How to Run With Hobbits

Photo from The Hobbit movie poster

Hobbits are a diminutive race that inhabit the lands of Middle Earth. That is the Wikipedia definition. But they are much more than that.

Hobbits are fumpy little creatures and my childhood companions. They're an honorable race who taught me about life and adventure as I hid under my blankets with a flashlight, way past my bedtime. I love hobbits because watching them run in their worlds inspired me to run in mine.   

The Hobbit is my favorite book, and I've been anticipating the release of the Hobbit movie for years now. I'm a nerd-turned-runner, and hobbits taught me everything I know.

I ran my first race in 2007, a clumsy 10K. Over the years I have built confidence, improved my mileage, and enhanced my cardio. I have read countless running books and articles and magazines. I have studied sports nutrition and completed ultra marathons.

But despite all I have read about running over the years, no lessons have been more valuable as the ones I picked up long ago from a silly little hobbit named Bilbo.

Keep this hobbit wisdom close to your heart the next time you head out for a run.

1. Seek Adventure

Running is about a journey, not a destination. All the elements of life are compressed into this one activity. You can feel happy, sad, tired, excited, defeated, victorious, hungry, and hopeful all in the same journey. Running is an adventure. Seek it out.

"I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging." - The Hobbit

2. Be Brave

You may not always look brave. Sometimes you look like an unlikely athlete—that's OK. Hobbits never look like warriors either. They are hairy and smelly and chunky. They hardly ever look strong or brave, and yet they are. So are you.

"Hobbits are usually very shy creatures, but are nevertheless capable of great courage and amazing feats under the proper circumstances." - Wikipedia

3. Always Keep Moving

Speed is overrated. Hobbits travel far and wide on their pudgy legs. They scale mountains and cross rivers. They see sights and breathe air where the fastest marathoners have never been. They can do this not because they are fast, but because they always keep moving.

"Go back? . . . No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" - Bilbo Baggins

4. Eat a Second Breakfast

There is no reason to snub food when you are running many miles. Some of us struggle with eating just one breakfast. Hobbits eat two. That may be the secret to their remarkable endurance.

Pippin: "What about breakfast?"
Aragorn: "You've already had it."
Pippin: "We've had one, yes. What about second breakfast?"
(Aragorn turns and walks off in disgust)
Merry: "I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip."

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