What type of runner are you?

Committed or casual, surface shine or hidden depths... what kind of runner are you?


Posted: 11 June 2007

Next time you see another runner out on the street, take a closer look. Is he thinking about smashing his 10K PB next week, or getting smashed at the pub later with his running friends? Is she wondering how she'll fit in next week's training, or how well her new designer lycra shorts fit her bum?

Of course, we all have different reasons for running, but many of us have more in common than you might think. We've looked at the evidence and come up with four general categories of runner, characterised by the way they run, how they think about running and how they manage the rest of their lives. If you're the type of runner who likes questionaires, try this one* - you'll find out what kind of runner you are, how you can get more out of your sport, and what you can learn from the other 'types'.

* Please answer all the questions to allow us to assess your running type.

Do you often vary your routes?

a) Not really. I like to compare times on a few courses as a check on my fitness.
b) Yes, I know the town better than the postman. Exploring is half the fun.
c) It depends - if others are going on a new route, I'm happy to tag along.
d) No. I stick to a few routes because I find that the time seems to pass more quickly when I'm on familiar ground.

How important are the health benefits of running to you?

a) I don't think about them. I would probably still train hard even if doing so was bad for me.
b) I'm glad there are long-term benefits, but I'm more focused on how good running makes me feel today.
c) They were one of my main reasons for starting, but now other things, like camaraderie, are what keep me running.
d) They're very important. I like how running makes me look and feel, and it's a great way to keep my weight in check.

You're a minute slower for a 5K than you were last year. What do you do about it?

a) Look through my training diary for an explanation, seek advice on running message boards, and resolve to lose those two extra pounds I've been carrying around.
b) Don't care too much as long as the experience feels the same.
c) Figure it's time to resume speedwork at my running club. I slack off when I'm on my own.
d) How far is 5K again?

You usually run after work, but your new boss asks if you want to go out for a drink. Do you go?

a) If it's a planned recovery day, maybe. On the day of an important session, never.
b) No. When I go to bed that night, I'd much rather have gone for my run than met a -social obligation.
c) No. I'm due to meet the gang for a run, then go out for beer and pizza.
d) Yes. I'll rearrange my schedule and make up for the run tomorrow.

A pain that started a few weeks ago has become worse and now you can hardly run. What do you do?

a) Start a cross-training program to maintain my fitness, and revise my racing plans.
b) Hobble through a few miles at whatever pace I can manage, and ice it later.
c) Volunteer to work at upcoming races to stay connected to the running community.
d) Sign up for that yoga class I've wanted to try.

What's your take on diet?

a) Food is fuel for racing and training. As the saying goes, if the furnace is hot enough, it will burn anything.
b) I don't really think about my diet in terms of running, other than I know which foods interfere with my running and I avoid them.
c) I know I would probably be a better runner if I was more careful about my diet, but my running doesn't dictate what I eat.
d) Watching my diet is an important part of my overall fitness regime. That said, I like to reward myself with a treat now and then.

What's important in a race?

a) Fast course, good competition, good weather. I'm there to meet a time goal. Good awards certainly don't hurt.
b) Good organisation. I want to be able to concentrate on my running and not have to worry about whether the course is accurate.
c) Lots of people to run with and a good post-race spread. It should feel like a party.
d) I don't race much, but when I do a nice T-shirt and a good charitable cause.

You just don't feel like running. What do you do?

a) Look through my training log for an explanation. If I have a race coming up, I'll probably back off for a few days until my legs feel fresh again.
b) Head out - I'll feel better once I get going. Feeling bored or tired isn't a reason not to run.
c) Call my running buddies in search of company; that will motivate me.
d) Take a few days off from running and do some other exercise instead.

Long runs are...

a) A key component of performance. I don't always like them, but they have to be done.
b) A weekly ritual that I enjoy.
c) The social highlight of my week. I don't really look forward to doing long runs by myself.
d) A great way to burn calories.

What do you think about lifting weights?

a) It's not essential but it does help my finish-line kick. But generally I think that time spent lifting would be better spent running.
b) I don't like lifting weights, but I know it helps me to avoid injury, so I do it in order to keep on running.
c) Lifting pints of beer after a run is important.
d) I enjoy lifting weights. I feel stronger after a workout - and it helps me to fit into my clothes better.


