Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner.
(1) Good runners enjoy running.
Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport.
(2) Good runners value their rest time.
Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep.
(3) Good runners don’t diet.
In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons.
(4) Good runners don’t push it.
This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through.
(5) Good runners stay in good company.
It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come.
(6) Good runners are not perfectionists.
Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one.
Post contributed by Brock Jones. Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.