Are You a Runner?

Posted on March 22, 2013. Filed under: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |


I have a friend who’s run 2 marathons and several shorter races since she took up running 3 years ago.  She says she’s not a runner.  She says her friend, on the other hand, is. We’ve had some lengthy discussions about what the heck she means.

What, exactly, does it mean to be a runner?

Runners run.  At least at some point in their lives they did, even if they do not now.  But there is something more to being a runner than running.

What are the physical parameters a runner maintains?  Perhaps more important, is there something unique inside a runner’s head?

What do you think–what is a runner?  Are you one?


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6 Responses to “Are You a Runner?”

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I run regularly but in no way consider myself a runner.
I also have had a regular yoga practice for years now – I don’t consider myself a yogi.
I can beat the crap out of a heavy bag – I don’t consider myself a kick-boxer.
I ride a bike and taking spinning classes – I don’t consider myself a cyclist.

I do these activities because I know they are good for me. I don’t love them. I have no burning passion for them.

However, there is MY sport: strength training. It has been a lifelong passion. It is what I love. I AM a weight lifter.

So…I think it is an identity issue.

Although I run, I don’t call myself a runner purely out of respect for those that live, breathe, and love running. Conversely, I don’t think walking into a gym a couple of times and throwing weights around gives someone the license to call him/herself a weightlifter.

What does your friend say is the reason she doesn’t consider herself a runner?



That’s what it boils down to for my friend too. She enjoys running while she runs, but does not feel the burning desire to do it. She does it for lots of other reasons. What she enjoys most about running is recruiting others to get off their duffs and do it with her. She likes to introduce people to health.

I too do many of the things you listed, but I am not a cyclist, yogi, kick-boxer, or weight lifter. I am a runner. When I can’t run, I feel like a piece of me has been violently torn away. I need it.


I’m a runner. But only for a couple of minutes, lol


I guess I would say that runners identify with running as part of who they are. It isn’t necessarily just something they do, it’s a part of their day or week, just as sleeping and eating is. When I first started running, I did it because I could and it was new and I was trying to get in better shape, but somewhere along the way, it became something I needed and wanted to do. It’s an outlet and part of my routine just as anything else is. And, when I can’t do it for some reason, it’s disrupting. Running helps me stay grounded and healthy in more ways than just maintaining my physical health.


Running helps me stay grounded too. It’s good therapy–mental, physical, and social.


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