Previous article
Reader to Reader: Running Hills
Next article
Reader to Reader: Train less, run faster?

beginners misc, quiz, planning
TwitterStumbleUponFacebookDiggRedditGoogle


Discuss this article

I am The Warrior (sounds kinda cool)
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 14:41

I am a non-runner
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 14:43

me too, Jose
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 14:43

Me too at the moment, folks.
CBA runner?
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 14:44

Supposedly a warrior, although I'm not sure how that happened!

Found myself thinking "nope, none of those" for several questions - what are weights and why would I want to do anything with them??
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 14:49

I'm a very average runner at the best of times and a shit runner when I'm at my worst.
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 14:50

"The Purist" apparently.



Well, there's a first time for everything, I suppose. ;o)
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 14:53

Helenliz, good to see at least one other person is bored enough to have doen the interactive questionnaire from the homepage!
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 14:53

Nessie, make that 2!
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 14:54


P Q
I'm a warrior too :-)
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 14:54

I'm a non runners as well
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 15:03

I'm a Purist runner apparantly...
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 15:07

Purist
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 15:11

I'm half social and half warrior (or was the social the non-runner?)
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 15:14

but when I'm running I'm The Warrior


well that's what the test said:-)
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 15:17

am i the only exerciser?
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 15:39

I supposed to be an Exerciser.
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 15:43

Must proof read more carefully, Insert "am".
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 15:44

I'm a warrior - how surprised am I?
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 15:45

I'ma a warrior too - fancy a scrap?
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 15:55

Exerciser, but that's because... I am!
Running is only one of the things I do, gym, cycle, yoga, pilates... etc. so I am not surprised.
I just finished running the 3 Peaks and cycling the 500 miles between them over 6 days last week and started training for a marathon yesterday (the marathon is in October). I think 3 days rest was enough!

Colin
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 15:59

I'm a social runner apparently :o)))
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 16:00


Nam
another warrior apparently...
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 16:46

Exerciser, which is about true, started running to lose weight and get fit.
Posted: 12/06/2007 at 17:28

Warrior... GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!
Posted: 13/06/2007 at 10:58

Lazy git.

Not one of the possible categories on there, but that's what I am.
Posted: 13/06/2007 at 11:07

Purist - I also do other exercise like cycling, but running is my first love.

Do weights sometimes, but - YAWN!
Posted: 13/06/2007 at 11:17

Can anyone else hear an Alan Partridge type voice in their heads saying you're a tiger?
Posted: 13/06/2007 at 11:19

I am a warrior but I don't know how that happened! I just plod on at my own speed and try a beat my last time over similar course.

I think I would be the kind of warrior that runs at the first sign of danger!
Posted: 13/06/2007 at 12:09

Apparently I am a social runner which is interesting as you could count on the fingers of one finger the number of times I've trained other than on my own!
Posted: 13/06/2007 at 13:25

I am the walrus.
Posted: 16/06/2007 at 12:44

I'm the Purist. Makes sense...I do run for the love of it. :o)
Posted: 24/06/2007 at 11:39


I am a warrior too which is interesting as I am currently injured and soon to be under the knife so I wonder whether it's a typo and in fact I am a worrier!

;oD
Posted: 24/06/2007 at 11:56

I am a fair-weather runner.
Not sure I want a run today in the rain.
I run for enjoyment, and I don't enjoy running in rain really.
Posted: 24/06/2007 at 12:00

(purist according to their quiz
but they didn't ask about rain)
Posted: 24/06/2007 at 12:04

runner - up







oh and Purist
Posted: 24/06/2007 at 12:16

exerciser - but a lazy, boozy, smokey one! i think running is the only thing keeping me alive! any tips on giving up all of the above?
Posted: 24/06/2007 at 14:12

Growbags: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/fm.asp?R=9&T=106330&M=5575950&source=forumnot
Posted: 24/06/2007 at 14:27

No, not there. Here: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/fm.asp?R=4&T=75719&M=&source=forumnot
Posted: 24/06/2007 at 14:28

Purist - some of it was spot on but other bits just not me at all!
Posted: 24/06/2007 at 21:23

See more comments...
We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.