Couch to 5K
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You have to be born a "runner"?

I will begin week 4 next Sunday. I told my husband tonight that my goal was to become "a runner" and he kind of laughed until he saw the look on my face. Then he backpedalled, tried to get out of it by saying that he believes that runners are born, they dont work hard and then suddenly "love" running. My definition of a runner are those mad ones who cannot pass a day without a run and they feel something is missing if they didn't get "that high" they rave about. 2 of my closest friends are runners and they certainly look like they were born that way; long legs, long lithe body... you know the ones!

Anyway, I was annoyed...but is he right?

25 Replies

I think your husband is talking about 'ectomorphs' (not an alien but one of three body types) - they have long/thin muscles/limbs and I suppose most high profile runners (especially long distance runners) fit this body type profile.

HOWEVER - I am definitely not an ectomorph and was not born a runner, but after completing week 7 of C25K I now definitely consider myself a runner (although Paula Radcliffe can relax as I don't think I'll ever catch her :-) )

Keep going you're doing brilliantly - maybe hubby could join you ;-)




I'm a runner and wasn't born! (You know what I mean ...)

On the othervtwo criteria, I often yearn not to run, and am usually glad when it's over. But I'm still a runner. And so are you - Laura tells us so.


Well, if I was born a runner, it's only taken me 60 years to find out!!


excellent! :-)


You are a runner from the very moment you put on the socks and trainers to take that first step. I am a runner, not a very graceful one...rather awkward and goofy at times, but I am a runner. I started running at the age of 49.5, not born a runner, just a late bloomer. :-) Gayle


Gayle told me I was a runner in week 1, and I believed her - and still do. (Thanks, Gayle!) I hated PE at school because I was slow, uncoordinated and not much good at it (eg never being entered in running races because they knew I'd be last, so I was always is the dressing-up races instead, I couldn't get over the lowest setting of the high jump bar, and I couldn't even get from the take-off board to the sandpit in long jump - these things do stick in the mind!)

But now I LOVE running, just 2 months from struggling to manage to keep going for 60 seconds.

So show him he's wrong! (Though in a sense I'd agree - watch small children in a playground, and they're pretty much all born runners, until we start measuring them against each other.)


Sorry, no offense to you're husband, but he is so wrong (I am being very restrained here as I am sure you love hubby very much and value his opinion, I couldn't possibly say what I thought on first reading your post :-o ).

I hated running at school and have convinced myself ever since that I am not and could never be a runner. Don't get me wrong I have always been active, at different times in my life swimming, horse riding, mountain biking, windsurfing and road biking, most of them still happening now to various extents. But runnng at school was such a bad experience for me that I was put off for over 30 years. I started running the week before Christmas, I completed the C25K programme last week at the age of 52 and I am loving it :-) . Sure, I have had a couple of difficult runs but mostly it has been a really positive experience. You don't have to be fast, you just have to enjoy it at your level, who cares if you are 'good' at it or not. I now consider myself a runner, I don't care what other people think!


There is a boy in my son's year (he's 14) and he is a very fast runner, has been since nursery age (at least!), perhaps this is the sort of runner your husband is thinking of?

But the thing is many of us come to things later in life, as is proved over & over on this website. It's not confined to running, a friend of my husband took up the guitar in his 50s, now he plays in a band & gets so much pleasure from it. Life is not set in stone thank goodness. :-)


read born to run. You and I were born runners!


You go for it and prove him wrong ! The most important thing I've learnt is to enjoy getting outside, look like a runner and you will feel like one!


You go for it and prove him wrong ! The most important thing I've learnt is to enjoy getting outside, look like a runner and you will feel like one!


Well, I'm 51 and started running a year ago. I do 10k now, three times a week. Born runner? I think it's taken a little while to find out if that is the case! Once you start running, and get to love doing it, YOU ARE A RUNNER! Keep it up and don't be put off by anyone. You're doing great.


I'd finish the program & go buy some new running gear just to p!$$ him off if he was my husband! I was certainly not born a runner or any other kind of sportsman. At 39 I started doing duathlons. I now have 2 duathlon free months a year & I'm pretty damned good at them.

So, to answer your question, NO HE IS NOT RIGHT!


He is in trouble, and he knows it! And he is wrong.


