Running and addiction: Eminem post rehab

Actor/rapper Eminem attends the premiere of "8 Mile" at the Mann Village Theater on November 6, 2002 in Westwood, California.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Actor/rapper Eminem attends the premiere of “8 Mile” at the Mann Village Theater on November 6, 2002 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Well-known American rapper Eminem has recently explained how running pulled him out of a dark time period. In a recent story published by Men’s Journal, Eminem explains how he turned to running after getting out of rehab in 2007.

Years of drinking heavily and popping pills eventually caught up to him. He had been eating poorly, using alcohol as means of functioning in daily life and weighed over 230 pounds from food he ate to compensate for the effects he suffered from constantly taking Vicodin and Valium says the story. He landed in rehab in 2007 after a pill overdose. When Eminem got out, he had to find a way to not rely on drinking. He couldn’t sleep without it and was getting used to functioning sober again.

That is when he started running. Previously, the artist had been dragged to the gym. He’d gotten into boxing slightly and ran as a way to not gain weight. But he always lost motivation. There was a time when he worked out with trainer Emanuel Steward but that routine fell apart as well. Coming out of rehab though, he had to find a new addiction. Eminem describes himself to Men’s Journal as having an “addict’s brain,” and that he understands why so many people who struggle from addictions turn to the sport. It’s like trading addictions only one is good for you, he is quoted as saying in the story.

His training schedule was consistent and his mileage was high. He’d run 17 miles a day on the treadmill. That happened in two rounds: one in the morning and one at night of equal length. He lost weight and got down to 149 pounds– a more realistic weight than he had been before. he was very diligent with his running and almost compulsive about it he says.

Like many runners, he wound up injured. Torn hip flexors made him ease up. To switch things up a bit, he turned to workout videos alternating days between running and doing a video. He has covered some of the popular ones like Insanity, P90X and Body Beast.

While many runners will talk about “catching the bug,” Eminem describes it in a fairly similar way. Taking five days off would be like starting over and he says he doesn’t want to lose motivation after taking a break– it’s like building something up only to give up on it.