What Type Of Runner Are You?

Quiz: Do Know Your Running Type?

So, Heifers, since we’ve established the truest truth – that if you run, you’re a runner – now it’s time to think about what kind of runner you are. I know…the universe is full of probing questions.

Since I’ve been running now for a good few years, I’ve come across all kinds of runners.  Below is a list of the types I see most often.

Do you recognize yourself? Do you self-identify as one type or another? Because if you’re not self-identifying these days, what are you doing?

Let’s see……

Do you prefer to pound a quiet wooded path instead of a hard, paved road? Would you rather die than gut out seven miles on a treadmill? Do you need the soothing sound of birdsong to lull you into hitting your stride?

If you said yes to any of the above….you’re a Nature Runner. You prefer to run in the wild, without a playlist piped in through ear buds or the company of a running pack. You prefer the solitude of a dirt path and find your zen when your shoes hit the earth. You may or may not have served in the Peace Corps and you definitely wear natural deodorant.  

Do you stop every few blocks, miles or songs to snap a pic of yourself in your new swank running pants? Did you just post to Instagram a sweet pic of your shoes, neon laces and matching swoosh? Do you end a workout with a group text complete with an image of your sweaty brow and a caption reading: WHEW!!! Seven miles DOWN!

Yeah, you’re a Selfie Runner.  You like to work social media to your advantage, posting inspirational pics and letting the world hold you accountable for all of your fabulousness.  You probably spend more on your workout gear than you do on a house payment and you won’t admit this, but you wear make-up and probably cologne before you hit the streets.  You occasionally wander into Nature Runner territory so you can post a shot of ending your run just as the sun sets or having run to the top of a steep incline. It’s all good.  We get it and are totally inspired! We’re sending thumbs-up and fist-bump emojis your way.  

Do you keep it simple but significant? Do you lace up a pair of retro sneakers and maybe break out a sweat band, no other gear needed? Are you flying streamlined: no fancy watch, no trackers, no apps, no phone, not even an old-school Walkman to keep you company?

If you keep it simple and streamlined, you’re a Minimalist Runner.  You don’t have time (or money) for fancy gear because you’re totally over working for the man and struggling up a ladder you didn’t build. You’re a classic, and you know what matters. You’re in it to get your heart pumping, clear your mind and move your body. Everything else is just…..noise. Also, you wear only neutrals. It’s an unspoken rule.

Do you run only in groups, hitting up Starbucks later and taking up at least the biggest group table available? Maybe you run with The Hash in foreign cities all over the world, pounding the pavement in Bangkok before settling into a dive bar and kicking back tequila, telling war (travel) stories with your new buddies? Do you spend five miles debating your newest love interest with a few sidekicks beside you, grateful you can still keep a conversation going past the ¼ mile mark?

If running is your form of group therapy, you’re a Social Runner. You’ll use any excuse to hang with your crew. Running for you is just a healthy way to socialize, killing two birds with one stone. Exercise isn’t a lonely endeavor of isolation, and you don’t need privacy and a secluded path to fit in a workout. You believe, and live, the motto that more is, in fact, better.

Do you track your steps, time your miles and set your distance in your head before you even take your first step? Do you have a set warm-up and cool-down routine that involves, maybe, some Olympic training? Do you visualize your run before you hit the pavement, a mental image of your shoe hitting the ground, rolling through a pace and then lifting off again….one fluid motion?

If you lie in bed at night and calculate, prepare and envision your running success, you’re a Goal-Oriented Runner. You don’t just run; you train. This isn’t child’s play. You’re not half-assing it. You’re full-assing it. Damn right.

So…what kind of runner am I?

Heifers, I’ve been all of these runners at one point or another in my running life.


I started out a minimalist runner, no fancy gear or even the best pair of sneakers.  


I have gone through times as a nature runner, really wanting to run outside, in the quiet, to process thoughts or just be alone. Four kids does that to a person.


I’ve trained hard for races with the seriousness of a goal oriented runner, timing myself and stretching with what can only be described as precision.


I’m still a social runner, always looking for a buddy (or a few) to run a race with, hit the neighborhood streets with or hang out with after we’ve slogged seven miles.


And since I have a blog and website and whole group of fellow heifers who run with me in spirit all over the world, I can’t escape being a selfie runner…not that I’d want to.


In all seriousness though, the key is to just keeping on running….no matter how, when or where we do it!


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