I’m not a “real” runner
When I advertise my beginner’s courses I always ask the question “Have you always wanted to be able to run?” I believe that people have a real desire to be able to run and become runners. I used to look at runners before I ran and would say to myself I wish I could run. So when do you become a runner, at what point can you call yourself a runner?
One of the most common things I hear from my runners is that they don’t believe they are real runners. The reasons they give me are that they are last in the group/race/parkrun, that they have to walk a bit, that they don’t enter races, or have never completed a park run or that there times are rubbish. That they down own a sports watch or wear lycra and that they are not stick thin. So what constitutes as a “real” runner?
For me, a person becomes a runner the moment they realise that they enjoy moving more than not moving. It doesn’t matter how slow you run, running is running, the motion of running, doesn’t matter if you can walk quicker, is that there is always one foot off the ground. Race walking is an Olympic sport and the rules clearly state that both feet should be on the ground at the same time (a met an Olympic race walker and her 10k time for race walking was so much faster than my 10k for running). When you run, at least one foot is off the ground at any one time, this is running, pure and simple and you are allowed to call yourself a runner.
That’s why balance and posture is so important when you first learn to run, if your shoulders are back and down and your head high and you can keep balanced, you look like a runner, no-one knows if you’ve just run 20 miles or 20 metres so try not to worry about what other people may think, if you have one foot off the ground at any one time you are a runner!
As you progress on your running journey you will start to enjoy running, you will hopefully get into good habits and run on a regular basis, whether it’s once, twice, three times a week—or even seven, you will feel a need to head out of the front door and just enjoy the freedom of running. A runner looks forward to their runs and plans their days around them and if they can’t run for any reason then they miss it.
And don’t forget it’s not about pace, distance, or races, it’s about your mindset and about your commitment to get out the door and move, listen to some music and forget the stress of life. As Charlotte said to me yesterday, runner’s come in all shapes and sizes and they are all runners, you don’t have to reach some mystical, imaginary milestone or take part in a secret initiation test to join the world of runners, if you run then you are a runner.
Running can give you the confidence to achieve things that you never thought you could, it enables you to have time out from day to day life and it keeps happy levels topped up.
Homework Week 3
Week 3 Homework
RunVerity Session 3
Walk for 2 mins, run for 30 secs, walk for 2 mins, run for 30 secs. Do this for 20 mins.
To warm up walk briskly to increase the heart rate. Try to face any fears you may have, this week it is about getting started.
Head out of the front door and repeat session 3