running stereotypes

Running Stereotypes And Why You Have Them All Wrong

Every sport has them – everything in the world has them! Stereotypes exist everywhere, and running is no exception. You’ve probably had opinions on them yourself! As cliche as the saying ‘you should never judge a book by its cover‘ is, it’s also true. Today, we’ll break down the most common ‘running stereotypes’ and reveal the real athletes behind the boxes everyone puts them in!

The Fashionista

The stereotype:

You know the type – always impeccably dressed, whether training in the gym or outdoors. You’ll see her running past in her perfectly matched activewear set from the likes of Under Armour, New Balance or Sweaty Betty. She most likely looks like she’s fresh off the set of a ‘Women’s Running’ photoshoot! You might hear people talking about how ‘real runners’ don’t need matching sets and stylish clothes, and that anyone who does this must be more interested in fashion than the sport.

The truth:

It honestly doesn’t matter what you wear while you run. Whether you go for bespoke matching printed sets, or an old t-shirt and leggings, you’re still as much of a runner as anyone else. Motivation is critical for runners. If going on a shopping spree for nice running clothes and wearing those clothes while you’re training is what floats your boat, more power to you!

The ‘mature’ runner

The stereotype:

They’re probably just running to get out of the house and get some exercise; they’re not ‘real‘ ‘hardcore‘ runners. They’ll never be able to handle a proper race, and should stick to parks, running tracks and gyms.

The truth:

Just. Wrong. Take 102-year-old Ida Keeling for example. She holds Masters records for her age group in both 60 and 100 metre runs. Yes, you read that correctly. She’s 102 years old. If that’s not a wake-up call that you can excel at running at any age, I don’t know what is!

The ‘mum’ runner

The stereotype:

Running after her children or running pushing a buggy containing a seemingly-terrified child is all she does. Surely someone with as much to do as a mother can’t be that serious about running? Also – mummy running groups – just an excuse to chat with friends?

The truth:

Having to think about kids only makes it more amazing that mothers get out there and get running. To channel your precious little free time into running just makes you a very disciplined runner. It’s also an excellent way for new mothers to get back into fitness again, which is only aided by ‘mummy running groups.’ Running together with other new mothers who you can while away the miles chatting to is a perfect motivational tool.

The ‘not-a-runner’s-body’ runner

The stereotype:

All runners are skinny – it’s part of the package of being a runner. Anyone who’s overweight must be a new runner, and not ready to run at an event.

The truth:

Nobody can tell if you’re a runner or not by looks alone. You shouldn’t be able to judge someone’s running prowess on their weight. Runners come in all different shapes and sizes – seeing the people crossing the finish line at an event should show you that. Just because you’re slightly overweight, doesn’t and shouldn’t dictate whether you run or not.

Do you have any other running stereotypes that you think need breaking? Let us know in the comments!