Running Reflections: Running Personality

One thing that I see a lot of people mention as a running tip and it’s also everywhere in magazines, running blogs, and websites is in order to stay motivated to run you should have a goal.  A challenge.

I’ve seen people who always are always training for something.  They sign up for races so they always have a goal and have a training plan so they have a reason to run.  Or some people want to become faster or work on their strength, so they train for and focus on that.  It seems that the majority of people need to have some sort of goal to work towards so that they stay motivated to keep running.

I’m about to tell you a little secret about me.

I am completely, 100% NOT a goal orientated runner. Having to follow and stick to a training plan makes me want to eat my head.  Meaning it drives me crazy.

It’s way too much pressure and it stresses me out.  What if 5 miles is on the schedule for that day but it’s raining?  Or I’m tired? Or I just plain don’t feel like kicking 5 miles that day because I don’t have the time that morning.  What then?

If I miss a day or need to switch up the schedule, it makes me feel like I’m not training properly and then I think I’m going to get injured which will put me off running and then, and then, and then….  Ack!

I cannot handle it.

This is why when I train for a half, I do it on my own.  I know how my body works (which is another post we need to discuss) and I know that I’m way more happy being able to do my own thing on my own time than having to stick to a plan.

I’m also highly self-motivated.  I’m one of those people that some runners find annoying. I’m the runner who genuinely loves to run and I will run just because. I love the way running makes me feel and I love having achieved something to get my day started.  I race because they are fun and I feel a sense of accomplishment at the finish.  I don’t need the races to motivate me to run.

Everything I read makes me feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t need a goal or race to stay motivated to keep running.  This can’t be true right?

What’s your running personality?  Do you need a goal or do you get your run on just because you like it?

11 thoughts on “Running Reflections: Running Personality

  1. I sort of agree with you. I hate the fact that I have tried a training plan once, and it didn’t go so well. I am giving it one more try for my next half, but I am only in the first week and ehh…shaky already.

    I think I need a plan, but also need to be able to move things around to fit my schedule.

  2. Good post. For me personally, I like having goals or races to train for, but the biggest thing that helps keep me going is the people that I run with. We come in different shapes and sizes and run different paces, but coming together at a certain time to venture out on a run has both an accountability and social aspect that I crave. That’s the biggest reason I’ve fallen in love with running…the people who I do it with and meet along the way. Good luck with your continued running!

  3. Aaron says:

    Hi, I saw your question/blog posted on Runnersworld’s Facebook wall.
    To answer your question, yes I personally need a goal to stay motivated. I like to run and I like how I feel after a run, but if I don’t have something to shoot for, I’m not getting out of bed and if I don’t run in the morning, I don’t have time to run the remainder of the day.
    At the beginning of this year I set a goal of 700 miles and a marathon. I planned to run the Columbus Marathon October 17th. I ran about half a dozen times before June 1st before I realized ‘if I’m running this marathon I need to get running.’ From that point until October 17th, I ran on a consist basis and ran/finished my marathon. However I missed just enough training runs that I fell 13 miles of my 700 mile goal. I did finally accomplish that just last week, but now I’m have trouble sticking with it. Now I’ve uped the annie (sp?) to 800 miles by year’s end and a half marathon in Cincinnati on May 1st to jump start my running for the first part of my year and goal for next year.
    I don’t know why I’m that way. I just am.

    Have a good day,

  4. I pick a plan and follow it loosely. Unless you are an elite athlete or have a specific goal in mind, I don’t have the need or desire to be so strict with training. I followed my training plan exactly last fall for my first marathon which took place a year ago this week. Half way through the plan I became burned out on running. I was mentally tired of running. And when life steps in and takes over your training plan and things fall apart it’s really not worth the stress. I now will pick a plan and do what I can. My only goal for the marathon is to finish.

  5. I need a goal, I need a plan, I need structure. Left to my own devices I’d never progress. However, I am a fairly new runner so that may have something to do with it. I’m currently cycling willy-nilly and I find that I am not really making any progress. I’m really considering getting on a proper training schedule for that.

  6. I run b/c I love to run. I make goals and choose races so that I train safely and don’t overtrain. It is hard for me right now b/c my training for my next marathon hasn’t started yet. I am trying to just build up a good base after my injury.


  7. Heidi says:

    I’m not sure which side I fall into. I run because I really enjoy running. I was not a runner AT ALL for most of my life and only recently changed the way I feel. I feel like I need to loosely follow a training plan or I won’t push myself to reach goals (like races). However, when training for the half this fall, I felt very burned out during the last month and started dreading my training runs. I don’t know if I will always experience that when preparing for a big race or if that’s a one-time thing.

  8. I love to run, but I love to attend races. I love the spirit. I think you are the same since you have done a few trail races in the past month? So I am always “training” for something, for fun :) I like having something to look forward to!

  9. I don’t run, just never enjoyed it, but I love walking. I need to get walking in every week, but there are times I’m not up to it, so I don’t. Today was cold with spits of snow, and we took the dog for a walk. We could have gone further, but the tops of my legs were cold so we didn’t. I need to find something to put under my jeans to keep them warm, and we’ll do longer walks. The dog was not happy about getting back in the car after only a mile. Do I stress if I can’t walk as much as I’d like to, no, but I will figure out a way to make it work better next time.

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