20 Mind-Blowing Facts About Running

Step App Team
January 29, 2024

Step into the world of running, an activity that's more than just a physical exercise; it's a journey into the heart of human endurance and resilience. Running has been a part of our lives for over 2.6 million years, evolving from a survival necessity to a celebrated form of exercise and sport. In this article, we explore the fascinating aspects of running, from its impact on our bodies and minds to its role in shaping human history and culture. Whether you're a seasoned runner or just starting, these insights will inspire you to embrace running in your life.

The Evolution of Running

Humans' ability to run long distances, developed around 2.6 million years ago, was crucial for survival, primarily for hunting and escaping predators. This evolutionary trait, deeply embedded in our DNA, distinguishes us from other species and has been pivotal in our development as hunters and gatherers. The act of running, which today we often take for granted, was once a key factor in the survival and evolution of early humans.

Running and Endurance

Humans excel in endurance running compared to most animals, except for a few like cats, rabbits, and kangaroos. This unique ability is not just about physical stamina but also about thermoregulation - our body's capacity to manage heat effectively during long runs. This endurance has been a significant factor in our evolutionary success, allowing early humans to hunt and traverse vast distances.

The Surprising Origin of Running Shoes

The global sale of over 1 billion pairs of running shoes annually is a testament to their importance in modern fitness. The origin of running shoes is quite fascinating, with the first Nike shoe soles created using a waffle iron by co-founder Bill Bowerman in 1972. This innovation marked a significant leap in athletic footwear, providing runners with better traction and revolutionizing the design of running shoes.

Calorie Burning Efficiency

Running is known for its high calorie-burning efficiency, burning approximately 104.3 calories per mile at a 10-minute per-mile pace. This makes it an excellent exercise for weight management and cardiovascular health. The energy expenditure in running varies based on pace, weight, and running efficiency, making it a versatile workout for people of different fitness levels.

The Heart's Power in Running

The human heart's ability to create enough pressure to squirt blood up to 30 feet while running is a remarkable feat of human physiology. This demonstrates the incredible power and endurance of our cardiovascular system during exercise, highlighting the heart's role in sustaining prolonged physical activity and its adaptation to high-intensity workouts like running.

Running's Impact on Bone Health

Regular running significantly improves long-term bone stability and density. Studies indicate that just 12-20 minutes of running three times a week can lead to a noticeable increase in bone mineral density, making it an effective exercise for combating osteoporosis and strengthening skeletal structure.

Marathon Milestones

The Boston Marathon, the world's oldest annual marathon, established in 1897, and the inclusion of women in the 1972 Boston Marathon, mark significant milestones in marathon history. These events reflect the evolving nature of running from an elite, male-dominated sport to an inclusive activity that celebrates diversity and gender equality.

Record-Breaking Runners

The fastest mile record set by Moroccan Hitcham El Guerrouj in 1999, and the achievement of Fauja Singh, the oldest person to complete a marathon at 100 years old, showcase the extraordinary range of human physical capabilities. These records highlight not just the physical prowess but also the mental strength and determination required to achieve such feats.

Running and Mental Health

Beyond physical benefits, endurance running has a profound impact on mental health. It sharpens the nervous system, improving memory and learning abilities. The mental clarity and stress relief provided by running are as significant as its physical health benefits, making it a holistic exercise for mind and body wellness.

The Dark Side of Marathons

While marathons are celebrated for their test of human endurance, they also have a darker aspect. The concentration of heart attacks in the last 5 kilometers of marathons underscores the intense physical demand and the importance of proper training and health checks before participating in such strenuous activities.

Marathon running, while beneficial for health, can pose risks such as increased cardiac events in the final miles.

Running's Popularity Surge

The surge in running's popularity since the 1960s has transformed it from a survival activity to a global sport and fitness trend. Today, millions of people participate in running events annually, making it one of the most accessible and practiced sports worldwide, promoting health, community, and endurance.

The Shoegasm Phenomenon

The term "Shoegasm" reflects the deep passion many runners have for their running shoes, sometimes exceeding their attraction to other pleasures. This phenomenon highlights the importance of proper footwear in running, which can significantly impact performance and the overall running experience.

Youngest and Oldest Marathoners

The stories of Budhia Singh, the youngest marathoner who began training at age 3, and Baba Fauja Singh, the oldest marathoner who completed a marathon at 100, illustrate the wide age range in which individuals can engage in and enjoy running. These remarkable stories inspire runners of all ages to pursue their passion for running.

Running's Role in Human Evolution

Running's role in human evolution extends beyond survival; it has shaped our anatomy and physiology. The development of features like the Achilles tendon and the nuchal ligament for head stabilization are evolutionary adaptations specifically for running, highlighting their integral role in our development as a species.

The Impact of Music on Running

The influence of music on running performance, improving it by 15%, demonstrates the interplay between physical exertion and mental stimulation. Music can provide a rhythm that helps regulate pace and breathing, making running a more enjoyable and effective exercise.

Running and Gender Differences

The physiological differences between men and women, such as heart size and muscle mass, contribute to variations in running capabilities. Understanding these differences is crucial for tailored training and injury prevention, ensuring a safe and effective running experience for both genders.

The Unusual Side of Marathons

Marathons like the North Pole Marathon and the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco illustrate the diverse and sometimes extreme environments in which running events are held. These events showcase the adaptability of runners to various conditions and the universal appeal of running.

Running and Social Skills

Running's impact on social skills extends beyond physical health benefits. It fosters a sense of community, provides opportunities for social interaction, and helps develop coping strategies, particularly in children dealing with challenges like bullying.

The Science Behind Running Apparel

The evolution of running apparel, from the creation of the first sports bras in 1977 to specialized running shoes for women in 1978, reflects the growing understanding of the specific needs of runners. This evolution has led to more comfortable, functional, and inclusive gear for all runners.

Running and Cardiovascular Health

Running's ability to halve the chances of arthritis compared to walking highlights its significant cardiovascular and joint health benefits. This fact underscores the importance of running as a preventive measure for various health conditions.

The Step App, with its innovative 'Move to Earn' concept, adds an exciting dimension to running. By rewarding physical activity with cryptocurrency, the app motivates users to stay active, making running not just a path to physical health but also a potentially profitable activity. Its AI Coach offers personalized workout guidance, making each run effective and enjoyable.


In conclusion, running is not just a physical activity; it's a testament to human endurance, resilience, and evolution. From improving bone density to enhancing mental health, running offers myriad benefits. As we embrace running in our lives, let's remember that each step we take is a step towards better health and well-being. And for those seeking an innovative approach, the Step App offers a unique blend of fitness and finance, making your running journey rewarding in every sense.

Step App Team
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