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What Is The “Running Is My Recess” Campaign?

Don't you think adults need recess just as much as kids?

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

What Is The "Running Is My Recess" Movement?

The rise of the early morning sun on your favorite trail.

That feeling of pumped up excitement when you nail a speed workout on the track.

The disbelief and awe that you just finished a 1 mile run for the FIRST time ever.

Running through wind, rain, snow or heat—it doesn’t matter the conditions. All that matters is that you got it done.

Grinding away on the treadmill while your kid is building legos.

Fitting in a lunchtime run during work, because it’s a priority.

We run for so many reasons, but the bottom line is: it’s OUR TIME. It’s our sacred space to ponder, explore, push ourselves and play.

Running is our recess time.

Whether you lacing up for the first time, coming back from injury, trying to stay fit or training for a big goal, we love to run.

The Origins Of Running Is My Recess

Last September, I gleefully tearfully escorted my kids into school after a fun-filled, sun drenched, and adventuresome long summer. Later in the day, I went for a run and it was utterly glorious. I spent the summer battling an injury. I was crushed by the fact that I had to cancel a marathon I was so pumped about. My running was coming along slowly but surely. Each small block of time that I reserved to go for a run was a true gift. I felt like I was finally on the right track to being able to train again. The goals were starting to simmer with promise.

The sky was clear and the sun blazed bright on that bright summer day. I took a breath of crisp sea air and I felt absolutely…free.
”This is MY time,” I thought to myself, “Just for me. I don’t care about the work I have to do, the laundry I need to fold, the bills I need to pay, the dinner that is waiting to be prepared. I’m blocking all of it out and just focusing on feeling my legs turn over. I love how powerful my arms feel right now. I’m thinking about the deep breath I just took and the next one I am going to take. Right now I feel unstoppable.”

“I can’t believe that I get to do this everyday if I want. This is truly my playtime—my RECESS.”

I can’t recall if that afternoon run was thirty, forty-five or sixty minutes, but I lost track of time. Suddenly, it’s over and I was back to work, back to being a Mom and back to the thousand other hats to wear.

Runners grasp onto that moment, and relish the sweat and sense of accomplishment. It’s a standing date that’s attached to you—part of your well being. 

I brush my teeth. I run. That is when Running Is My Recess was born. I couldn’t get the phrase out of my head and I kept pondering the idea. It was the possibility of turning the seed of an idea into a space where everyone would feel welcome. Runners of all abilities, shapes, sizes could gather. It could be a place to share what makes running your time to breathe and get away for a while.

Children get up every morning, eat breakfast, get dressed and go to school. I can’t imagine there is a school on planet earth that doesn’t allow them to have time to play during their day. Kids have to run, jump, stretch their legs, play games and socialize with their friends.
 How are we any different?

Adults need to carve out time in the midst of stress filled, responsibility laden days. Some people knit. Others go on a bike ride. Some read a book, hike, surf, sail, golf—the list is practically endless. That time is something we latch onto, plan and look forward to. It helps us keep a clear mind and continue to work hard. We are runners. WE RUN. Yes, of course we have other interests, but we well know running becomes part of us. Even when we go away from it for a while, there is always a magnet drawing us back.
 Grownups need playtime just as much as kids (maybe more). That is what running is: our recess.

Even on those hard days, when you are grinding away five 1-mile repeats, running 16 miles with half at race pace or simply pushing yourself out the door for three miles, it’s still ultimately enjoyable. You never regret a run once it’s over. Of course not every run is life-changing and magical. Some days really suck, but deep down we love it. The sports drives us. We still keep coming back to it and exploring the possibilities.

Join The Movement

Join us as we navigate our way to become better runners and better people. Tag your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #runningismyrecess so we can grow this awesome community. We can inspire each other in ways that are unimaginable.

I’ve just launched a T-shirt, tank and mug. Join the Running Is My Recess movement and check them out!

We all love to give back, right? For every purchase of a Running Is My Recess product, 10 percent of the sale will go directly to Students Run LA. SRLA is a wonderful organization that supports at-risk youth to train and run the LA Marathon. For many of these high school kids, this is their first introduction to running and a huge accomplishment to run a marathon. Every $350 raised will fully provide a student with a training shirt, entry fees, race day support, transportation and more for an entire season.

Running Is My Recess is also now on Instagram and Twitter. Hashtag your photos #runningismyrecess. Join the movement. Be inspired AND donate money to a great cause.

To the person sitting on the couch right now debating on why they would ever consider running—I encourage you to try.

Through good times and bad, it will change your life.


Natalie (NatRunsFar)