I graduated from C25K 5 weeks ago and wondered if anyone else might feel daunted by the competitive edge of the running community. I feel satisfied to be able to run 5K now and enjoy running in different places, on my own but also alongside other runners in events such as parkrun. While I completely applaud people running faster and further, perhaps there is a place for the slower runners who are happy with shorter distances, how can we also celebrate that as success and encourage people to find their own running level as ok? I am concerned that if I keep pushing for speed and increasing distance, I will stop enjoying it, will pick up injury and not be able to run and I also love being part of the amazing group of people called runners but don't feel I need to compete? What do u think?

14 Replies

  • I think it's perfectly fine to see it that way. I think the most important thing is to get as much enjoyment out of your running as you can. If you don't want to compete with others (I tend to use the performance of others as encouragement for what I might be able to do rather than direct competition) then I see no reason you should feel negative about it. You can still enjoy running with others, in all forms of events.

  • Yes I love hearing about others achievements too, it's just remembering what motivates me is different and that's ok too 😄

  • Good post Joolie :) there is room for everyone and every type of runner , the bottom line really is to enjoy what you are doing in whatever way you run no matter distance or speed :D

    if it is working for you Joolie then stick with it :D

  • It doesn't have to be competitive at all, everyone is unique and we should all find what's right for us. Unfortunately the running bug really gets to most of us and we start to want the next thrill. When I graduated I thought 5k 3 times a week was a good enough aim but I soon realised I wanted more. Maybe this forum will gradually become more for those that are happy to stick to 5k and the 10k one for those that constantly strive for the next goal ! Or maybe set up a 5k and happy Facebook page.

    Happy running and stay injury free ! :) :)

  • Good point there, maybe I will need a running thrill in a few months and eat my own words LOL. Whatever the motivation, it's worth sharing and celebrating with others

  • I agree I haven't got a competitive bone in my body and find some aspects of running outside of this forum quite daunting and can make me feel insecure about my ability. Saying that I love doing events, I do them solely for myself, I love the training and I love the events. I am a carrot sort of girl, I like to be working towards something but my speed and times are personal to me I try never to pit myself against others as I find I get discouraged quite easily. The good thing about learning to run is it is completely personal to you what you want to do with it. I have seen many people go on after graduation to a variety of different journeys, each one a fantastic merit in itself, we must always remember that staying of that couch is the greatest achievement of all and if we can all do that then thats the best we can ask of ourselves.

  • The only person I compete against is my old self, who is not going to get me back on the sofa ever again. On the other hand, just like you, I love reading about runners who have motivated themselves to run faster, better and further as time goes on. I'm hoping that improvement will be a logical result of continuing to run on a regular basis, but if I never hit a 10km in 45 minutes, I won't be losing any sleep over it because I'm already chuffed that I'm running at all.

  • It's fine to run as and when, and how far you like. You don't need to push or do races at all but they are fun! We all think we'll never do one, and think to ourselves who are we kidding but you have this nagging thing at the back of your mind, "could I?" Yes you can. Honestly, they're a blast! Maybe not on a freezing day in February mind you! Don't rule it out

  • I'm with you Julie. Been sticking with 5ks for two years now mostly doing run/walk and just to be able to run, be out in the countryside and all the weather is absolutely enough for me. No desire to do longer distances or races as I love the solitude of running on my own with just an occasional deer or red kite for company.

    I like to read of others endeavours without any desire to join them, yet I really enjoy the running and the enhanced fitness. I think that's a perfectly valid approach and the beauty of this forum is that we are all equally valued members whether beginners or marathoners, plodders or racing snakes!

    What unites us is our enjoyment !

  • I feel exactly the same. I am happy to be a plodder. I will never want to run a marathon, but I do love reading about other people who have started from the same point as I did and who have have done just that.

  • yes -- this is the ONE downside to the sport of running for me - the competitiveness that it seems to generate. I think the underlying cause for it comes from our need to have a reason to run. We all do find a reason to run. I would love it if the reason I run was because I live somewhere where scenic runs are the order of the day - but I don't. For me , I am recognising that the reason I continue to run is partly intellectual. I recognise that there is a lot to learn about how to run - and I also enjoy participating (on my own) in training programmes. In other words, I do training programmes (like C25K) just for the sake of doing the programmes. :) The training programmes are actually my hobby!! :)

  • Run for the joy of it and know that people are just happy that you are doing something that makes you happy and healthy!

  • Although I enjoy parkrun occasionally, competitive running is not for me. I tried my local 10k race and realised that I would have much rather set off a few hours earlier, on my own and I could have even run most of the same course without congestion and without parting with a fee. I am not in the least inspired by bling collecting and solitary running is what works best for me.

    My favourite run this year was along the Purbeck ridge in Dorset. Hardly saw a sole while I revelled in the beautiful countryside around me, on a glorious sunny morning. Bliss. I had no idea how far I would run before I set off, except knowing that there were several possible routes of varying lengths, all within my capabilities. That is why I run.

    Don't get me wrong, when I go to parkrun, I am still hunting down my PB with everything I have got, and will even admit to being a bit peeved at coming within seconds of it on several occasions, but I am competing against myself, nobody else.....well apart from my other half, who has pipped my best age graded score.

    Competitiveness is a very human trait and I am sure we all display it at times, but it does not have to be the be all and end all of running.

    Keep running, keep smiling

  • Not just me then! The thought of running a race with hundreds of other people is not for me but people say it is awesome. I am not convinced as I like to be alone running most of the time, choosing when and where rather than running to someone else's timetable. Also like the freedom to try new runs 😄

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