One of things I love most about running is the community. Runners come in all shapes and sizes. We come from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, political affiliations and religions. We are a wide range of ages, experience and skill level, but somehow we all come together bound by our love of the pull to the pavement....or the trail....or the track.
My favorite running quote is this one from John Bingham
The tie that binds us is the running itself, so it doesn't matter if you're a mom who squeezes in runs on the treadmill after the kids go to sleep, a high school or college track athlete, a back of pack half marathon runner or a dad who hits the trails to clear his head from a stressful day, we're all in this together.
I thought it would be fun to explore the different types of runners, based on our preferences. What makes running special to you? Is it your running partners, the race day bling, watching the sunset, achieving goals, or something else altogether?
WHAT KIND OF RUNNER ARE YOU?
WHERE DO YOU PREFER TO RUN?
1. On the Road: You feel the daily pull to the pavement. You run on neighborhood streets and regularly enter road races. You know the one mile marker from your front door in every possible direction. Your neighbors wave to you as they drive off to work in the morning and sometimes when they come home. Running against traffic is a way of life.
2. On the Track: Whether you're an athlete on a track team or a weekend warrior at the local high school track, running in circles (well, ovals) makes you feel safe and structured. You know exactly what to expect around every bend...another bend. You run best knowing the exact distances and paces with zero chances of a surprise hill or pothole.
3. On the trails: Surrounding yourself in nature gives you a sense of peace and purpose that comes out on the trails. Whether you prefer challenging technical trails or flat, shaded trails in community parks you love to clear your head while you exercise your body.
4. On the treadmill: You're a goal getter who gets the job done under any circumstances. You're running late at night, early morning and during monsoon season. A little bad weather will never keep you from your running goals.
WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO RUN?
1. Early morning: You like to get up with the birds to get your run finished while the rest of the world sleeps. You like the serenity of early runs and the sense of accomplishment knowing you already achieved something special before most people got out of bed.
2. Mid-Day: You prefer to run at lunch. It provides you with a mid-day stress reliever and gives you the energy to take on the rest of the day. You'd rather snooze than cruise in the morning and you're way too busy in the evenings. You're the most time efficient of runners, combining a lunch break with a run. I believe we call that Runch.
3. In the evening: You race the sunset on a nightly basis. Sometimes the sun wins and you finish off your run under darkness (or street lights), and sometimes you kick up the speed for a tempo run to watch the sun go down as you run down the day.
4. It doesn't matter: You don't care the time of day. Your trusty treadmill is there for you day or night, rain or shine. If only all your friends were so dependable.
WHO DO YOU PREFER TO RUN WITH?
1. Alone: You're a loner, a lone wolf, a one man (or woman) show. You prefer quiet runs to clear your head and untangle the thoughts of the day. Your only competition is yourself.
2. With Furry Friends: You like a running partner, but prefer the kind who doesn't complain about his tight calves or the upcoming hills. Your four-legged running partner is always willing to run with you. The only downside? You have to pick up his poop.
3. With a friend: You like to chat away the miles. Twelve miles feels like three when you're sharing all the details of your latest adventure in life. The friendship, the venting, the stress relief, the gossiping. It's all part of the fun.
4. In a group: You love your weekly fun runs and training with your running group. It's like that old show "where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came" except not in a bar (well, maybe afterward). Your group provides you a clear sense of community, a ton of new running friends, motivation and accountibilyt to boot.
WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION TO RUN?
1. The bling: You do it all for the glory. You have a medal collection to be admired and your only criteria for running s 5K is that it offers a finisher's medal. You like to set and achieve goals and you want to be rewarded for it, dammnit.
2. The weight control: Running burns more calories per minute than most any other exercises. You like to have your cake and eat it too (and your wine). You balance your miles and your meals for a healthy lifestyle that includes treats.
3. For the heart and mental health: You're not getting any younger (none of us are) and you want to be around for those current or future grandkids someday. Running keeps you happy, sane and your heart healthy, a winning combination.
4. For fun and community: You run because it is fun. You love your running friends, your group runs, race meetups and Strava posts. You're not sure who you would hang out with or what you would do with your free time if it wasn't for running.
The truth is we probably have a bit of all of this inside us. I prefer to run on the trails, but it's more convenient for me to run on the road. I like to run in the mornings, but feel a sense of accomplishment when I pound out a few miles on the treadmill at lunch. I prefer running with my husband, but a group run can always be fun. My motivation for running is equal parts health, bling, weight control and friends.
I'd love to hear about what kind of runner you are. What do you choose for each question? Did you always have a clear answer? Did I miss anything?
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