Something that I have learned over my last 7 years of running is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a slow runner.
Slow runners should be proud of themselves and all of their accomplishments.
Something that can be difficult in the running world is the inevitable temptation to compete.
But I think that in the sport of running, we should really only be competing with ourselves.
Celebrate The Race Or The Pace?
When I first decided to start running, I took it really slow and celebrated when I was finally able to run 1 mile without stopping.
Then, I trained for my first 5k and celebrated when I crossed the finish line.
Then, I signed up for longer races and got excited about those race goals too.
I learned quickly that you won’t make it long as a runner without people asking about your pace or race times.
They will ask you about your time goals and how fast you are.
Suddenly, the excitement of completing these races fades and we start to doubt ourselves.
We start to think that in order to be a “real runner” or a “good runner”, we should be running at faster paces. If we don’t, somehow we’re not measuring up.
I firmly believe that the fact that you are running is itself an amazing accomplishment. You don’t need to hit a certain pace or race goal to be “good enough” as a runner.
Setting time goals for yourself is completely healthy if you are trying to improve yourself and strive for bigger goals for your own self-improvement.
But this becomes problematic when you’re trying to run faster to impress others or try to keep up with the runners that you see on social media.
Here are a few reasons why you should be proud to be a slow runner:
You’re Running You’re Own Race
As a slow runner, you are being true to yourself and running you’re own race.
You are running at the pace that is right for you, regardless if it’s going to give you a BQ.
Embracing your pace as a slow runner shows that you have the confidence to own your accomplishments and you aren’t willing to get swayed by the pressure of others.
You’re Running Just As Far As Fast Runners
There are a few sayings that I would tell myself when I first started running if I ever felt discouraged by my pace: “It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop.”
Another one that I like is “Slow or fast; miles are miles“.
Whether you run a 6-minute mile or a 12-minute mile, a mile is still a mile.
You are running just as far as someone who runs fast.
And that deserves to be celebrated!
You’re Getting Out There And Doing It
Another thing to keep in mind, that even if you are a slow runner, you are still getting out there and doing it.
You are taking care of your health and wellbeing and prioritizing yourself.
I personally run for my mental health, and I choose to run in a way that I know that I will be able to sustainably do for a long time.
I’m proud to continue to get the miles in and have a self-care routine that serves me and brings me so much joy!
Celebrate Every Mile
So slow runners, I urge you to proudly wear your slow runner status as a badge of honor!
You are just deserving of recognition and praise as fast runners.
Life is short. Celebrate every mile!