On being a ‘real’ runner – Part 1

Ever since I first saw a ‘real’ runner post on twitter, I’ve been confused.  It feels like these ‘real’ runner quotes are supposed to be motivational, and while I hope we’re not meant to take them too seriously, I find I still want to ask the question…isn’t anyone who runs a ‘real’ runner?  And why is being a ‘real’ runner such a big deal anyway, as if just being a runner wasn’t good enough?

Actually, I think that if we were to believe everything posted on the internet about being a ‘real’ runner then none of us would be ‘real’ runners at all.   For example, these are some ‘real’ runner attributes I’ve seen floating around online:

Real runners get up before the sun.  Well, there goes everyone who runs in the evening or at night.
Real athletes train in miles, not meters.  Aaaannd let’s discount all the sprinters and new runners. (My first run was in meters, just sayin’)
Real runners don’t post every mile online.  Darn, there go all the runners posting for motivation or keeping track for charity.
Real runners never quit, never give up.  Oops. There goes everyone who has ever dropped out of a race. (Psst, even ‘Elite’ runners have dropped out of races, should we tell them they aren’t ‘real’ runners?)

I started running 7 months ago.  And I used to think I wasn’t a ‘real’ runner.  Going by what seems to be said of ‘real ‘ runners, I didn’t (and still don’t!) fit the bill.  I don’t get up at the crack of dawn to go running, I haven’t lost a toe nail, I haven’t run a marathon or even a half marathon and I haven’t even worn out my first (and only!) pair of trainers.  

But I don’t believe that I’m not a ‘real’ runner.  I mean; I run, therefore I am…a runner, right?  And if I’m a runner, doesn’t that make me a ‘real’ runner too?

In fact, isn’t anyone who runs, regardless of when or how far or how fast, a ‘real’ runner?

In writing this blog post (which has taken me two months and 22 revisions) I’ve come across some quotes that articulate best what I’m trying to say.  The one I love most is this:

I often hear someone say I’m not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner.
~ Bart Yasso

Hear, hear!


5 thoughts on “On being a ‘real’ runner – Part 1

  1. I always feel like I’m not a ‘real’ runner on Sundays when everyone I follow seems to be posting about their wonderful long runs. Sunday is always a day off for me full stop, I need one day a week I can stay in my pjs for as long as possible and do as little as possible and I have always kept Sundays for that my entire adult life, not going to change just because I started running!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Anna. Yes, it can be hard to take a rest day when others are posting about running! Fair play to you for sticking to your guns and keeping the day for rest instead of giving in to pressure. That’s inspiring and encouraging!

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