Are runners pushers?

I wasn't pushing hard here!
I wasn’t pushing hard here . . . Or was I?

There are all types of runners: the recreational runner who never races; the runner who uses running for weight management; the elite runner; the runners who run to maintain their streak; the social runner – and more.

I think one thing all runners have in common is the desire to push yourself. Even if you don’t care about your speed or you never race, chances are running was hard when you first tried it. If you kept running, then you’re a pusher – in a good way.

I wonder if it’s just the nature of people who run to push themselves.

I’m a naturally lazy person. I’ll bet my husband would tell you it’s true. Oh sure, I can work hard, but most of my hobbies are very sedentary. Running is the exception, not the rule.

When it comes to running, though, I do push myself. I’ll never be fast; I’ll probably never win an age group award. I just aspire to be average.

Sometimes that leads me to push myself too hard. I run too often, or I run too fast, or I run when something’s hurting. And I end up injured. I’ve been extremely lucky so far – I really haven’t had to stop running (although I probably should have), but I’ve also had some very painful races.

2 of my top goals in races are 1) Finish 2) Preferably not in pain.

This year I have dialed back my mileage. Not that I run high mileage – last year I was doing 30 miles a week at the end of training cycles. I’m trying to figure what the sweet spot is for my body & mileage. If it means I run slower, so be it (although I did PR one half – just barely – this year).

Pushers bring up images of drug pushers. That’s definitely not who I am or who I want to be. I just want to be the best runner I can be.

Do you think runners are the type of people who push themselves too hard?

Have you ever pushed yourself too hard? How’d that work for you?


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