Written by Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer
How you run says a lot about you as an exerciser--what motivates you, what pushes you, what makes you feel accomplished. How you run also says a lot about, well, you as a person, too. Are you someone who--quite literally--stays the course? Do you thrive on competition? Do you tend to go all out on your weekend runs only to be so sore and tired during the week that you can barely muster a walk?
We all have our own style when it comes to running, but there are some common types of running personalities out there. And all runners have strengths, weaknesses and opportunities--if they train wisely. Take our short quiz below (write down your answer for each of the five questions) to see what type of runner you are and how you can best use your style to your advantage!
A) A steady run through the park with my favorite tunes playing
B) A 5K that I've been training for over the last few months
C) Sprints followed by easy walking
A) "Going the Distance Injury Free"
B) "Train--and Win--Just Like a Professional Runner"
C) "Cross-Train for Success"
A) Steady as She Goes, by The Raconteurs
B) Fast As You Can, by Fiona Apple
C) Hot N Cold, by Katy Perry
A) Comfortable with plenty of cushion and shock absorption
B) The latest and greatest technology in running footwear
C) Versatile and able to handle other fitness activities
A) Maintaining my pace without feeling sluggish or running out of energy
B) Beating my running partner at the finish line
Calculate your score (total number of As, Bs and Cs).
If you answered mostly As, then you're a slow and steady runner! You generally like to run longer distances but rarely vary your speed. You like to find a comfortable pace and just enjoy the run. Your motto is "Slow and steady wins the race!"
Strengths: You are dedicated and really put your miles in. You are an excellent candidate for long distance races.
Weakness: Even though you may want to, you have trouble increasing your running speed.
Take a Cure From: The "Mostly C's" group (Stop and Go runners). They aren't as dedicated as you are, but they do know how to vary things up with intervals, which are essential to gaining strength and power! Also, be sure to take a day off from running every now and again. You may love running, but you can learn the joys of cross-training.
Advice: Try running intervals to push yourself.
If you answered mostly Bs, then you're a fast and furious runner! You are the definition of competitive and are always looking for a better route, shoe or gadget to help you be the best that you can be!
Strength: You are always motivated and push yourself to go that extra mile. You rarely miss a workout!
Weakness: Your competitive attitude may turn less-competitive runners off, limiting your training partner options. And sometimes you can push yourself too hard and have trouble knowing when to slow down or take a recovery day.
Take a Cure From: The "Mostly A's" group (Slow and Steady runners). They're dedicated, too, but are usually easier on their bodies and know when to call it quits. They run because they love to run—not just to win.
Advice: Offer to mentor a runner who is slower than you are and schedule a weekly run with him. Run at his pace--not yours--and fully enjoy his company.
If you answered mostly Cs, then you're a stop and go runner! Your motivation to run regularly tends to wax and wane, but when you do run, you really like to go all out. You enjoy jogging but sometimes find it hard to fit all of the fitness activities that you like to do into your schedule.
Strength: You love to work out and don't have a problem pushing yourself.
Weakness: You like to run, but don't do it regularly enough to really see results or make much progress.
Take a Cure From: The "Mostly B's" group (Fast and Furious runners). Sign up and train for a race. Having a tangible goal in mind like running a 5K or a 10K will help you to commit to running, but still leave you with enough time to do other activities.
Advice: Find and run with a training group. Making running more social will help you reach your goal of running a race and will be fun enough that you won't want to stop running along the way.