If You Run, You Are A Runner

Awhile ago I wrote a post about what makes a runner.  That was almost two years ago when I first started blogging, and I think it is time to revisit that topic.

So many times when I am chatting with people and they mention that they went for a run or are doing a race, they sheepishly and almost apologetically will say, “But I’m not a runner,” or “I am not a runner like you are.”

There is this strange misconception that you have to run 7:00min/miles or run 40 miles a week to be a runner.  But the fact is, running is running.  There is not rule regarding how fast you must go, or how far you have to run, or even how much running you must do.


If you run, you are a runner.  This isn’t always the easiest sport.  It does make the lungs sting and the legs burn at times.  It takes dedication and motivation to get out the door.  It can be a lonely activity and it isn’t always fun.  So if you make the time to get out there and do it, you most definitely deserve to call yourself a runner.

Whether you have a run/walk technique that has you running even a block at a time or you run 15:00min/miles; that is running!  Take a look at the definition of running:  The action or movement of a runner.  Looks pretty simple.  All you have to do is move!

Very few sports are as inclusive as running.  There are races and events for all ages and levels.  There is room for elites at the front, and for those who bring up the rear.  Recreational races like color runs and even beer runs exist for those who are just looking for some fun.


You should never apologize for being a part of this sport.  Hold your head high, get out the door and if someone asks, heck yeah you should say, “Yes, I am a runner!”

27 thoughts on “If You Run, You Are A Runner

  1. yes yes yes yes yes. i was just having this discussion with a woman at work today, who is trying to force herself to get into running but definitely has insecurities around her inability to run “well” or far right now. we had a whole chat about building up slowly and changing her mentality and enjoying it, and it came out that so much of her insecurity stems from comparing herself to other people she sees out running who are passing her or look like it’s so easy for them. good reminder that running is such an individual thing!

  2. I was at a meeting at work today and this woman looked at me and said, “Oh, are you doing anymore races this year?” I don’t usually talk about my running at work so I just said something like, “yes definitely! Fall is the best time to run.” She started to tell me how she did a 5K a few years ago and said, “But I’m not a runner like you are” – literally, I just had this conversation 10 minutes ago. I just said of course you are! Running is running!!!!

    • I completely agree. And the fact is, most runners are just like the rest. Go to any group run and most of the people at the group are in the same boat as the person hesitant to join.

  3. So true.

    I’ll never understand why some runners want to “one up” others. We just had some crazy flooding in Charleston, and one person I know posted on Facebook about how with the rain 3 days straight and flooding, they still got in all their mileage and didn’t alter his plans at all. He was so thrilled about it *sigh*. Most of us didn’t and didn’t need a post making others feel bad about it. The best thing for all of us to do is lift each other up- if running is bringing you joy, that’s what is important. Not distance or speed or how often.

    • Yuck. That’s ridiculous. I definitely am proud of myself when I manage to run in the rain or run while pregnant or whatever it might be. But that is because I know it isn’t easy and I cheer myself on for getting out there. And sharing it with others in the right way can help encourage them and remind them that it is possible. Glad you are safe after all of that flooding!

  4. I’m of two minds on this topic. I’m just happy with what I am. Call me a runner or a jogger, cyclist or bike rider… wait, I’m a cyclist… Anyway, I mainly care what I think of me. 😉

  5. Awesome stuff! It’s funny isn’t it how people won’t call themselves a runner until they hit a big distance marker? I think anyone who has the stamina and strength to head out into the open air and experience it is definitely a runner! No matter how far you go 🙂 Think everyone has had the exact same conversation before so really identifiable 🙂

      • Absolutely 🙂 Just a little run is better than no run. We need to get on the running crusade bandwagon and champion that little runs are good too!

  6. So many misconceptions with running Sarah, this is an excellent post to address this.
    I run mostly for my physical and mental health, and try not to get caught up with times, yet the 1st question I am asked following a race is “what was my time?” That is what people do seem to want to know. They may not know that I might have been sick all week, or that I was running with another runner who was needing encouragement for a large part of a race. Even though my times may have been slower than normal due to any reason on a race, I try not to explain why. Good finish, slower finish, I am still a runner! 🙂

    • I love this! And isn’t it all relative? My fast is someone else’s slow. And the sport is about you anyway. You are always out there trying I be that previous you. Those PR’s are a lot of what makes this sport so fun and challenging.

  7. Yup, yup!

    Just last week someone told me that I am a runner. And I thought “nah, not really”. And then I thought: “Actually, I just finished two marathons, hell ya, I’m a runner” :))

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