What Does It Mean to Dream of Running?

Dream of Running

Whether running in your dream is fun or scary, it could definitely get your heart pumping. Read on to see what your dream of running might mean.

Running Dream Summary

Running Dream Symbolism

A dream of running can show how comfortable you feel in your physical body. You may feel proud of your strength and endurance, or you might feel awkward and inadequate.

Either way, your running dream could symbolize that intellectual and rational ways of dealing with a challenge in your life are not entirely adequate for you now. You may feel like you need to flee from someone who is trying to harm you. Alternately, you might just feel intensely competitive, full of a desire to prove yourself on a primal level.

Common Running Dreams

  1. Dream of running away
  2. Dream of running on the road
  3. Dream of running someone over
  4. Dream of running fast
  5. Dream of running in the air
  6. Dream of running barefoot
  7. Dream of running on a treadmill
  8. Dream of running from police
  9. Dream of running shoes

Running Symbolism

Running Symbolism

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Fitness

If running is already a regular part of your fitness routine, your dream of running could simply be processing daily events in your life. In this context, a running dream might even include techniques to try on your next run or feedback on how you’re proceeding toward your goals.

If you don’t regularly run, dreaming of running may symbolize that you feel like you need to do something to improve your physical fitness. If running genuinely seems appealing to you, you might as well try it, as long as you are medically capable of it. However, if you feel shamed into running, or if it makes you feel inadequate somehow, perhaps there is a different form of exercise that would be a better fit for you.

Physical Strength

A dream of running could symbolize that a situation in your life has broken down to the point that a rational or intellectual solution is no longer possible. You may need to rely on your physical strength to solve the problem.

Escape

Dreaming of running could symbolize that you feel the need to escape a difficult situation. Perhaps you feel like someone else is acting in a predatory way toward you. Your running dream may show that, between fight and flight, flight is the safest strategy.

A running dream could also symbolize that you want to escape a feeling of being tied down. See also rabbit dream symbolism.

Competition

A dream of running could symbolize that you feel like some situation in your life is a competition that you want to win. It may seem important for you to outrun someone else, physically or metaphorically. However, it might be necessary for you to look at whether your competitive approach to the situation is making things better or worse.

Common Running Dreams

Dream of running away

Dream of running away

Running from someone in a dream could symbolize that communication has broken down in a situation in your life, and you need to escape. Especially if you are running from an animal or person who is obviously aggressive in your dream, this can show that someone or something is threatening you.

Alternately, a dream of running away from someone could symbolize that there’s a part of yourself you’re trying to avoid. See also dreams of being chased by lions.

However, a dream of running away could alternately symbolize that you are trying to escape responsibilities that are legitimately and fairly yours. Though you may feel tied down and restricted, you might need to be careful to discern the difference between something that is truly dangerous to you and something that you just find inconvenient.

Dream of running on the road

Dream of running on the road

A dream of running on the road could symbolize that you are trying to get somewhere in your life. You may be willing to invest effort into achieving your goals, and you probably have the freedom necessary to go for it.

However, if you’re running on the road in your dream when you’d rather be traveling by car, your dream could show that you have to make do without crucial resources in some situation in your life. As always, noting the emotional atmosphere of your dream can be very important to interpreting it correctly.

Dream of running someone over

A dream about running someone over, whether on foot or by car, could symbolize that you are so single-minded in pursuit of your goals that you are oblivious to damage you are causing others in the process. Alternately, you might know that others are getting hurt but not care on the grounds that the ends seem to justify the means.

Dream of running fast

Dream of running fast

A dream about running fast could symbolize that you feel free and powerful. This might be a positive sign that you are developing confidence, especially if you have struggled in this regard. With these qualities on your side, you may finally be able to achieve a goal that has eluded you for some time.

Dream of running in the air

A dream about running in the air could symbolize that something in your life lacks a stable foundation. You may be putting a lot of effort into this situation without addressing some of its important basic facts. This interpretation would be especially appropriate if you felt anxious while running in the air in your dream.

However, if your dream of running in the air felt good, and you were successfully getting from one point to another in spite of being in the air, the interpretation could be more like that of a flying dream. Flying dreams can symbolize freedom, so a positive dream of running in the air might similarly symbolize being free to pursue your goals without some of the constraints you think are present. Maybe your limitations are not as real as they seem.

Dream of running barefoot

Dream of running barefoot

The meaning of a dream about running barefoot could vary based on whether you’re barefoot because you want to be or because you have to be.

If you’re barefoot because you want to be, your dream of running barefoot could symbolize a desire to remove unnecessary distractions from your life. You may want to connect with nature — or simply your own inner self.

However, if you’re barefoot because you have to be, because you can’t have shoes when you want them due to financial or other limitations in the dream, your dream of running barefoot could represent a sense of scarcity. This sense of scarcity might be provoked by real circumstances in your waking life. That said, you may need to be careful to distinguish such circumstances from feelings of scarcity that are based in your own thoughts regardless of your actual physical resources.

Dream of running on a treadmill

A treadmill is the human equivalent of a hamster wheel, where one can run and run for exercise without reaching any physical destination. Dreaming of running on a treadmill could therefore symbolize that you must expend a lot of effort just to maintain your daily routine.

Especially if the treadmill keeps getting faster and faster in your dream, you might feel like you can’t keep up with what is being demanded of you. The more you do, the more people may seem to ask of you.

A treadmill dream could also symbolize frustration that you don’t seem to be going anywhere in your life. You might be bored.

Dream of running from police

A dream of running from police could symbolize that you feel guilty about something you have done. You may fear that others will find out and punish you for it.

Alternately, a dream of running from police might mean that you feel like others are persecuting you unfairly even though you haven’t done anything wrong. You may feel that your side of the story has not been heard out and that others have jumped to conclusions about you.

Dream of running shoes

Dream of running shoes

Shoes in dreams can symbolize protection and practical action. A dream of running shoes could symbolize that you are prepared to take care of yourself physically. If you dream of running fast in running shoes and feeling good about it, this may be a promising sign of confidence that is grounded in reality.

If you dream of wearing running shoes in a situation where they would not normally be worn, like at a wedding or in a professional workplace, this might symbolize that you have one foot out the door of that situation — that is, you may be planning your escape. Alternately, it could mean that you feel awkward in that environment and unsure of its norms.

Conclusion

Running is an active pursuit, so a dream of running could symbolize that you are taking an active and decisive approach to the problems you face in your life — even if the course of action you choose is to purposefully flee them.

Eva Sylwester

Eva Sylwester has been fascinated with the interpretation of dreams since middle school. She got a B.A. in psychology and religious studies from the University of Oregon in 2007. After that, she began exploring astrology and other new frontiers in spirituality. In her approach, the goal of dream interpretation is to help the dreamer articulate their own intuition. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, United States.