13 Types of Runners – Which One Are You?
Running is basically very simple. One leg, then another, faster than walking. Easy. But if we look closer there will be certain categories of runners. Different running styles and types of runners.
Some of us are happy to stick with our chosen type but are also happy to wander off into other territories. I belong to quite a few of those listed below. Sometimes we search, experiment and try all of them whilst finding our feet. I am sure you can think of a few more, but these are the ones that I experienced or at least heard of.
So before I go all philosophical and start making running sound complex, here they are.
Which type of runner are you then?
Type Runner No 1 – The Solo Runner 🏃♂️
The most common sighting, a lone runner.
Composed on the outside, focused on the inside, the picture of perfection in a natural environment (the pavements of south London, in my case). Graceful figures of rare beauty and skills. Credit to their trade. Ok, that’s how I wish I could describe myself as a lone runner, as well as other lone runners I come across on my trails.
The Solo Runner is what most onlookers associate with what we do.
We are the flag bearers, the trail blazers, the intrepid explorers.
Type Runner No 2 – The Club Runner 🏃🏽🏃🏼♀️🏃🏿♀️🏃🏼♂️🏃🏃🏻♀️
In a club The Club Runner feels like a proper runner. There is a sense of belonging, a structure, a guide. There is camaraderie associated with group running where The Club Runner can enjoy support and get advice, meet new friends and socialise while running.
This type of runner is more likely to learn more and practice different runs and running techniques. Many of The Club Runners will be found on trails and in parks across the land participating in great and popular weekly parkruns.
A true positive, ‘no downside’ experience. Some call Club Running ‘an alternative to solo running’ but I see it simply as another running experience.
Any running, as we all know, is good running.
Type Runner No 3 – The Early Morning Runner 🌅
I did that. Dawn and pre-dawn. The Early Morning Runner gets that very special tranquility, the unique sensation of a new day. The moment when the morning birds start going about their business, and when there is a feeling of new life.
Some decide to take a short run before work, some even run marathons on an empty stomach (Eliud Kipchoge does), some want that special moment to kick start the day and some would simply not want it any other way.
The Early Morning Runner is serious about running.
Put it this way, anyone who has the discipline to simply get out of bed before dawn in the middle of winter and go running outside – is Serious. About. Running.
Type Runner No 4 – The Weight Loss Runner ⚖️
Whether you just want to tone up or lose the actual body fat, running is an excellent form of exercise for weight loss. Calories will fly like confetti, they will continue to burn even after the workout and running is known to be the belly’s fat mortal enemy.
The Weight Loss Runner knows that.
However, the key here is persistence, hard work, and change of lifestyle. The success will depend not only on running but also on how you manage your kitchen affairs. Running will do what it’s famous for but if you put in more calories than you burn, there won’t be great results.
But can it be done? If you really want it, yes, definitely. And once you see the results there’s nothing stopping you.
Type Runner No 5 – The Running For Health Runner 🏋🏼♀️🤸
Those runners are smart. They know that running will help them build strong bones because they know that running is a weight bearing exercise. They are fully aware that their muscles will strengthen and cardiovascular fitness will improve. Oh yes, they are more than aware that they will burn plenty of kilojoules which will help them maintain a healthy weight.
Doctors love those runners as they don’t see them very often. There’s no need. Running is their medicine.
Type Runner No 6 – The Mood Boosting Runner 🌞
Modern life can be stressful. Actually, life IS stressful. Stress can darken the mood, diminish our focus and learning abilities, cause memory loss, create anxiety….. Hence we run!
The Mood Boosting Runner knows exactly what she/he is doing. No ambivalence.
Whether on the treadmill, trail or pavement, running will transform your mood. It will release endorphins that can reduce anxiety and depression, sharpen the memory, help you sleep better, boost your self-esteem and your general mood.
I remember bad days that got completely improved after the run. I know of the days when I could hardly wait to start running because the day wasn’t too kind to me. I knew I would feel better afterwards.
The Mood Boosting Runners know that.
Type Runner No 7 – The Long Runner 🏹
You don’t stop those guys. When they go, they go and they go long. And what is long for them? Could be anything. I did 42km and 50km on my own. Half marathon is just a routine outing, a training run but also a very enjoyable one. But here we are talking the longer, the merrier.
The more time spent outside, the better.
Some of the most enjoyable runs I’ve ever had were those very long solo ones. Just me, my thoughts, and my pain. Priceless.
Type Runner No 8 – The Trendy Runner 😎 🆒
Guilty as charged.
Running in central London can at times be a fashion show when it comes to running gear. Londoners tend to turn up in style when running in Royal Parks or pavements in central areas. I certainly make an effort. I guess it’s similar in other urban trendy places around the world.