Poor guy.. I don't think I will let him read all your comments :)

I know he is still getting his head around all this. He travelled for work for 2 weeks, came back and I was suddenly "into running"! He supports me, don't get me wrong. He loves that I am "getting off the couch" :)

I think he just can't imagine that I would be one of those people who can't wait to get out and do a run and to be honest I can't either (yet!) But I BELIEVE!!! So thanks all for the comments, helps me a lot. (Like the idea of new running gear Nix!)


As a size 22 and 19 stone .. I am now on W6 and beginning to get that feel or wanting to run so it is possible ... I am 44 and not run..ever (used to cheat at school cross country and in goal for hockey and netball) and in a way I expect that look when I say I go running ... infact it now gives me a buzz when I say I can run for 20 minutes, especially when I know that they cannot!

And now that I have bought running shoes and they are the most beautiful and precious item of clothing I have at present, and I am planning on taking them on holiday with me ... yes you can become passionate about running :)


Sooooooo, why were you annoyed?

Is your husband not your best friend?

Your announcement sounds like one of those "by the way" comments

as you are leaving the room. You know:

"btw I am pregnant"!

"btw I'm having an affair"!

"byw I want a divorce"!

"btw I want to be a runner"!!

Is it not in the nature of men to occasionally come across as just a tad insensitive?

Maybe he didn't picture you as quickly as he might,

qualifying for a trip to Brazil in 2016.

Forgive him! Just let it go!

Maybe you failed to mention that you were not planning

to be as fast as Farrah or quite the same shape as Ennis.

Possibly your shape is not long and lean, at the moment.

But round is a shape too................!!

Lots of round shapes can change after a while to longer shapes

and of course longer shapes can change to round shapes as well...

Some people are natural runners and lots are not, so what?

Running is not an end in itself but one of the means to a fitter,

better and more wholesome way of life.

In all probability your husband has been ignorant of your

new found joy...... just educate him!

A sense of proportion is always a plus....

Not going to bed without a reconciliation is a minus...

Not talking things through with the one that counts does lead to no end of regret!

In six months time when you have dropped two dress sizes

he just wont know what to do with you........!

Scare him or convert him.................... xx.


Bloody hell!


Maybe the best Olympic runners are born, in the same way as the very best footballers, or musicians, or painters are.

But that has never ever stopped untold millions of totally normal people getting enjoyment, satisfaction and loads of other benefits from these activities, and others like them.

No one would dream of telling all the guys who play local footy every week that they aren't 'footballers' because they will never play for England; or telling everyone who plays in their (probably very good) town band that they aren't 'musicians' because they're not in the LSO.

If you run regularly, and enjoy it, you are a runner. End of story. (Laura herself will tell you so in a couple of weeks...).

One thing you might like to hear: When I did the race for life soon after finishing C25K last year, I was puffing and panting my way back into the park for the last half a K or so, and really struggling to keep going. Then I heard a guy in the crowd say to his son "No, darling. Mummy won't be coming past yet. These ladies are the proper runners". My head went back up and I finished in style with a massive smile on my face. That guy was right. Your husband wasn't. (Sorry if that sounds harsh...! :-) )


I hope you managed to retrieve your running shoe ok!

All the best



Hhaaaahahaaa Dale!


Yes, you have to be born a runner. Luckily, all humans are. It just takes some of us a little longer than others to figure that out. ;)


I was definitely NOT born a runner. But I have fought hard like all of us on this forum and BECOME a runner, which in my mind makes us even more fabulous!! It can be hard for others to understand and sometimes their concern for us can come across a bit harsh. I bet he was just a bit freaked out. Because I am 5 stones overweight some of my family were very concerned and started talking about all the people that died of heart attacks lol but I said better to die trying ;)

Enjoy your journey, I bet he will be the proudest of all!


I don't think this is the case. Some people are naturally more inclined to do sports I agree (I'm thinking of the people who loved and excelled at gym class in school here) but when it comes to getting results from running we are all the same. We all have to work through the hard bits to get where we want to be.

I know that you don't have to be born sporty as I had a disclocated hip as a child and went through my school years thinking sports were bad for me and that I'd never be able to do it. Then at the age of 21 I suddenly found myself at a sports bootcamp being pushed beyond all the limits I thought I'd never pass or (perhaps more importantly) enjoy.

I agree with Jeddahpm that he will probably be the proudest of all when you complete the course. Make one of your goals to be to prove him wrong....the competitive side might kick in!


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