I‘ve always been a slow runner, you’ve probably heard me say that before. I’ve been slow at my skinniest, I’ve been slow at my fittest. In fact I don’t think I’ll ever get to a sub 10 minute mile unless I quit my job, divorce my husband and never see my friends again. I’d have to put in some serious woman power and fortunately I have a life to live and other goals I want to achieve. But do you know what, that’s ok. It’s ok to not hit a sub 10 minute mile and still call yourself a runner.
I’ve been slow at my skinniest, I’ve been slow at my fittest.
I think that quick runners have something about them that makes it easier for them. Now, now, stop your eye rolling and hear me out before you say I’m making excuses. My thinking is, it’s the same way that some people can sing, and some are tone deaf, some people can dance and some have two left feet, some people can write and some can’t string a sentence together. I think we can all run, it’s in our DNA to do it, but some of us can run quicker than others more easily. I mean, I’m not the only one to be thinking along these lines, there have been countless scientific studies on people’s athletic ability and whether you’re born with it and it’s natural selection or it’s just all down to hard work. So in that respect us slow runners deserve some respect.
It’s ok to not hit a sub 10 minute mile and still call yourself a runner.
Slow runners who put in the miles. Who put in the training and still sit at 12 minute miles yet stick it out, have grit.
Slow runners who run races with all their heart and cheer on others (even those who lap them) and come back of the pack, show determination.
Slow runners who enter races and take 1hr30mins for a 10K or 6hrs+ plus for a marathon, but do it with a smile on their face, are getting the most out of their entry fee.
Slow runners who run races and are on the course for twice as long as the leaders, who get to water stations to find the water has ran out or the volunteers have gone home, show bravery.
Slow runners who aren’t swayed by the elitist comments and conversation on Twitter and Instagram about what a ‘true runner’ is and what a ‘true runner’ does, know their worth isn’t determined by someone else’s beliefs.
Slow runners who forego Strava, Garmin and Fitbit and just run, because the magic of a good run can never be captured by numbers, show spirit.
Slow runners who own their body, no matter what shape or size or capability show honesty.
Slow runners who run to maintain their health, to show family and friends the joys of regular movement, to de-stress after work or to quieten their anxiety, show self-love.
Slow runners who are respectful to those who overtake them at races, Parkrun or in the street are just decent human beings.
Slow runners who take walking breaks during their Sunday long run are still runners.
Slow runners who have no intention of running a marathon or even half marathon are still runners.
What matters is that all runners, be it a 15 minute mile, or a 6 minute mile are still runners. But slow runners, who running doesn’t come easily to, who are scared to enter races as they don’t want to be last, who are overlooked by some in the running community as they aren’t “serious enough”, still get up at 6am in the morning, lace up their trainers and put in the miles.
What you think is slow might be someone’s dream. We all have our own goals, our own bodies and all know what we’re capable of.
Speed is all relative. And for slow runner, their 12 minute mile might be years of hard work. What you think is slow might be someone’s dream. We all have our own goals, our own bodies and all know what we’re capable of.