What Kind of Runner Are You?

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning! Happy Election Day! As soon as I finish this blog post, I’m heading out to get my vote on. I hope you plan to vote today, too. Maybe this pug will help you decide!


Yesterday morning’s breakfast was a Sweet Breakfast Scramble with a massive scoop of Teddie peanut butter. I went overboard with the canned pumpkin, so this batch is a little watery. For a less watery Sweet Breakfast Scramble, just use less pumpkin or a larger banana.

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I also drank a glass of Dandy Blend with organic half and half. Mmm… so creamy!

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While I ate my breakfast, I read the November issue of Runner’s World. Inside was an article called “What Kind of Runner Are You?,” which played off today’s election. It asked readers to pick whether they are conservative, progressive, independent or moderate with their running and then went onto suggest proper training, racing, nutrition, and health for each.

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Here’s a brief description for each kind of runner:

You run 15 miles-or 2.5 hours-per week

There are many reasons for being a Conservative. Your time and energy may be limited by a full-time job, the equally demanding job of raising young children, or both. Or perhaps running shares time with one or two other activities, like bicycling and gym classes. Or you may be mileage-shy because of past injuries. Or you’re a beginner. Or you’re simply content running three miles a few times a week.

All of these reasons are legit, so don’t feel guilty if you know other runners who train more. The low-mileage lane will still get you to your destination. If your long-term goal is overall, general good health, there’s no reason to switch your affiliation.

You run 15-30 miles-mostly at intermediate distance & pace-per week

It’s hard to argue against the age-old advice, “Moderation in all things,” but Moderate runners take this wisdom to extremes. Wait, no, Moderates take nothing to extremes. They train a moderate amount of mileage at a moderate pace for a moderate distance. They may also sprinkle in speedwork and cross-training-but not too much-and prefer medium-distance races.

The only risks that Moderates take are calculated risks, with dispassionate reason as their guide. They color between the lines, plan long-term, and leave nothing to chance. Who’s to say that moderation isn’t the best way to run?

You run 30+ miles-dedicated miles-per week

You’re a Progressive if your days are gray when you don’t run and you eagerly await half-marathons and marathons the same way that most people look forward to birthdays and holidays. You love channeling your competitive nature and a predilection for perfectionism into your running and racing.

High mileage is more practical for certain kinds of people-people who have the free time of a substitute teacher with no kids and the energy of a 25-year-old. But love is not practical, so plenty of runners take the leap into high-mileage running even when logic tells them not to. It isn’t free time or youth that characterizes the Progressive runner, it’s motivation.

You run 10-50 miles-depending on mood, season, and life-per week

Just as Independent voters are not party-loyal, Independent runners are not mileage-loyal. They base their mileage not on what they’ve always done, but on their work/family schedule-and how the weather looks. One month they may train for a marathon and the next they may not run at all.

Many Independent runners live in places where the weather is rotten for part of the year (Arizona summer, Alaska winter). Others have jobs that cycle between high and low periods (training for an April marathon is impractical for an accountant). But Independent running also suits folks who just prefer change over routine, if only to ward off boredom.

If I had to pick, I’d say I’m “The Independent” runner. I go through phases when I am super gun-ho on running (usually when I’m training for a race), but then a week or two goes by and I don’t run at all (or very little).

Question of the Day

What kind of runner are you?



  1. Tee hee. Thanks for the pugalicious voting video! Adorable!! I am currently not a runner…too many years of dance has made it an incredibly painful cross training method, so I stick with zumba, more dance, and cycling! As an athlete though, I’d consider myself Progressive. I love working out and use it as a tool to decrease stress and increase happiness!

  2. Lol well right now I’m Independent – I went from marathon training to currently injured and running… ZERO miles this week and a measly 2.5 last week. Sad. But normally I’d say I’m moderate! And Murphy is too cute!!! Haha he looks like he just can’t choose!

  3. That’s interesting, I am right on the edge, when healthy I runa fairly consistant 32-38 miles per week but I am not competitive about running at all!

  4. I just voted…I was worried about lines and so I took my tea to go and got there crazy early! Love this post…so fun! I am an independent as well but with some conservative and moderate histories!

  5. I really enjoyed that article in Runners World. I think I classified myself as a moderate, with a little bit of progressive.

  6. Ha ha – let’s all vote for the pug! 🙂

    I’m definitely a conservative! And a walker – can’t really be considered a runner. I have tried a couple ‘couch to 5k’ programs and can’t seem to make it past the 4th or 5th week. I just can’t break through. Been thinking about working out distance instead of time – like shoot for running .1 of a mile and keep at that till I’m comfy and then go for .2, etc… ONE day I’ll hit a full mile. 🙂

  7. Depending on the week I’m conservative or moderate. some weeks it’s harder to wrangle all the things to do with my 3 kiddos, some others I’m effective with my “me” time and can push my running.

  8. I’d definitely consider myself an independent runner too. Sometimes I want to run all the time, but time doesn’t allow it. And sometimes I don’t feel like running, and choose to do workout classes, etc. instead. Totally depends on the situation!

  9. I was wondering if you had any insight on this matter~ when you were not feeling well you had to cut back on exercise if I am correct. Do you you have troubles maintaining with cutting back on the exercise and starting to be able to eat to enjoy now?

    ~Thank you,

    1. I didn’t have any trouble, but I was also just listening to my body. I didn’t feel well, so I didn’t push it with the exercise.

  10. Oh, I’m definitely and Independent Runner, which is pretty much exactly where my political views lie, spooky!

    Or perhaps not, given how I’ve organised the rest of my life!

    Both my volume of training and type of training changes with season and desire. I’m longing for the hills right now…


  11. We’re getting election fever here in the UK, too. It’s very exciting!

    Definitely independent. I trained for a ten mile run, completed it, then gave up. Who knows if ill take it up again?!

  12. I’ll definitely be voting this afternoon!

    I loved that article in Runner’s World! I am definitely an independant when it comes to running. I go in phases where I’m running upwards of 30+ miles a week to weeks where I’m lucky to get one run in. It all depends on what type of race I’m training for.

  13. I’m a conservative independent if there is such a thing. I definitely swing from the fences when a big race is on the horizon (like the Princess 1/2 marathon I’m currently training for) but life tends to creep into even the best laid plans and before you know it, you’re training schedule is just messed up.

    As someone who never ran before 5 months ago unless something was chasing me, I’m doing pretty good!

  14. I am a moderate since I was training for my first half marathon which was Sunday. I did the lady speed stick half marathon in AZ. All I have to say is I loved it so much and I already signed up for the P.f. changs rock n roll in janurary here in AZ. I’m taking about 5 days off from running and then I’m going to start training again.

  15. Definitely a progressive runner. I can’t go a day without running or I get so…sad about it. It’s an addiction at this point. I read this article in Runner’s World awhile back and loved trying to figure out which type of runner I am. No better time to post about it than today!

  16. 100% progressive! Hubs has learned fast that I am not pleasant to be around when I don’t get to run. haha I am competitive with myself and my pace. My next marathon is in a few weeks! 🙂

  17. I’m in between a moderate and a progressive. I think i’m becoming a progressive.. I’ve been running 30+ or close every week. If I don’t get my runs in I’m unhappy and grumpy.

  18. Definitely an Independent Runner! I live in Washington so there are times of the year where running just doesn’t fit – running with ice on the ground is not my idea of a party. Also, being a work at home mom with a toddler doesn’t leave much freedom to go to the gym and hit the treadmill. I wish I could be a Progressive runner!

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