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Signs of a Running Addiction

Is There Such a Thing as a Running Addiction?

Recently in an interview with Runner's World, hip-hop artist Eminem talked about running and admitted that:

"You kind of go from one addiction to the next. And I'm an addict. It was a little too much; it was a little extreme. It was a total of 17 miles [a day]." Running close to 20 miles is great if you're training for a marathon, but not something your body can handle every day.

Many people say they're "addicted to running," but usually this is a positive addiction, meaning it offers only benefits, such as stress relief and weight loss. There is such a thing as a negative addiction when it comes to running though, and it falls under the category of exercise addiction. You see there's a big difference between running complementing your life and running being your life.

To learn what the signs of a running addiction are


If you're obsessed with running, and are compulsive about getting in a run regardless of other commitments, the weather, or injuries, then you could be considered an addict. You may also have an exercise addiction if you feel guilty when you don't run, or if you work out for a duration, intensity, and frequency that's beyond what's considered normal. Some addicts talk about nothing but running, and even skip out on work just to exercise.

There's nothing wrong with loving and needing to run, both for your physical and emotional well-being, but when running begins to have negative effects on your spirit and your body, then it's time to get some help. Talk to your doctor, a personal trainer, a therapist, or a fellow runner, if these signs sound familiar.


fryebrandon1 fryebrandon1 4 years
In recent weeks I've really ramped up my mileage because I'm training for a marathon. My friends and family are starting to question my running and asking if it may be an addiction. I run about 4 or 5 days a week, logging around 45 miles. I guess running can be an addiction. For me, it's not interfering with my life or relationships. It allows me to get outside of myself, experience nature, and become closer to God. I decided to address this issue in a recent article. I believe it's healthy to question yourself from time to time, so I did just that.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I love knowing my body is capable of running. :D It's such a good feeling to get out there into the local park and run 3-8k without any issue.
telane telane 8 years
Well, I love running, and I do get a little desperate for it after a couple of days without it, but I don't know that I would consider myself addicted. I am not about to go outside in 80% humidity and 85 degree weather (without the heat index) to run my 3 mile course. No thank you on that one, even though I have been getting more and more anxious to go because it has been storming every morning that I get up to run.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Of course it's possible to become addicted to exercise. Addiction to exercise often couples with eating disorders. However, I'm willing to bet most people who say, "I'm addicted to running," aren't actually addicted.
darc5204 darc5204 8 years
I'm bothered by the statement "beyond what's considered normal". Everyone has a different concept of "normal" exercise, and like spacekatgirl said, there are plenty of people who find any regular exercise excessive.
missyd missyd 8 years
HA HA I *had* to read this to see how many people would jump on it and say "Oh my god! I AM AN ADDICT!" LOLOLOLOLOLOL
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Throwing the flag on "17 miles a day" ... I also find that people throw around the word "addiction" when it doesn't really apply.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 8 years
Two days without a run, and I feel a little nuts...
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I do agree that addiction can manifest itself in a number of ways. Maybe people once they give up drugs become addicted to other things, cigarettes, food, TV, exercise. But I call BS on his 17 mile a day running habit. that sounds like an embellishment to me.
gumdrops334 gumdrops334 8 years
I don't think I could ever be addicted to running. I like the feeling DURING and AFTER I run, but getting myself to go do it is another issue. I wish I had the desire as much as some do. However, being so obsessive about it that it takes over your life is scary. Running 20 miles a day is only normal if you are training for a marathon.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I'm addicted to exercise, too, but I don't think it's that extreme. I tend to have an addictive personality like Eminem and I guess I'd rather be addicted to exercise than to drugs or gambling or alcohol. Sometimes I'll spend over an hour or two working out, but then again, some people spend hours a day playing World of Warcraft or vegging in front of the TV.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
wow. some are addicted to tv (me), and some are to running. maybe scientists can find the gene responsible for this and make adjustments so we all can enjoy healthy quantities of tv and running.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Yes, as I'm a self-described addict. I'm addicted to other exercise, too, like dancing, weight-training, etc. These days, biking is growing on me, too. LOL
lydialee_home lydialee_home 8 years
I love to exercise and I feel uneasy if I did not exercise. I do not know if this is addicted or not - but there is only +ve effect from my exercise. And I alternate run/swim/bike/weight training everyday so I am not stuck in one form of exercise alone.
Alyssa9986 Alyssa9986 8 years
I'm not necessarily addicted to running, HOWEVER I have been known to become a little too addicted to working out in general. Some days I just feel like working out for 2, maybe 3 hours...for me, it's an amazing stress reliever and I just feel a lot better if I'm anxious over anything.
michlny michlny 8 years
I'm an ADDICT and I'm proud!
fizzymartini fizzymartini 8 years
Hmmm, I used to be, and now I wish I was. I'm supposed to be doing an organised Niketown run... well, right now, really. But for the past 4 weeks, work has stopped me from attending, and now I've just completely lost the flow. And I'm way too sleepy to run now :( Even sadder - I actually wore my running gear under my work clothes today in an effort to run. Looks like I'll be going home in them again...
Evalicious Evalicious 8 years
I LOVE to run, and I am addicted to it - but not to the point mentioned above, it is such a great stress reliever!
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