At what point did you consider yourself to be a runner? Odds are, you were a runner long before you felt comfortable saying it out loud. Maybe it wasn’t until after your first 5K, your tenth 5K, or even your first marathon. Perhaps you still don’t call yourself a runner, or when you do, you quickly follow it up with “but not a fast one.”
This is silly. Why do so many of us feel the need to qualify for the Boston Marathon before we can call ourselves runners? We don’t see this as often in other hobbies or sports. Imagine saying, “Yeah I have a dog, but he can’t do tricks,” or “I like listening to music, but I haven’t been to a Taylor Swift concert yet, so I guess I don’t really like music.”
You are a runner! It doesn’t matter how fast, how far, how often or how many races you’ve been in. There is power in claiming that title, and although I will continue to tell you that you are “more than just a runner,” you are one.
When you embrace the fact that you are a runner, you start treating yourself as one. A confidence emerges and you join a community that is excited about what they do. Even more than that, you start to do things that help you become a lifelong runner, giving your body the respect and devotion it needs.
To the middle-of-the-packers and the ones still nervous to claim the title of runner: This one’s for you.
Run to the Finish
Amanda Brooks is the genius behind both the website and the new book titled “Run to the Finish.” She started her website in 2005 as a way to talk about her new found love in running. Since then she has become as expert researcher, journalist, and author, helping runners do what she loves most, running.
As a new runner, Amanda felt the need to talk about what she loved with others online because she didn’t know a lot of people who were runners. Maybe that’s because there were so many closet runners, but she quickly found a group of people like her. As she ran more and more, she also became more interested in the science behind it and soon she was researching everything about running.
Amanda considers herself an actionable person. “Tell me what to do,” she says when referring to a running warmup. She isn’t interested in general advice, but a list of things she can actually do. That’s what her website and book are all about. Every new and experienced runner can find things there to implement immediately into their running.
Treat Yourself Like a Runner
The next step after calling yourself a runner, is to work out like one. No, this doesn’t mean you need to run 100 miles a week, or sprint around the track. It simply means you ought to give your body the rehab and prehab it needs. If you want to be a lifelong runner and avoid injury, you shouldn’t wait until you are a certain age or log a certain number of miles before you do these things.
Many runners don’t want to hear it, but you can’t simply “just run” if you are in it for the long run. Hip and core exercises, mobility exercises, and strength training are important. But it can be simple to appreciate. Know that every foam roller session is adding to your longevity and satisfaction as a runner. Check out Amanda’s website to find what you can do today.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to literally invest in yourself and your running. Buy a book on running, schedule an appointment with a sports’ therapist, or hire a running coach for a few sessions. The investment will be worth it. You will feel validated as a runner and you’ll be recovering from injury less often. Now get out there and show the world that you are a runner!
Listen to the Running for Real Podcast here:
Thank you to my wonderful sponsors Vital Farms and Body Health for sponsoring this episode of the Running for Real Podcast.
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Thank you to Amanda, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.