Running addiction: when running becomes toxic

Can running hurt? Sometimes yes, especially in the head. The sport that until yesterday has helped us to overcome difficult moments, to be more lucid, to release tensions can become an obsession. Let’s find out how to run for cover

Carlotta Montanera


Have you ever met that friend you ran with some time ago and want to find an excuse not to stop? This is what happens when some runners talk about running. In any situation, even at the baptism of the godson, here they are starting in the fourth with stories of competitions, questions about the performance of others, unsolicited advice on the type of shoes to use. On social media, this translates into dozens of posts that are always the same, accompanied by the commentary of the training: kilometers, speed, sensations. This is the first symptom that tells us that something is wrong with the relationship with the race. From passion it becomes obsession. And you, have you ever found yourself in this situation? Let’s analyze its different aspects and try to understand how to avoid it.

from passion to obsession

When you look at your watch and read that it is 12.42, do you remember the kilometers of the marathon? Do you observe your colleague walking and think about which running shoes you would recommend? Do you measure the time of your friend’s wedding dinner in time per kilometer? And don’t you work as a coach or technician in a running shop? Then probably the race is overflowing from its role of passion to become a real obsession. Running is a very beautiful and exciting sport, we all know it. It has many benefits, including a more peaceful relationship with yourself and greater mental clarity. But it is still a game, unless you are professional athletes. None of us amateurs are going to win a national title, we will probably never win even a country race. When our passion for running transcends the limit of simple fun to occupy situations that do not belong to it – like an evening at a restaurant with friends – then we need to reflect on our relationship with her. Some of the easily identifiable signs they are precisely the ones that can be observed in situations that have little running. If with your friends who don’t run you can’t avoid the subject of running in an obsessive way, if you wear running shoes even at your cousin’s wedding, if you don’t give up training even when your child has a fever of 40, try to reflect. Passion or obsession?

if I don’t train I feel bad

The lockdown two years ago revealed all the flaws of us runners, including the running addiction. Not running is a stressful condition for us. Whether it is due to a lockdown or more simply for personal commitments, if one day we do not finish the pre-set training we feel frustrated, disoriented, angry. Obviously, being able to choose it is better to run, but sometimes you can’t be totally free and external causes they impede our normal life. Nothing more usual, I would say. Yet if running is the loser, we feel overwhelmed by negative emotions? This is the second symptom of running addiction: if I don’t run I feel bad. Just like addiction to far worse substances, the lack of running makes us wobble. In these situations it is good refocus attention on our personal scale of priorities. Unless you are professional athletes, running cannot be at the first step of priorities by overcoming relationships, family, work, friendship.

how to get out?

Like any other addiction, running addiction is bad and eventually becomes toxic. In addition to the body, the race itself is the loser. When the thought becomes suffocating the pressure cooker explodes and we risk refusing any contact with running. Too much running is good, we can say so. In addition to putting priorities back in order, to get out of this obsessive condition, the first step is remove the GPS watch. Unfortunately, the GPS is a very useful tool, but it binds us to the (almost obsessive) control of time and speed, taking away at least part of the pleasure of running. So off the clock and you run to sensation, like children: three laps of the park, then three strong and two floor lamps and finally a light tour of the avenue. This becomes our new unit of measurement. The second step, then, is rediscover an old passion that we left behind due to running. Whether it’s the wine tasting or the dance class, it doesn’t matter. Let’s look for something that we haven’t done for a long time due to the commitment as a runner and let’s do it again. Let’s rediscover ourselves! Then when we are more serene we will try to start training again. You will see that the approach will be more relaxed.

#Running #addiction #running #toxic

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