People who don’t run often see runners as alien life forms. They don’t understand how someone could run that far or long; but more importantly, they don’t understand why someone would do it in the first place. Running is certainly not for everyone, and there are some things that set runners apart from non-runners. Certain key personality traits come together to form a runner’s mentality, making them the alien life form that non-runners see.
Runners put in hours of training before a big event. They choose their sport over free time, hobbies or relaxing. Running trumps all elective activities. They also dedicate themselves to a runner’s lifestyle, eating healthier and living more health-conscious, making healthier decisions overall in order to enhance their running. They don’t have to do these things, but they choose to because they are runners.
Running isn’t always easy. Some days it hurts. Others its hard to stay awake. In spite of it all, a runner pushes through the pain or weariness, knowing they will be stronger for it. Runners simply will run, regardless of what they feel or think. This mental toughness is a very key characteristic of runners. What doesn’t break a runner makes them stronger, both mentally and physically.
Every workout has a purpose. Even the boring, monotonous workouts have a reason behind them. The form drills, the stretches and the cool downs are all designed to enhance running overall. Runners see the big picture, and they do what it takes to get where they want to go. It is all a means to the end result.
Runners have to be patient. They put in miles and miles on the road, moving forward only one step at a time. They also have to be patient with themselves and their abilities. It’s impossible to lower a race time drastically overnight, or to find the ability to suddenly run miles further the next day. It takes time and work to get to the finish line. Runners have to be patient with themselves in order to be successful in their running.
Runners are competitive. Not all runners are competitive against other runners, though. Some runners compete solely against themselves, trying to improve their times. Others just compete against the nay-sayers, to prove they can and will do what they set out to do.
The most important quality a runner has is passion for their sport. They wouldn’t put in all the time and effort if they didn’t feel like it was worth it in the end. A love for running is the only thing that overcomes a slump in training, that helps push through the bad days and moves feet that don’t feel like moving. Runners love running. It’s that simple.