The Definition of a Real Runner….
I’ve heard this phrase mentioned whilst doing what I love (running) and it has got me thinking. The term ‘Real Runner’. It confused me somewhat – what is a REAL runner?
Is there such thing as a fake runner? Is the term real runner reserved for those who take running seriously? For those that are quicker? Surely each runner puts in as much effort as the next person. Isn’t it all relative? My 9-minute mile could be the equivalent to your 11-minute mile effort. Either way we are both exerting heart strengthening, lung boosting, endorphin generating effort. Sounds like a runner to me.
Being a real runner shouldn’t be defined by comparing yourself to others. Being a real runner is about the passion you have about running, about the way you embrace each step with every mile. In my opinion, a real runner is how much grit and determination someone has. My definition of a real runner is;
- Courageous – You may not be the fastest or fittest but you are still running. That’s brave.
- Grit – Running isn’t easy, but with time, it does become enjoyable. A ‘real runner’ knows that hard work gets results.
- Commitment – Running takes commitment. Making goals and trying to reach them is a great way to become healthier.
- Mental Toughness – Many people will find excuses not to exercise but a real runner runs in the cold and the rain and even the hail and snow! A real runner realises that showing up is half the battle.
- Competition. A real runner competes against themselves. We cheer for each other and do the best that we can.
- Performance – A real runner will always have a crappy run but will go out the next day and try again.
Running is an attitude, it’s a mentality – propelling you out of the door in the rain and wind. It’s an urge. It’s social – only other runners know what you are going through and feel the pain in your heart and the ache in your legs. If you have found yourself nodding your head whilst reading this blog, you are a real runner. It doesn’t matter if you are running 10 minute miles or 15 minute miles. Those feelings, that way of thinking – that is running.
I am not being defensive, I just felt the need to write this post to protect my beloved sport of running, to be an ambassador of what is beautiful about supporting each other, looping, hobbling, racing, plodding and sprinting.
We asked the runners from Fareham Crusaders ‘what’s a ‘real runner’?……..
Next time you head out the door tell yourself -and others – you are a REAL runner! I am…
May your runs be long and your injuries afew…
A big thanks to the Runners at the Fareham Crusaders for keeping it real and to James Musselwhite from Closer Photography for editing the video
Up to 15 miles…
46 days until the London Marathon and I can pretty much say that the novelty has well and truly worn off! I am so tired, mentally and physically but the main reason for my lack of mojo has been due to the struggles on my longer runs. I also seem to have developed a niggle in my right knee which is really annoying! My never ending appetite seems to have calmed down though. I got to the stage where I was wondering whether my stomach was an empty hole….
My longest run so far has been 15 miles. The last 3 miles of those were really painful, I was really grateful that I had good company with good friends (well, for at least 12 miles!).
Still smiling at mile 10…
My physiotherapist has told me that I am chasing the rainbow to continue training for this marathon and his opinion is that my body is that of a sprinter and just not cut out for longer distances. His exact words were ‘Kerry, you are chasing the rainbow’ which has made me even more determined to do it! Even if I have to walk /run.
Apart from my knee niggles, I have hit the dreaded wall a couple of times in my training. The wall isn’t something I have experienced before- how can I explain it- Basically there is nothing you can do or say, think or feel that will give your legs and lungs the strength to push forward. You are mentally and physically spent! I think this just about sums it up! I have also learned some new and colourful swear words….
I’ve been looking at what I can do to overcome the exhaustion and what actions should I be taking on this tough period of training.
- Put things into perspective – it would be easy to quit and embrace a defeatist mentality at this point of my training. I have worked so hard and not long got over a serious illness. I need to review the progress that has already been made and just go with it. if I need to walk at any time, so be it.
- Take a Rest Day or Cross Train – I am having a few niggles this week (knee and hip flexor) so I have made the decision to cross train this week. (Spin, boxercise, swim and rowing). Allowing my body time to recover better.
- Reduce the volume or intensity in my training – hopefully by Sunday, my legs will be less tired.
- Nutrition – I need to start keeping a log of my diet. Although I have been carbing up, I am not 100% sure that pizza is a complex carb!
- Think Positive – there have certainly been a few tears recently and I am trying to keep a positive mindset. This has helped by talking to those closest to me – as in running friends.
This week I have been Cross training to reduce the impact in my knee and to give my body a break. Nothing gives me quite the same rush as running but needs must. I aim to go out again on Sunday on a 16 miler but perhaps at a slower pace than my usual 10/10.30.
How has your marathon training been? Have you ever hit the wall and what have you done to get over it?! How are you feeling at this stage of your training?
May your miles be long and your injuries a few….