What is a runner’s body?
In the world of running, there are a lot of stereotypes about what runners look like or should look like. Running used to be more of an elitist sport, not a sport of the masses like it is today.
Today, running has become more accessible to so many more people and the “runner’s body” now takes on many more shapes and sizes.
However, that runner’s body stereotype hasn’t gone away. Many people judge themselves based on their size or shape, and some even think that that image has a role in determining their own self-identity as a runner.
I’m not a runner because I’m not thin enough.
I’m not a runner because I’m not fast enough.
The truth of the matter is that it does not require a certain look or race time to become a runner. It does not take a specific weekly mileage. Runners do not have to race marathons, or even race at all. To be a runner, you simply need to run. This means that a runner’s body is your body.
You have a runner's body.
I have a runner's body.
As parents of two little girls and coaches of a group of teenagers, it is incredibly important to project a positive body image. We are careful to teach toward building up the strength of our bodies rather than a fixed image, goal number, or shape. This can be challenging when those at the front of the race tend to look a certain way.
When thinking about body image, an important point to keep in mind is avoiding comparisons. If you could benefit from losing weight to lower your risk for diabetes, heart disease or other health complications, then that is a healthy choice. If you want to lose a couple more pounds so that you look like another person or some ideal image in your head, that is a dangerous path to follow.
Ultimately, remember that if you run you can accurately say “I have a runner’s body!”
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