Just like everything else there are lots of types of runners and you know what every single type is a real runner! Being every type of runner is totally cool too! This post is not all that serious but I’m sure you want to know what kind(s) of runner you are. When you find out you might see a few jokes made at your expense and get a few bits of food for thought too. I fall into a few categories sometimes at least. Sometimes I’m a runner of all the distances, ‘just’ a runner and a runner of routine but I dip my toe in some of the other pools too. So read on, have a laugh and think about trying something new!
Short runs only: Some runners cover less than a 5k several times a week and that’s it. Maybe you’re busy, maybe you chafe, are prone to sunburns or maybe you tire of running quickly. That’s cool, right out and then right back in. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and frequency over length is totally your choice. If your regular route has you in and out in less than 30 minuets you might want to hit that half hour mark every once and a while. Getting your heart rate elevated for 30 minutes or more has some specific cardiovascular benefits you might be missing out on.
Got to get there now – fast runner: There was an idea out there for a time that to run is to suffer. Or put another way unless you’re very uncomfortable you’re not trying. That idea has now fallen by the wayside plus sprinting all the time makes running way less fun. Running all out all the time also leads to a lot more injuries as it turns out. Now you’re advised to keep those tough speed sessions to once a week tops. If this is you hold back for way more of your runs to not only enjoy running a whole lot more and keep from getting injured. Wouldn’t you know it going slower will make you faster on race day too!
All about the numbers runner: You’re the person posting online in a running group that the treadmill said one thing and your watch said another. Not knowing which one is accurate is the most important thing to you a lot of the time. You know you’re pace by mile, your spits, VO2max and HRV for every single run. You’re also one of those that sees a t-shirt that say “if I die pause my Garmin.” And…. You don’t see that as a total joke. I think we’re all past the point where saying leave the tech at home is helpful. But every couple of weeks or so pick a run, wear your watch, but gauge your success by how great it felt. Not worrying about all those digits every once and a while is really freeing!
Gotta be perfect runner: You’re pretty tightly wound outside running aren’t you? You follow a plan to the letter. If your plan tells you to run a certain distance at a certain pace you do it no matter what. I bet you rarely vary the days of the week and it makes you super anxious if you do. You are the picture perfect training partner by the way to the point you could probably charge other runners to train for a race with you. I could tell you to to chill a bit and take it easy on your body but you’re not going to do that and besides you like specific advice. Actually I sympathize with you because the first time I train for a distance I’m right there with you. Here’s my thing for you folks keep your long run fixed in the week but let your big speed workout float around in the week if you need to. If you’re busier one day or just tiered do it another day and minimize your risks for overtraining.
All about the race runner: Girl (or boy or other) races are great and I encourage every runner to try some but… running outside of race season is great too. I know you have a medal and bib holder somewhere in your house and I suspect your social media is full of race photos too. Guilty as charged over here too but it’s not all about race day. The adrenaline is unmatched but all about the race runners are sometimes guilty of a few running bad habits. The big one is skipping a good portion of the training plan and neglecting to build a base. The only reason that’s a big deal is it puts you at risk for injury and I know you, you might still try to do the race anyway, even injured. That’s not great. Also racing too often is a recipe for over use injuries and you might miss out on progressing overall as a runner. Sure I could say respect the plan but instead I’m going to say cross train religiously and then race to your heart’s content.
Mid distance runner: I bet that you just love the 10k, so do I! I even wrote a post about why the 10k is best. Sure you run the odd 5k and maybe even a half or two but the 10k is pretty undeniably perfect in your mind. Here’s the thing about you though if you have the time and you are just going for a regular fun run it always comes in around 10k. Sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less but it seems to be where you always end up. It’s the perfect distance to race because it’s an actual experience without ruining your whole day and impacting you all summer. Ditto for a regular Sunday run. Here’s a secret though working diligently on your half and your 5k in addition to your 10k’s maybe on alternating years is actually the perfect recipe for improving your 10k skills. Just saying, no pressure though. See you in about an hour right?
‘Just’ a runner: Umm no… Lots of runners out there downplay their accomplishments. It might be because they don’t really train, race or they ‘just’ do it for fitness. Sorry to break it to you you’re not ‘just’ a runner! Maybe you’re a chill runner or a regular runner. Stop selling yourself short!
Endurance runner: You like to sometimes run until you literally feel like you’re going to die. That’s weird! You’ve probably done a marathon, maybe even an ultra but you’re happy to skip like all the 5k’s. For you it’s all about pushing you body past it’s limit and that’s your drug. You spend hours and hours at a time on your feet and probably alone. Your training really is like a metaphor for life with in your own life and that makes you constantly grow as a person. Plus once you get into the zone why wouldn’t you want to stay there? From time to time go for shorter runs, maybe get crazy and race the odd 5k. You do you, but make sure to send some love to all the people in your life that make your long runs possible because I know they are there!
Runner of routine: I can be this way when it comes to runs that make me nervous or that I’ve built a mental barrier for. You wear the same outfit(s), have one belt only and swear the new version of your sneakers, water bottle or phone just aren’t as good. You know what actually, this is me, 100% me, so ya’ll rock. You might go way outside your comfort zone for races but in training varying your route, time of day or hairstyle can freak you out. Admit it doing it a certain way for certain runs gives you a lot of comfort. You know what if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! But… find a way to keep your ear to the ground, maybe follow a running blog or befriend a trend obsessed runner. If you find something that could maybe be improved keep an open mind and give it a try?
Always training runner: What are you training for in January? I know that technically there might be a race you can sign up for but you could just let go a bit and simply cover the ground of something called the frostbite 5 miler. I get it though some people just love submitting to a training plan. It probably gives your life purpose. You might want to have a few off periods a year though for a few reasons. One your body needs it and you’ll be less likely to be injured. I also think that going as often, as far and just as hard as you want for a while helps you remember why you love running in the first place.
Not meant to be a runner: Plenty of runners run because somehow, somewhere they got the idea they had to. Running is my thing and a lot of other people’s things but… it doesn’t have to be your thing! In fact it’s only one of my things. I also mountain bike, paddle, swim a lot, do yoga and the odd triathlon. Running isn’t even my favorite thing it’s mostly my main thing just because I do like it and it’s so convenient. But if you’ve been running for 6 months or more regularly (3 times a week) and you still hate every single moment of if, try something else. If you don’t want to give up the fitness you’ve gained keep running while you find your perfect thing. If you do love it and it’s been years but you’re constantly injured try something else. Might I suggest a triathlon? Maybe you’ll love surfing, vollyballing, roller derbying or even ratquetballing more. There must be several hundred activities besides running that are more fun for you and just as effective. Find your perfect thing. Here’s a secret if you end up running in service of preforming better in your perfect thing you’ll hate it a whole lot less!
This is just meant to be just a bit of fun so please don’t take offense I’m one of all of you after all! What sort of runner do you most identify with? Or is it more like Myers Brigs thing and you show traits of several types of runners listed? Leave it in the comments below.