Almost six years ago, I started running and blogging – pretty much at the same time. I was committed to getting fit and chose running as the means to do so, and blogging was the tool I chose to keep me accountable. So, I’ve never actually experienced one without the other! From outer appearances, they seem like quite distinct processes, don’t they? While one involves hitting the tarmac or trail, the other one involves hitting the keyboard.
But the more time I spend on these two hobbies, the more I realise just how similar they actually are. So, join me as a dive into an analysis and discussion of running and blogging!
8 Similarities Between Running and Blogging
1/ Starting Is Hard. Whether you are a new or more experienced runner, how many times have you sat on the bed, struggling to put on your shoes because the last thing you want to do is run? Experience has taught you that you’ll feel great afterwards, so you begrudgingly get going. After the first couple of kilometres, you find your flow, and when you get back, you feel rejuvenated. Taking that first step, especially after a hiatus, can be so hard. I find this inertia with blogging too. I’ll have a topic but not the will or desire to blog after a long day at the office. My first few sentences feel jagged, but after the first paragraph, words come easier. If you’re new to running or blogging, your first attempt will not be great, but it’s the step you need to start the journey.
2/ Consistency Is Critical. To get better at running, you have to be consistent. When you’re not, many of your runs just feel rough and you’ll become frustrated by the lack of improvement in your VO2 max, your pace, your distance. Similarly, blogging needs consistency if you are to improve your confidence and quality of your writing, as well as to maintain the interest of your audience and improve your reach. That’s not to say you can’t take a break, but some days you just have to force it, and more often than not, you feel great once you’re done and when you see key improvements. This year I set myself goals to run 2022km and to write 100 blogs… let’s just say right now, my life would be a lot easier had I been more consistent throughout the year!
3/ Enhance Your Self-Awareness. There’s a vulnerability that’s needed for both running and blogging. And vulnerability often leads to greater self-awareness. I have learnt so much about myself on the road. I know when I should quit a run or rather stick it out. I know when the real reason I don’t want to try a challenge is for fear of failure and not that “I don’t feel like it”. Same goes for blogging – as I reflect and write, I allow myself to be truly vulnerable and it is often in that process that I make discoveries about myself or get insights I didn’t previously have.
4/ Channel Your Creativity. Both running and blogging allow me to be creative – to keep running exciting, I’m always thinking of new places to explore, different challenges to tackle, and various workouts to try. I find that the more creative I am, the more fun I have with the sport. Similarly, with blogging, I’m always looking for a new spin on a topic or a different way to recap a race or challenge. And taken together, I find my brain is always working to creatively combine running and blogging in a way that keeps both connected. There is not always a lot of room for creativity at work, so I find both these hobbies allow me to channel my creativity.
5/ You Can Become Consumed. There are days when I can’t stop writing because if I do, I’ll lose my flow. Even when I’m not actually writing, I spend a lot of time thinking about what to publish next, how to write a race recap when there’s little to say or how to approach a difficult subject. Sometimes, mid-conversation, someone will say something that stimulates a random blog idea. The same goes for running, who knew there were so many calculations to work out? How many kilometres per week do I need to achieve my 2022km now that I’m off target? What pace will I need for a PB? Where can I get a hill workout done? How can I squeeze in a run tomorrow with all my deadlines? What time do I need to leave for my run to get back on time for this event?
6/ Both Are Hard Work. The other day I asked myself, what would I do if I wasn’t a runner? And my first thought was, I’d have more lie-ins! It takes a lot to run consistently – to get out before the harsh sun, to squeeze it in on days when there’s a lot to do, to just challenge our default to do less. It is hard work. And so is blogging. I don’t think people realise just how much work goes on behind the scenes – thinking of topics and angles, taking photos, labelling those photos, writing, editing, publishing and sharing to social media, plus ensuring active engagement. It’s a lot. Now take the two activities together and you’ve got a full-time job alongside your real job!
7/ You Have Good and Bad Days. There are days when I just have the worst runs – where nothing seems to come together, the body aches, my mental game is off, and it takes everything to just finish the run. Similarly, there are days I can spend hours on a blog feeling completely uninspired – every sentence feels hard, and paragraphs seem disjointed. On a really bad writing day, I’ll even delete the post in frustration. But there are many days, I want to keep running even past the set mileage or I pull off three or four blogs in one weekend, saving them with great excitement for future publishing dates. Those are the running and blogging days I live for… but the bad ones can’t be discounted because they teach us to appreciate the good days.
8/ They Are Both Rewarding. Even with all the hard work, the bad or slow days, I’ve found both running and blogging to be such fulfilling experiences. I’ve learnt so much about myself, I’ve connected with amazing people around the world, I’ve become stronger and more creative, I’m more resilient and determined, and I’m truly happier for having both these in my life.
If you run and blog/write, let me know what other similarities you see! Do you write about running? If you don’t, what topics do you write about? What came first for you – running or blogging? What do you enjoy more? Have you ever thought of giving either of them up?
I’m joining the link-up, Runner’s Roundup with Mile By Mile, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs, and Running on Happy! Hop on over to their blogs and others and be inspired!