On the days it takes more than a power playlist and a few good friends to motivate you to lace-up your sneakers, it sometimes helps to set an intention that, ahem, runs deeper than breaking your personal best. It also happens to be a celeb-approved form of fitspo.
Stars like Lena Dunham and Karlie Kloss call upon wobbly-legged, heart-pounding memories to help give their runner’s high a lift. Here they explain what makes that daily jog so special.
“Why I run”: Keep reading for sweat-sister stories from Karlie Kloss, Lena Dunham, Christy Turlington, and more.
To give the brain a break
“Running helps me clear my mind and gives me uninterrupted time to think,” model and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss told Runner’s World. “I also always feel re-centered and ready to take on the day after a really good run.” Kloss completed the Paris Half Marathon in 2015, and is now training for her first marathon.
To feel proud
When Girls and Lenny Letter creator Lena Dunham was spotted on the run, she proudly took to Instagram to share the paparazzi pic—something she doesn’t normally do, “but this fills me with pride,” she wrote in her post. “Basically my whole life I have hated running and run like a wounded baby Pterodactyl. It was embarrassing and honestly I did not trust myself to escape a burning building or even move briskly towards a buffet.” Of course, Dunham now has the title of yogi under her belt as well, as she showed us in a series of videos with her instructor Beth Cooke. But even as a newbie runner, she said, “It’s a true joy to continue getting more connected to my body and its powers.”
To make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every woman
Model and activist Christy Turlington Burns created the organization Every Mother Counts because of a staggering statistic: One woman dies every two minutes as a result of complications from pregnancy or childbirth. And she runs races to raise awareness (and money)—so that life-saving health care will someday be accessible for all. “Marathons are a lot like childbirth,” she wrote on Instagram. “You think you will never do it again until those endorphins kick in and you forget all about the pain and hard work.”
To regain—and maintain—sanity
“When you’re in a house with lots of babies, no sleep, and everything is about their needs all of the time, I found that going out for a run in the morning before they got up—even if it was just half an hour—made me feel like I did something for myself,” Modern Family actress Julie Bowen told Runner’s World after the birth of her twins. Plus, she says, it keeps her happy. “When I don’t get to run, I am a grump,” she says. “Nobody wants to be around me.”
As a form of therapy
“I started running on my own—first a couple miles, then longer, and I fell in love with it,” Today anchor and Access Hollywood host Natalie Morales said on the Ali on the Run Show recently. (Full disclosure: That’s my podcast.) “It was therapy for me. It was a pretty hard year…and running was my way of figuring things out and figuring out who I was.”
Today might be a great day to start a new running habit—here’s a playlist that’ll power you through that first mile. And for all skill levels, we’ve rounded up the 5 best apps, hands down.