Your limit, your motivation, your challenge!

To paraphrase British poet and Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Rudyard Kipling: With 60 seconds of bold running, the world is your oyster. A sentiment that wonderfully captures the magic of running, written in 1892, four years before the first modern Olympic Games in Athens!

Today Kipling would probably turn the 60 seconds into 120 minutes, the mythic two-hour barrier in the marathon.

Everyone has their own limits. Expanding them feels great, including when running. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the stabilizing effect of running in terms of emotions. And that’s regardless of performance ideals and personal records.

You have probably already experienced how running charges you with positive emotions. That’s why leading psychologists also recommend it for improving mental strength. Endurance sports clear the mind, increase the ability to concentrate, demonstrably ensure better sleep and brighten the mood: because the movement increases the amount of the “happiness” hormone serotonin in the blood. You can even help your memory through running. It is not important where you run, but that you run. What makes you happy is the increased self-respect that goes hand in hand with the performance you achieve.

Is your range of motion restricted? No problem: you can adapt your run to your individual requirements. Run alone in nature if you can. Run a half marathon in the stairwell if you can’t get out but want to climb. Or run fast interval drills between walls if your activities are limited to your own home. Something is always possible.

Top runners spur us on

As if he anticipated the conditions athletes worldwide would soon face, Germany’s Florian Neuschwander, a multiple national winner of the Wings for Life World Run, set a new world record at the end of February 2020. In just 2:57:25 hours, he ran 50 kilometers on a treadmill. "I knew the last few kilometers were going to be tough, but I dug deep ... there was no going back!" he said. Just six weeks later, Swiss orienteer Matthias Kyburz topped Flo’s record at 2:56:35 hours. He told Swiss broadcaster SRF, “It is incredible that I did it.… I will go home, lie down on the sofa and eat a bunch of chocolate.”

Do you have a crazy running idea? Make it happen!

Such stories are motivating – for some runners, just thinking of chocolate is enough. Of course, not everyone has a home treadmill to pound and break records, even if they are only very personal records. But maybe you have your own crazy ideas. Create a goal to expand your own personal limits and challenge yourself! It's easy because no one is dictating what to do. You set your own rules. And if you hit a low spot: imagine the Catcher Car chasing you and pushing you to give your best. Your limit, your motivation, your challenge! And a perfect preparation for your race in the Wings for Life World Run on May 3, 2020 against the virtual Catcher Car on your App.

Send us photos or video clips of your running challenge. A hundred laps around the kitchen table, an obstacle course over toilet paper rolls in your yard, a race against a toy electric auto as the “Catcher Car” – whatever you can think of. And share your experiences with the Wings for Life World Run community via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! #wingsforlife

Every activity is important. Every story can motivate others to get moving and thereby spread the good mood. That’s exactly what’s needed now! Because the most important thing is: Together we run for everyone who can't do it themselves.