Why do I Run? Embracing the Off-season from Racing

Posted by | October 04, 2014 | Balanced Runner, Training, Why I Run | 12 Comments
Hike in Short Hills

In the off-season from racing, remember to ask yourself, “WHY DO I RUN?”

Back to the Basics:  I am running for the pure fun and thrill of it.  It has been a couple of years since I have had a true off season from racing.  Here I am, taking a break from competing for a couple of months and remembering “Why I run, and swim and bike!”  In the absences of a race, I get back to the basics of simply enjoying this physical activity and benefiting from the peace and joy it brings into my life.  In the hype of a big race, I can get very caught up in time targets and in achieving a certain goal.  It is imperative to return to the place of running and exercising for the simple pleasure of it.  I am enjoying long runs with friends and enjoying pushing myself in tempo and interval runs on my own.   I am slowly increasing my running mileage again.  I am out running five days a week once again and slowly building the distance of my runs.

I am starting to look forward to racing again.  My next races will be fun trail races along the Bruce Trail, part of the Aktiv Trail Run Series put on by Trysport Niagara.  Trail running at this time of year is glorious and it is a great way to build strength, as one must navigate the uneven and undulating terrain of the trails.

aktiv trail races

I am contemplating my goals for the next year. I want to train smart and know what my keys races will be.  I have appreciated the input of friends and coaches, who have offered me excellent suggestions.  They have confirmed what I had thought (but was second guessing), that I want to get faster at the shorter distances in triathlon, before one day attempting a full Ironman.

Why Do I Run?

  • For the pure joy of the physical activity of running; Using my body to do what it was made to do.
  • To push my own limits and challenge myself
  • To enjoy nature.  There are so many beautiful trails in Niagara, along the lake and along the escarpment
  • To set a good example for my children of living a healthy lifestyle.
  • To participate in the community, running with friends and being part of training groups
  • To spend time with God
  • To stay healthy, both physically and mentally
  • To unwind from stress  and clear my mind

Why Do You Run (bike, swim)?

Add your reasons below (you need to scroll down a bit); I really want to hear from you!  Everyone who comments on this article will be entered into a draw for a prize.

See you out on the trails!


James posted a link to this article on reddit, and the responses were great! We wanted to share them here as well:

koffeekev: i run because i can. having CP, a lot of people say i shouldn’t. yeah, i’ve hurt myself, so what? i can’t move forward without failing a few times.

megagreg: What else am I going to do, watch TV all night?

bah77: Its like a pyramid scheme i have already put 1000’s of km in to, and if i stop i will lose that investment.

goodsam1: I run because cardio/running frequently come into life and I got tired of sucking at it. Also I think I am hooked now, I think I have hit runner’s high at a mile.

abelcc: I’m preparing myself for when my life depends on running a long distance fast. When a meteor suddenly falls and the roads are collapsed I’ll run to safety.

dropdeaddaisy: This morning it was to see the fall colours and feel the breeze in my hair!

Janine Moffett

About Janine Moffett

I am a mother of three incredible children, work full time as an instructor therapist, and love to run. I have run 11 marathons, with a personal best of 2:57. This past April I ran my third Boston Marathon. I love challenges and began exploring the world of triathlons in 2014. I completed my first half Ironman at Muskoka in fall 2014 and came first in my age group. Now I am taking on the challenge of a Full Ironman, which I am planning for September, 2015. I believe we need to keep trying new things and embrace life to the fullest. I hope I can provide inspiration and insights to others.


  • Caleb Moffett says:

    I swim, mainly because I enjoy it. I have fun when I swim and I like to push myself in the pool. I also swim to stay fit and healthy, both physically and mentally. Yay for swimming!

    • Christine Arsenault says:

      Oh Caleb, you are a great swimmer. Training is so much fun! You can only work really hard at something you love. :)

  • Nate Nate says:

    I run to get my butt out of bed in the early morning, to meet up with my friends who continue to challenge me and make me faster. I run to be able to run after my littlest and to keep up with my older boys!…there are so many reasons why I run….

  • Grace says:

    I don’t run, but I have always thought about starting. Maybe this fall I finally will. I only bike and swim for fun, but I do both of those because it’s so fun and feel good. I love getting my body moving and being outdoors.

  • Dave Smith says:

    I had to take up biking last summer due to some nagging running injuries, but once I got back to running I realize how much I

  • Dave Smith says:

    Must of hit the wrong button, so I’ll continue. You don’t know how much you miss running until you are sidelined for a while. As much as I like biking it just doesn’t compare. I have great group of 4 that I run with in the morning and weekend that inspire me with their motivation. I can always count on them to be ready for that 5:30 am run. I also run with the St.Catharines Road Runners on Wednesday evening . I have been running since High school and still look forward to putting on my shoes and heading out the door.

  • James Moffett James Moffett says:

    Recently, when I’ve gone for a run I’ve thought of my son, Elijah, born with a heart condition. His recent heart surgery made me think about how much energy and medical intervention has gone into keeping his heart healthy… meanwhile I have not done nearly enough to keep my own heart healthy. I don’t want my heart to be in bad shape just because I couldn’t be bothered to take care of it. So I run.

    I know, it sounds sentimental and corny and overly emotional. But that is actually what’s been my motivation for running lately.

  • sue damiano says:

    running is more fun than cleaning the house! i run and exercise for a healthy lifestyle physically and mentally; i like to set a good example for my kids and love to see them at the finish line after i finish my race!…..i am inspired by my 11 year old son who has Type 1 diabetes and never lets it stop him; he competes in swimming and running….being athletic helps him stay in shape! i encourage everyone to get out and run or even walk fast!!! good luck everyone

  • Annette Lyons says:

    I run for the calm it gives me. It releases my stress and gives me a sence of self accomplishment nothing else has. I also run to remind myself that there was a time when i said “no way can i do that” and now i have my 1st half marathon next weekend. My running has let me know that i can accomplish anything i set my mind to. I run to hopefully inspire others like janine inspired me. I was debating not going for my run today because i woke up with a slight head cold but after reading and posting this i realise that i will be going and i will enjoy every moment of this beautiful earth we live on!

    • Janine Moffett Janine Moffett says:

      Annette, So glad to hear that you have kept up the running and now you are doing a half marathon!! When I did a runner profile on you, I think 5km was your goal! So proud of you and so happy that I was able to encourage you! Keep it up and keep me posted on how your race goes!

  • sam says:

    Well, I haven’t actually run for 10 years now ( it was hard pushing heavy twins around, so I stopped)
    But remember running up and around Lynn Valley James? Janine, you practically pushed us out the door and got us going just after Christmas 12 years ago I believe. I ran 3 halfs, a couple 10′ s and My First Triathlon in 2 years.
    Even though I ran slooooowly I had a blast. I was addicted to running – loved it.
    I keep trying to start again, even bought a pair of runners, but I either get sick, am exhausted or couldn’t be bothered :)
    Hey Janine, maybe this will give me the shove I need again!
    Thanks and lots of love.
    Great website

    • Janine Moffett Janine Moffett says:

      So great to hear from you and such happy memories! I am sure you will get out there running again – even if just to keep up with your wonderful children! Hoping some day to be back in BC and go for a hike or run with you again!

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