Five Types of Runners: Which One are You?

Written by: Shannon Polk, Kudos Team Contributor

We all have preferences and habits when it comes to running. If you’re looking for a training partner, we recommend someone who shares your goals and interests. So what type of runner are you? We’ve highlighted five common varieties below.

The Motormouth
This type of runner loves to run with a partner or in groups. Why? Because they want to tell you their life story for the duration of the run. While you’re trying to concentrate on breathing, this person is talking as if they have a second pair of lungs. The good? You probably won’t have to exert much energy contributing to the conversation. The bad? You may not find their story very interesting and, on occasion, may have to respond to questions—while gasping for air. If you enjoy talking while running, make sure the person you’re chatting with does as well. It can be a great way to bond and pass the time as long as the pace is manageable. 

The Competitor
Have you ever passed someone on a run only to have them pass you seconds later? Or you notice someone keeping pace with you a short distance behind? That’s the relentless competitor. They can’t help it—there’s a switch in their brain that says they must finish first, or at least keep up. Don’t get me wrong, a little competition is healthy and can help you meet your personal goals. But we suggest following proper running etiquette and don’t recommend running on someone’s heels. That way, if they stop or slow down suddenly, you’ll avoid tripping, falling and being just plain annoying. 

race medal display

The Whiner
Does it seem like something always goes wrong when this person goes for a run? Someone cut them off, their shoe came untied, their legs were sore, swarms of bugs flew in their face (this happened on my run today) or they accidentally stepped in a massive puddle? Well then you may have a whiner on your hands. I’m definitely guilty of this one, but I think it’s helpful to keep in mind that, despite the annoyances we may encounter on a run, we can give ourselves kudos for finishing despite those challenges. Also, a run with no challenges sounds pretty boring to me. 

The Impatient
No matter the distance, this person always begins their run at a quick pace. No warm up is required—they’re ready to go, NOW. And if it’s 5 a.m., you can bet they’re already out for a run. The earlier they can get it over with, the better. I’m all for an early morning run and its benefits, but going out too fast can make the return a miserable experience. I constantly remind myself to rein in my pace so I can have a comfortable finish during training runs as well as races.

race medal display case

The Natural
Every sport has these—naturally incredible athletes. The natural runner is someone who yawns at the thought of a 7-mile run. They may sign up for a half marathon a week before the race without training for it. Or maybe they don’t even like running, but when you convince them to join you on a casual run, they don’t break a sweat. But don’t waste your time being jealous of their abilities. Even natural runners have to put effort into their training if they want to improve. Let the naturals inspire you to train for a marathon, tackle the trails or improve your fitness!