Running quote of the week

“We run because it makes us feel like winners, no matter how slow or how fast we go.” – Florence Griffith Joyner and John Hanc, Running for Dummies

Monday, November 26, 2012

A different perspective on running ability

Running strata as viewed by a newbie
Over the weekend my son and I were looking at some posts dating back to late 2008. That was around the time when I started to run in a dedicated way. Most of my early posts were about discovery and understanding. One post that my son really liked was an unscientific assessment of running abilities. The above graphic shows the levels that I'd defined at the time to differentiate between newbies like me, compared to long standing runners.

In December of 2008, I put myself between "beginner" and "intermediate", though in retrospect I should have used "advanced beginner" to describe my abilities. At that time, I viewed runners who covered distances between 16 and 24 miles as "established." My 20 mile per week average puts me right in the center of that range. I guess after four years I could claim to be at that level.

But distance (or even speed) aren't really the best way of describing a person who runs. Both of those measurements have as much to do with age and circumstance as they do with experience. Today, I'd characterize it differently and say that anyone who regularly practices the discipline of running (regardless of how fast or how far they go) is a runner. That's all people really need to know.

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