To become a runner, all you have to do is start to jog regularly. There isn’t a crossover point where you suddenly become a runner.
You’re a runner if you feel like one. Don’t let anyone else tell you any differently.
How I Became A Runner
I started off by walking for an hour on the treadmill at the gym. I tried to walk 4 miles on each session and did this 4 times a week.
Next I began to introduce short jogging sessions into the workout. To start with I ran for 5 minutes at a pace of 8km. Then as the days progressed I’d run for a little bit further each time. If I ran for 5 minutes today, I’d aim for 6 the next. I didn’t worry about the pace as I was concentrating solely on distance for marathon training.
I started this cycle in September 2010 and by December 2010 I had ran my first indoor 10k. It took 70 minutes but I was delighted with myself.
From there onwards I haven’t looked back and the longest I’ve ran now is 36 miles (it was a 50k ultramarathon race and I got lost halfway through)
Becoming An Outdoors Runner
I still didn’t feel like a runner whilst I was only jogging on the treadmill in the gym
It took for me to get outdoors to feel like the real deal.
Unfortunately I found running outside much more difficult than the treadmill. I think it’s because I was so tense and worried of receiving verbal abuse or being assaulted by someone.
I couldn’t relax and it totally fucked up my running form.
My first proper run was in December 2010 where I managed 4.2 miles running home from work one. I didn’t even have proper running gear at the time! I ran home in Jeans, a Rock Band t-shirt and some DC shoes.
I think the reason why I completed that run was because of the temperature. It was below freezing and I knew if I stopped, I’d be stranded and in big fucking trouble.
Failure wasn’t an option!
Even after that first successful run I still felt like a fraud. I’d see other runners outside and they’d be moving elegantly whilst I was trudging along at what I thought was a snail’s pace.
It took until my 3rd marathon for me to consider myself to be a true runner. And even then I still have my doubts on a daily basis.
Sometimes you’ve gotta say “fuck off” to your doubts and accept yourself as a runner!
Never Considered Myself A Runner
All throughout my teenage years and my 20’s I never considered the possibility that I could even run, or enjoy the process.
It just wasn’t something that I never could have seen myself doing.
When I reached 280lbs at the end of 2009, I was depressed and my life seemed extraordinarily bleak.
I knew that there had to be some hope, so it was at that point that I tried to redefine who I was as a person.
I remember buying Runner’s World and Men’s Running when I was still only walking on the treadmill and not relating to any of the stories contained with the pages.
It wasn’t until I switched the treadmill pace from 6k to 8k one day that I realised I could become a runner, but that brought in a completely different issue.
Becoming A Jogger But Not A Runner
Months and months of running at a 12-minute-pace, led me to believe that I wasn’t a runner, but a jogger.
Joggers were fat people who were still lazy. Runners were lean-mean-killing machines who ran at 15kph on the treadmill without breaking into a sweat.
I definitely felt that I was a jogger rather than a runner and that I would struggle to ever become one because it wasn’t within my genetic makeup.
It was just my lack of self confidence speaking.
You ultimately draw the line between being a jogger and a runner. If you want to become a runner, fake it until you make it!