Colour coding and the latest gear is a must but I take it one step further and only ever wear NBA tops. Excellent breathable quality, great designs and large comfortable sizes that fit perfectly over my tight tech base layers. Any NBA tops? Oh no, no, no. Vintage only, my dear.
Talking of making trendy appearances, I certainly fit the bill.
I am not the only one. I see loads of runners where I go along the Thames and most of them are dressed in their Sunday best. No compromise.
Running outside, like going out on a date night, is taken very seriously. You never know when you’ll run into a tv crew or an action seeking photographer. Detail, detail, detail.
Type Runner No 9 – The Ambitious Late Bloomer 🤘🚀
Many of us started running later in life, mostly because of health reasons. And many of us got to like it more than expected. So what do we do? We make up for the lost time, of course.
Running 3-5 times per week, every week, rain or shine, until the first injury? Check.
Buying multiple pairs of expensive running shoes, whether we need them or not? Check.
Signing up for every conceivable local race, ready or not? Check.
Deciding to run the marathon for fun with very limited training time? Check.
Signing up for an ultra, because ‘it should be fun, and everyone’s going too’? Check.
I started ambitiously at 52 and went in with all guns blazing, collecting injuries rather than medals. After a while I realised that I should take it easy and become more selective and realistic in how I do things. It worked for me in the end, I’m still ambitious but with more knowledge than before, especially about what I can and cannot do.
Middle age awareness at its best.
Type Runner No 10 – The Bling Runner ✨🏆✨
Ah yes, the bling. Another trophy in the cabinet, another medal on the wall. This type of runner collects more medals than Usain Bolt.
Admittedly, Usain only got his chances to pick up medals on selected and not very frequent occasions. Our Bling Runner, however, will get medals from park runs, virtual races, local races, literally a plethora of events that take place very often, everywhere. Before you know it, the home display of honours becomes tight and covered with distinction awards, the proudest corner for its owner.
And in fairness, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
The Bling Runner runs lots and running lots is one of the points of what we do. And Bling is also a powerful motivating tool. The Bling Runner will go out there in some very diverse weather to run and collect his award.
Type Runner No 11 – The Anytime/Anyplace Runner 💨
They don’t travel without running gear. No matter where they go. They go to visit friends in a different place and will find time to run.They sit on a train travelling to a faraway town and search Google under ‘the best running routes in…..’.
I once visited the Sahara desert only to realise that I didn’t have enough skill to run on the dunes. But at least I was keen to do it.
Visiting a new country with soaring summer temperatures and high humidity? What will those runners do? They will run, of course.
If they feel like running on certain days, they will run no matter where they are and they will find time to do it. Any time will do. Flexibility is the name of the game.
You just cannot stop that bunch.
Type Runner No 12 – The Start’n’Stop Runner ⏯
Starting running in Spring can be beautiful for new runners. Nice weather, melodious birds chirping harmoniously, friendly sun offering vitamin D, optimism in the air, the colours of the awakening nature, the smell and comfort of brand new trainers, the colourful running gear…..what could possibly go wrong?
Well, the summer heat follows the spring and the temperatures will go shooting up. It can get really hot, sweaty and messy out there. You used to enjoy your midday runs in April but try those in July, eh… Some new runners start skipping runs because the weather is ‘not fun anymore.’
But hey, here we go again. September can be just as beautiful as April, runs are enjoyable again. Then the inevitable happens. Grey skies that build up in the autumn, leading to the harsh reality of winter outdoor running. Oh, well. They will hibernate for a while and wait until the days are longer and bird choirs are in place again.
Back to the sofa for now.
The last (but not least) of different Types of Runners – The Reluctant Runners 🙈🤦
They don’t like running. And they run because they dislike swimming and cycling even more. And they only run because their doctor threatened them with dark stories of possible bad outcomes as a result of unhealthy lifestyles.
I come from that background. My doctor served me some colorful prognosis in regards to elevated blood pressure courtesy of excess smoking, and that was it for me.
Except that I genuinely LOVE running. I just happened to be a late starter, that’s all.
The Reluctant Runners may dislike running but at least they are doing something good about themselves. And some will eventually get hooked to running once they see positive changes in their lives. The weight loss, better focus, stronger bodies, lower blood pressure, heart and lungs improving, and more. They reluctantly started on a journey to their overall improvement.
Let’s hope that one day it all clicks together.
Regardless of how many categories we may think we belong to, in reality that doesn’t matter. In a world of amateur recreational running, all that literary matters is that we run. It makes no difference where, it’s not important when, or whether we run alone or with other people. The best way to describe ourselves is simply as runners who run for fun and health. Even when we race and compete, it’s still done for fun. That’s what we do, that’s who we are and long that may continue.
I hope that sharing my story, and what I have learned along this journey, will inspire you to get started and to keep going. To keep striving and being the best you can be. In running and in life.
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