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Run For Your Life: Every Mile Has a Purpose, Make the Most of These 10 Types

Posted Feb 04 2014 2:11pm

Hey Runner Friends! Hey Trunning benefitsuesday!

If you are a runner, you know that each mile is unique.

They’re not all easy, but each mile is worthwhile and serves us some way. I think a great way to approach a run is, “What purpose will my miles serve?” Some might not be clear, and that’s cool too. Hey, some of the best things come from out of the blue! But going into it, recognizing that each mile offers the opportunity to learn, to enjoy, to grow, to be challenged…and that it’s important to respect what each mile gives you and keep in mind that…

Read on for the 10 Types of Miles We Run…and how each is valuable in its own way.

1. The Get in the Groove Mile

This mile is typically the first mile, but not always. It’s where our brain gears our body up for the miles ahead. You might tell yourself “Here we go!” and, “You got this!” or envision yourself at the end of the run, successfully sweaty and happy.

2. The Master Plan Mile

This mile is usually the second mile where you’re reviewing your route, reminding yourself to breathe and, for me, to push my elbows back and not have crazy arms. You go over what you know. You reassure yourself.

3. The Brainstorm Mile

Running can be a great way to generate new ideas and to let your creative juices flow. During this mile, you plot out to-do lists, organize your thoughts, plan your week’s meals, and even conjure up blog post ideas! This mile gives you the opportunity to get things in order or fire up some new plans.

4. The Zen Mile

This mile is quite peaceful. Mind and body are one, your thoughts are clear and you’re in tune with your pace, feet touching the ground, wind breezing by, sounds of nature (or of a bustling city!). Running as meditation – ommmm.

5. The Too Legit To Quit Mile

This is the mile where you could go either way – you could keep pushing or you could stop. But you keep going, because you know you’d be disappointed in yourself if you listened to the voice that told you, “Just stop now” instead of, “Just go a little further.” So you run on, and you’re glad you did. running benefits

6. The Ultimate Test Mile

This mile takes everything you’ve got. It’s tough. Your level of misery might be sky high. You challenge yourself to push even harder, to embrace the suck and to conquer it. You give it your all, even when your body is begging you to stop. You’ve got to do this, you’ve just got to.

7. The Cloud 9 Mile

You’re basically Forrest Gump and you could just keep running and running and running…You feel unstoppable! Running is the best thing ever and you’re the best runner out there. There’s nothing else you’d rather be doing…thank you lungs, thank you legs, thank you feet, thank you WORLD!

8. The Head Full of Doubt Mile

It’s during this mile you start questioning yourself, asking, “Can I do this?” Your only enemy is your own self-doubt. The voices in your head can gang up on you, and you’re trying to overpower them with messages of strength and self-assurance. You don’t want the doubt to mess with your run. You tell the voices of doubt to SHUT UP and GET LOST! You hang on.

9. The Push it Real Good Mile

You’re almost at your goal and you can practically taste the success waiting for you. You’re doing just fine, you know you’ve got it, and you push it just a little harder, a little faster. You’re breaking into that extra energy store you reserve for just this purpose. Almost there, let’s finish strong!

running benefits

My Victory Mile Pose!

10. The Victory Mile

You did it! You made it. You’re proud, you’re relieved, you’re grateful. That runner’s high kicks in and you actually spend a few minutes congratulating yourself for a j

ob well done before analyzing what your next goal is or what you want to improve upon. What a nice concept!

These unique miles are what makes a run SO AMAZING. Why? The expectation is not always perfection. The expectation is to give it your best and let each mile serve its unique purpose. When you embrace this concept, making the most of every mile,  you feel like you’ve achieved so much more than “run for _x_ miles” – it transcends that. When every mile has a purpose, you achieve a sense of renewal, of clarity, and inspiration along the way. 

PS: If you are reading this and saying “No! All my miles are the same!” we need to #Runchat because I have to hear what’s up!

Happy Running!

Let’s Talk: Am I missing any? What miles do YOU run? How do you define a “good” run? Have you ever finished a run and discovered it served a different purpose than you expected?


(Ruthie is a teacher and health and fitness blogger. She is a dedicated runner, enthusiastic healthy-eater, and devoted work out experimenter. Her goal is to educate, inspire, and entertain others along their quest for health and happiness. Follow her on Twitter @SWHealthyBlog and at her blog, She’s Wicked Healthy .)

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