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Why I run (An Italian Perspective)

18 November 2011

By Brian:

Why do I run?  This is a question that would be quite difficult to answer because it has now become something I just do, like why most people watch TV.  They come home, sit on the sofa and switch on the TV, there’s no thought process to it, they just do it because that’s what you do when you come home from work. It’s the same for me with running.  Although I love getting outdoors, I don’t take great pleasure whilst actually running unless, perversely, it’s in heavy rain. I always feel great afterwards though, which is probably the point; I think this feeling could also be due to having a nice hot shower and the guilt-free eating and drinking that ensues.

When I was younger I was very active, in addition to eating and drinking: football, walking, tennis and martial arts were all a part of my daily routine, but then I moved to London and I stopped doing everything, except the eating and drinking, which at the time were definitely not guilt-free. However that was 15 years ago, and I now live surrounded by the awesome beauty of Italian Alps.

I eventually got my act together and started running.

So, why did I start running?  Now, that’s an easier question to answer.  I started just over three years ago due to a personal crisis, which I won’t go into here. This compelled me to get out of the house, thus giving me an opportunity to try and resolve certain problems and also fantasise about how I would spend that lottery win (I still do this now as I never listen to music while running).  In sorting out my head it helped me tremendously, especially when I started shedding weight, I lost about 9kg in two/three months; it was nice to feel svelte again.

My running schedule is very regular (four or five times a week), but lacks focus due to the fact that I’ve never entered any races, a situation I hope to change next year.  I have three main routes that I use, well I say routes, they’re all along the same cycle path which follows the River Adige.  The distances I run are: 8k (when I’m tired), 11k (my regular distance) and 14k (my weekly long run).  I can’t tell you my personal bests for each distance because I’ve never done a race and Notajogger reckons training doesn’t count. However, I can say that if I entered a 10k race, I would expect a sub-42min-race and my target would be 40 min.

For those who may be interested, here are my monthly distances and times for the last 6 months:


85.0 km



150.0 km



176.0 km



139.0 km



177.0 km



180.0 km


The distances usually drop off during the late-summer due to the ridiculous heat in Italy and I also visit the UK, where I mainly do forest runs and I don’t keep an accurate log of distances run.

Next time I hope to take you on a run down the River Adige with me.

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