There's a good chance you consider yourself a slow runner -- and shouldn't. At any speed, you can still celebrate your victories. Ask around, and you'll probably find that runners you admire consider themselves "slow" too.
Picture: Ramnath Bhat
I started out as a slow runner. I still considered myself slow when I won my first age-group medal. I avoided groups of runners because I was sure they were all faster than me. "I'd love to run with you sometime, but I'm slow", I would say to friends who I knew also ran. Or, sometimes, they would say it to me first. Pro runner and coach Jeff Gaudette writes at Competitor that an awful lot of runners fall into this trap:
Almost every runner that joined [my] group introduced themselves to me by stating "I'm probably the slowest person you've ever coached" or "you probably don't work with runners as slow as I am."
It didn't matter what their personal bests actually were, almost all conversations started in a similar manner.
...Many runners, both new and experienced, hesitate to join local running groups or participate in online communities. When asked why, most respond that they are embarrassed by how slow they are.
Everybody is slower than someone else, Gaudette writes, but all runners can relate to the hard work that goes into achieving a personal-best time. That's an accomplishment whether it's a 15-minute 5K or a 30-minute one.
And slowness shouldn't stop you from running with others -- most runners are willing to slow down on occasion to run with a friend, especially since slow runs are an important part of training. It's not hard to find a running group with people who are just your speed; the hardest part is getting past your imaginary embarrassment.
If You Run Slow, Who Cares? [Competitor]