Why I Run / by Dario Branco

It has been a while, my friends. I have been obsessing with my next trip for the last two months and there’s two more to go. I may or may not start writing about it soon since is going to be a real adventure. Don’t worry. I will keep you posted.

But today is all about why I run. As is custom, i been thinking writing about it but never felt that it was something worth sharing until today.

First things first. I don’t like to run. The main reason? Is boring. I don’t like to run coming back to the starting point when I am going against the wind which is almost all the time. I don’t like to run when is cold. I don't run when is raining. I don’t like to run when there’s a lot of people on the sidewalk. I don’t like to run when is dark. I don’t like to run with headphones, my phone, glasses, hat, t-shirt, shorts (yes, if I could run naked, I would), I don’t like to run with other people. I don’t like the blisters on my feet when I stop and get back at it a few weeks later. Everything about running pisses me off.

With that said. I love how I feel after running. It took me a while to figure out how to “enjoy” running but now is something I have to do regularly. Not only for the physical aspect but also for the mental.

When I first started running it was mostly because i was feeling way out of shape. It was when I first started a job that required me to be seated for long periods of time. And, to be honest, my diet was not the best at the time. It all started when I started to think when I used to practice TaeKwonDo. Being younger is a factor for sure but I was still exercising almost every day, eating whatever I want and not getting out of shape. Thinking about those days gave me the push to start exercising again.

The first time I could barely run for 20min, was barely breathing and my muscles were exploding. When I was not sore I went for it again and tried to go for 30min. After a while, I was going day in and day out and a few months in I managed to finish 10km in less than one hour. Two years in and i run 10km in 45min.

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Today, June 10, 2019, I tried to run a half marathon. Which I failed. Most of the days I feel how much I want to run. I try to listen to my body and know my limits. As of today, my limit is 16Km. The rest of the distance I walked. But I was pissed because i did not achieve my “goal”. I feel I can do it but today was not the day.

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To me, the reason for running has changed from getting in shape to breaking my previous limits. Going from barely making 20min to running 16km is a personal victory. And it has been a learning experience along the way.

Two years ago I was running with hiking shoes, phone on the shorts pocket, headphones with cables hanging, then wireless headphones always moving around, glasses, normal shirt. Taking a water bottle and being irritated because I did not have a comfortable way to take it. Tried to create a Couchsurfing running group and a couple of guys joined. They were cool people but i learned that I prefer to run alone. It would distract me having to make conversation and make stops. I like to think while running and stopping breaks my rhythm. I felt I was doing wrong.

I learned that the fewer things I have the better I feel. I don’t have to adjust the headphones or glasses every ten seconds and i am more aware of my surroundings. It is amazing being unplugged for at least 50min every time i run. No phone. No internet. If someone calls or needs anything, too bad. Everyone should try. I also realized the gear is somewhat important, especially the running shoes. Last year saw a promotion of some shoes and I decide to buy them and this was the first time I was able to run 10km below 48min. Meanwhile, the shoes got completely messed up and i bought new ones. Wasn’t expecting to do it so soon but since I have the new shoes I managed to run 10Km in 45min.

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Since I achieved my goal for 2019, run 10Km in less than 47min, what is next?

Try to get as close to 44min and run a half marathon.

Just in case you are curious, here is the list of gear i use when i am running.
Shoes - 2018 main running shoes very light and thin Reebok Floatride RS ULTK
2019 upgrade Nike Revolution not sure why but i got faster with these ones. My guess? Air Cushin?
Socks - Kalenji Comfort Mid
Shorts - Kalenji Marathon Shorts
Shirt Colder weather - Kalenji Run Warm
Shirt Very Warm Weather Shirt - Kalenji Run Dry
Shirt - Kalenji Run Dry
Tracking Watch - Started with the Tom Tom GPS Runner but upgraded to the Garmin Fenix 5X.
More on that later but know that if you only want to run the Tom Tom is good enough.

If you ignore the watch (but you want some alternatives here are the best sellers on Amazon.es) running is not a very expensive hobbie.

As for tips while running I can only share what works for me.


2 - Go by rhythm no matter the time or distance you run.

3 - Don’t carry a lot of gadgets and accessories with you.

4 - Are you going to run in the Olympics? Don’t go crazy. Incremental improvements over time.

5 - Participate in online challenges or makes goals for yourself. Strava and Run Keeper have some good challenges. I got a discount on the TomTom watch for being able to finish one challenge.


7 - I always run and feel better when I eat a pizza the day before. Something to try?

Don’t trust me? Here’s some expert advice.

What lesson do I take from running? As I said in the beginning, I don’t like to run. It may seem like it but I don’t. Is something I make myself do. It forces me to have small goals and improve over time. That part is the one I love. The improvement over time.

Hope you enjoyed today’s post.