4 Different Types of Runners - What Type of Runner are You?

What type of runner are you?

If you’re getting ready to sign up for a running race, it’s essential to know what your options are. Running races come in all shapes and sizes, which are meant for various types of runners. Choosing a race that’s compatible with your fitness level, goals and personality is extremely important.

If you haven’t set any running goals for yourself yet, start there. Setting specific running goals will help you understand your running style and choose the right kind of race for you.

Runners who want to have fun and reduce their chance of injury choose appropriate running races. Here’s an overview of four different types of runners. Which one do you identify with the most?

The 4 Different Types of Runners

Runners are a diverse group of people. Some runners are incredible athletes who live for training. Running makes them happy and relaxes them. They’re naturally fast, and they train to be even faster. Other runners don’t really love running, but they run to stay healthy. They might not be speedy, but they give it a shot.

No matter what type of runner you are, there’s a race for you. This list gives a breakdown of the type of races you might want to consider as you make your selection.

1. The Novice Runner

The novice runner has just started running or getting back into running after a long time away from it. Maybe they are starting running to get in shape. Maybe a friend convinced them to join a running group. No matter how they started, these people haven’t been training for long and aren’t running very far yet.

If you are brand new to running, don’t go too hard too fast. Ease your way into racing. Overstepping your fitness level can lead to serious injuries. Fun runs and 5k races are your best bet as a novice runner. If you already trail run and/or you already cross-train, you might be able to do a trail race or an obstacle race. If you’re new to running, consider a Beginner Training Plan to help figure out how to best start running.

  • Fun Runs
  • 5k Races
  • Trail Races
  • Obstacle Races

2. The “I Don’t Actually Like Running” Runner

There are plenty of people who only run to stay in shape, but they don’t actually like running. These runners can be fast, slow, or anywhere in between. They might cross-train, or running might be their only source of exercise. These are the people who need a distraction while they run or need friends to run with them.

  • Fun runs
  • Obstacle races
  • Any race with an amusing theme
  • Any race that is done with a group of friends

3. The Traveling Runner

Some people who love running end up traveling a lot for work and search for out-of-town races all the time. Races break of the monotony of their work travels, and it’s something fun to do. Other runners love traveling and purposefully seek out the out-of-town races so they can run in new locations.

Fortunately, there are plenty of races all over the world! If you want to combine racing and traveling, you’re sure to find something that will work for you. There are even dedicated Runcation Companies that will plan out your entire trip with a running focus.

  • Fun run
  • 5k
  • 10k
  • Half-marathon
  • Marathon
  • Ultra Marathon
  • Trail race
  • Obstacle race

4. The Goal-Oriented Runner

Lots of runners are constantly on the lookout for the next advancement. They want to improve something about the way they run. Maybe it’s distance. Maybe it’s speed. Or maybe, it’s completing a certain number of races in a year. They’ve always got a new goal in mind, and they’re always looking to accomplish something bigger and better.

If you are a goal-oriented runner, establish training plans that will help you meet your goals. Setting clear plans will help you reach your goals and remain injury-free while you run.

  • 5k
  • 10k
  • Half-marathon
  • Marathon
  • Ultra Marathon
  • Trail race
  • Obstacle race

Consider following an Intermediate or Advanced Running Plan to get you ready for your next personal best at any race distance.

By identifying your running style, you’re more likely to find running races that are right for you. Running is a trendy sport, so there are races to suit everyone. Rather than forcing yourself to train for something you won’t enjoy, choose an event that will pique your interest. Runners who follow their interests are more likely to keep running and training for future events.


A Training Plan that Works for You.

Our collection of running plans will help you train year-round. From 5k to a 100-mile ultramarathon, we have a training plan built for your experience level and goals. Every plan is delivered via Final Surge, allowing you to sync workouts across devices, receive daily reminders of workouts and activities, and analyze workout and target zone details. Get started today with a training plan built for you, view our running plans here.

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