What Kind of Runner Are You?

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Hi, 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.

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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?

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