Five ways to celebrate National Running Day on 6/1

By Matt Forsman A.K.A. Marathon Matt, May 27, 2016

Running's National Holiday is nearly upon us. Maybe you weren't aware that running has an actual holiday. But, is there any other pastime more worthy of a holiday than running?

Consider for a minute just how much running does for you. Running makes you healthier. It makes you happier. It makes you smarter. It even makes you sexier. What's not to celebrate?

If you don't have plans to celebrate our favorite pastime on Wed, 6/1, we've got a few ideas for you. Read (and run) on.

RUN!

This one is a real shocker. Go out and get some miles in.

Log a few on a treadmill. Crank out a few on the road. Blaze a handful on the trails. Better yet, take advantage of an event celebrating national running day.

However you do it, get some running in on National Running Day. There's no better way to pay homage than to engage in the act itself.

Get someone to drink the Kool Aid.

Another great way to celebrate running is to get someone else to drink the Kool Aid. Spread the disease. Infect one or more non-runners.

Surely, you've got a friend or two who HATES running. Their only experience with running was as 'punishment' for misbehaving at school. They only run to the bus stop.

Tell them a story about how running has changed your life. Share a tale about something incredible you saw while running. Try to bring them over to the dark side.

Maybe you can get them to give running a shot. See if you can get your non-running friend to log 'just' a mile with you. Anyone can run a mile and a single mile is where it all starts.

Seek out some 'readspiration'.

There are tons of GREAT books out there about running. Some of my favorites have little to do with 'training' and more to do with amazing stories or personal experiences associated with the act of running.

If you're looking for something quick (and hilarious), check out 'The Terrible and Wonderful reasons why I run long distances'. It's likely many of these terrible (and wonderful) reasons will resonate for you. Many of them are illustrated in hilariously graphic fashion. 

For something a bit more philosophical and introspective, check out 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running'. Prolific author Haruki Murakami's quick read is a wonderful musing on how running inspires Murakami's writing and vice versa.

For a glimpse into the rigorous demands of a Division I collegiate runnning program, give 'Running With the Buffaloes' a look. Chris Lear sheds light on the relentless training regime, the intense competition, and staggering demands of competing at this level. BTW, Coach Heather Burroughs (who we featured recently) is mentioned on a few occasions in this one.

A few other great sources of readspiration include Born To Run, Duel in the Sun, and PRE.

Take in a flick.

If you're looking for some celluloid runspiration, there are plenty of great options out there. One of my favorites is The Long Green Line. This documentary captures a season of high school cross country with Joe Newton, the winningest high school coach ever. This excellent documentary is as much about running as it is about teamwork and life. Those fortunate enough to spend time with Newton are learning much more than how to run.

Equally inspiring is Run For Your Life. Fred Lebow was a PT Barnum-esque character who somehow managed to get the New York City Marathon off the ground and helped launch the first running boom. What Lebow managed to do in creating the New York City Marathon with little more than smoke and mirrors was simply incredible. There's little question that running would not be where it is today without the magic that Lebow managed to create in New York in 1976.

Few films capture the insanity that is ultra-running like The Barkley Marathons (The Race That Eats Its Young). The Barkley Marathons was inspired by a prison break and only TEN people in the first 25 YEARS of its existence actually managed to finish. Only those with a real penchant for self-flagellation sign up for this one. Hardly anyone actually manages to finish it. Not only will you get to know the fascinating characters who elect to toe the line, you'll spend some quality time with the lunatic/genius (Lazarus Lake) who directs this 'race'.

Treat yourself!

Get a new pair of running kicks at your local running specialty store. Pick up that awesome technical shirt you've been coveting. Splurge on a foam roller, a stick, or some other kind of self-massage tool.

Better yet, go get a quality sports massage. Actually, getting a sports massage is less of a treat and more of a necessity in my book if you're running on a regular basis. 

Whether it's getting some new gear/apparel, splurging on some new running shoes, or hopping on an anti-gravity treadmill, treat yourself!

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