Top 10 Benefits of Distance Running

Although there may be lists about running in general, I intend for this one to more specifically focus on the distance aspect of the sport and how it will affect you.
The Top Ten
1 The community

The running community is well known as an accepting sort of family. Distance runners are like the odd cousins in the family. They all have odd quirks and beliefs (barefoot running, footwear, pre-race habits, etc.) and are very passionate about the sport. I have found that they are one of the best communities because they'll accept anyone willing to join the sport, and they will happily fill you in on everything.

2 Mental benefits

It's known that running causes the release of chemicals that cause pleasure (endorphins), especially when you run at just the right pace. Not only this, but running, especially distance, is a sort of therapy where you can think of everyday struggles.

3 It's an escape

I have found that everyday stress and other aspects of life seem to disappear when I run. It's just me, the trail, and my music. It's like when you go somewhere where you know nothing will hurt you or stress you out. Kind of like home in a way.

4 You get to explore

You can find new roads and trails around your house and community. You can find a new favorite place to go, and new favorite views in your area.

5 It helps you learn to navigate

I have found, on too many occasions, that people don't know the area by where they live or work. This can be a problem for many reasons, which I'm not going to get into right now because this is a list about running. Anyway, I've learned every street for miles in each direction because of running. I've seen neighborhoods I'd otherwise never wander into.

I'll be honest, I have run a lot and I am still terrible at navigating, but good list nonetheless.

6 You can eat just about anything

I can literally eat 4,000 calories a day and not gain weight because I just burn it off. Running allows you to basically eat and drink whatever without worrying about gaining weight. Of course, I'm not saying drink two liters of Coke every day, but you don't have to constantly think about your eating habits.

7 It makes you look better

Because so many muscles work at running, it is one of the best ways to look better muscle-wise. Many people who run a lot have six packs and stuff like that. I'm not saying everyone will, but this most definitely can be viewed as a benefit.

8 It creates a better self image

You'll find that once you run for a while, you'll start appreciating yourself more. I don't know exactly why this is, but I'm assuming it's because you realize what you're capable of and how great you really are. Do be aware though, that comparing yourself to better runners will not help with this.

9 It makes you better at many other sports or activities

Of course, it increases endurance, but it also leads to you having more energy. You'll have to breathe less and will be able to catch your breath faster. The added muscle on your legs will help with jumping. I don't know many activities where increased endurance and better cardiovascular health are detrimental.

10 Increases quality of life

It gives a sense of purpose and something to do each day. You'll most likely find great friends and find many benefits if you commit to it.

The Contenders
11 You learn more about yourself
12 You become more disciplined
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