Running is hard. So hard that you'd have to be a bit tapped in the head to want to do it willingly. Yet millions of people do. So, why do we all like subjecting ourselves to the huge levels of pain and suffering that running brings?

Well, running works, you see. It works well when you are a fatty and need to lose weight. It works when you can't do a flight of stairs without puffing and wheezing.

Even when you can do all those things, running will still make you fitter and stronger.

But let's not get carried away.

Running will do those things. But be aware, there is a need to suffer. Because if you are choosing running as your main fitness tool, you will suffer.

Suffer? I don't want that...

I don't mean the literal dictionary definition.  You can suffer in a good way too.

For example, running and pushing yourself to run the best you can. That takes effort, of course it does.

The process of expending that effort is a form of suffering - good suffering. Those extra pounds won't come off unless you put the effort in.

You won't be able to run faster unless you put the effort in. More effort, more pain. Ergo, more suffering. Good suffering.

Why do it, then?

Because it works. If you apply yourself to running (keep getting out there) you will lose weight. You will feel fitter and your health will improve.

But if that's not enough, keep this in mind: you'll feel better too. As in, you'll feel better about yourself. You'll feel like you are achieving something. And your clothes won't need as many 'x's on the labels.

Here's the kicker...

All that feeling good stuff is fine. But running has a simplicity to it that makes it easy to fall in love with.

Pull on the shorts and trainers and off you go.

No faffing about with gym bags. Or travelling miles to the gym.

No fooling around trying to get a bike out of the garage. Then wearing lycra and crash helmets.

You can run wherever you, whenever you feel like it. It is freedom.

Challenging yourself

Running is a good way to challenge yourself. In fact, it's good to learn to ignore what others are doing.

It is about what you can do.

Everyone has different abilities. I'm the slowest runner there is. But I can still work hard to do better, go further and get fitter.

I don't give a crap that lots of people are faster than me. I only care about pushing myself to new goals.

So...

If you need to lose a few pounds, want to get fitter or just love the great outdoors, go running. You won't regret it.