What makes a run a success?  Whether you’re new to the sport or training for your 100th marathon, you are undoubtedly looking for success in your running endeavors.  But how can you actually tell if a run was a success? How fast do you need be to consider yourself successful?  Is there a certain run you need to be able to do before you can call yourself a runner? Is there certain gear you need to obtain before you can consider yourself a “real” runner?  I’d like to take a stab at answering these questions.

“I only run like twice a week on a good week; I wouldn’t even call myself a runner.”  

“I’m here for trail shoes because my friend told me I can’t be a real trail runner without trail shoes.” 

“I’m just a hobby jogger, not a runner; I couldn’t keep up with anyone at a group run anyway.”  

I work in a running store, and I can’t tell you how many times I hear customers make comments like these.  It’s not that these comments are rude or annoying, but they just simply aren’t true! There is a LONG list that  one must meet to be considered a “real” runner, and this same criteria can be used to determine whether or not a run was a success:  

  1. First and foremost, you need to have fun!  
  2. Secondly, keep yourself and the people around you safe.

And that’s it!  That’s your long list. Two things.  If you run, enjoy it, and don’t put yourself or others at risk of getting hurt, then you’re doing it right!  Speed doesn’t matter; distance doesn’t matter; how recently you bought new running shoes doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are running and enjoying it, all while being safe!

There are enough pressures in this world letting people know they are inadequate or not good enough.  That’s what makes the running community so special; we understand that there is no cookie cutter version of success in our sport.  It’s all relative. Just get out the door and smile!

~Matthew Warriner @brochacho55