What does a runner look like?

One of the biggest barriers to participation in running is people thinking they are too unfit to run or being told they need to lose weight before they run.  When we see professional long distance runners on TV they are generally very lean and having an ectomorphic body type certainly makes it easier but so much of running is mental  It will test your fortitude. Even experienced runners can find the start of each run challenging but running reminds us that we can achieve great things if we persevere.  

Graduates of the last 5 to 10k Running Course

I’ve had a few clients tell me that people tried to put them off running because they didn’t have the kind of physique these people deemed correct to be a runner.  This really annoys me especially when I hear fitness professionals are saying this. You can’t tell if people are good runners by glancing at their body.

When I was a teenager I had the kind of physique that people would attribute to a runner but I was rubbish at running because I had no stamina, no inclination, ate really badly (instant noodles every day and not much else) and I smoked.  If I had to run for a bus I would struggle.  

I took up running about a year after having my second child. I’d piled on about two stone through both pregnancy and breastfeeding making me ravenous.  I ran about a kilometre to start with and it felt horrendous.  But I also felt like I wanted to keep going with it and booked myself on to run the Eye 10K.  I completed the run because I trained and put the effort in and my lovely running buddy Louise and husband Stevo encouraged me. 

Finishing the Eye 10k

Then a subsequent pregnancy meant I had a couple of years off running before I took it up again. I had gained three stone so taking up running again was frustrating. I wanted to be where I was when I had been running before but it took a while to regain my fitness. Once I had, I was able to move beyond where I’d left off and ran a half marathon despite having big boobs and a mummy tummy.  My stamina and mental strength pushed me forwards when the going got tough.  

Halfway through the Great Eastern 

On every run course or meet I’ve held there have been runners of various shapes and sizes and they are all runners.  A runner looks like anyone who decides to run and I’ve been humbled by the dedication of these people overcoming obstacles, injuries and naysayers to achieve greatness.  Does a child question if they can run? Not at all. They just fling themselves forward and enjoy the feeling. Children know far more than we do.


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