mental strains, anxieties, and other negative thoughts, as endorphins are released in the brain, making me feel good afterwards. This makes running beneficial to good mental health and well-being, and it can be meditative and helps to get the creative juices going too!

Apart from what I have mentioned already, there are other benefits associated with running. These include the following below:

  1. Anyone can take up running.
  2. Running is a cheap way to exercise.
  3. It helps with getting a good night’s sleep.
  4. When running in sunlight, it is a good source of Vitamin D.
  5. Running also boosts creativity and can improve your memory.
  6. It also helps in strengthening your joints and bones.
  7. Running also improves your cardio-vascular health.

Of course, there are other things that I have learned from my running experiences, including the following:

  1. Always listen to your body.
  2. Strains and injuries can be picked up if you are not careful (yes this has happened to me).
  3. Ensure you take a bottle of water for hydration (this is especially important when running in warm weather).
  4. In warm weather, wear light clothing i.e. shorts and T-shirt, along with a cap and put sunblock on.
  5. Run at a pace that you are comfortable with.
  6. When running outdoors, be mindful of your surroundings.
  7. If taking part in a race, put in as much practice and preparation as you can.

Looking back on my running journey, I can say that taking it up was one the best decisions I ever made. Running has given me structure, discipline, fitness, and it has proven to be extremely valuable in coping with the daily stresses, strains, and anxieties of modern life, and I also enjoy it very much. In addition, running has given me plenty of moments, for myself and my family to be proud about. There are also millions of others like myself, who have changed their lives through running, and have proudly felt the same passion and pride as I have done.

In conclusion, I hope you have enjoyed reading about and understanding how much I have learned from running, and why it has become a passion of mine. I can guarantee you, that I shall be keeping the running habit going.

Thanks for reading!

42 thoughts on “What Have I Learned from Running?

    1. Ben Cross Post author

      Running is not to everyone’s taste, which I respect. Certainly I would start off with a gentle jog of a short distance i.e. half or a quarter mile for starters, and build on from there. Bear in mind you don’t need to run non-stop, as you can take it easy to begin with.


      1. Ben Cross Post author

        However if I was to choose it would be a 5k run called Run for the 96, which is held every year in Liverpool (apart from this one), in honour of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough tragedy and also raises money for local charities.


  1. Beautyqueen UK

    It is clear you get a lot of enjoyment from running and it is great you have shared your passion. I currently have an ankle injury which has been on-going for almost two years, so definitely not something I could do, but I used to do really well in Cross Country back in my school days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ben Cross Post author

      Thank you, I do get a lot of enjoyment from running, even if the weather can sometimes be rainy! Sorry to hear about your ankle, and I hope it gets better in time. Did you enjoy doing Cross Country in school?


  2. Jules

    You’ve inspired me. I used to run a lot, then got lazy. Just reading this got me excited to try it again — just for the relaxation (with health benefits to boot).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brooke r

    Ironically I took up running a little later in life after my daughter was born I ran my first 5K! Now having to I just walk so I can include them in my physical activity a little better

    Liked by 1 person

  4. aisasami

    Nice post on encouraging people to run. I don’t like running and it is more of an attention thing I think. I need a sport (like Tae Kwon Do and Yoga) where I can do different things.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fransic verso

    When I run 3 miles, I thought it wasn’t made for me but when I kept doing it I felt good and since it has great benefits. I can say it’s good though I don’t run that long anymore. I need to run longer and get back to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kelsey

    I recently took up running and I’ve noticed my self getting stronger and liking it more and more. I never realized all the benefits of running so I was certainly keep with it. Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ben Cross Post author

      That’s understandable Nathalia. Running is not to everyone’s taste. When I first started, the high impact wasn’t to my likely but I quickly adapted. Getting a good pair of running shoes can help.


  7. Pingback: What I Have Learned from 2020 – My Learning Journey | The Official Website of Ben Cross

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