Do I look good running?

This weekend I watched my brother and husband run PBs in the Newry half and full marathon.  It was a beautiful day and ace to watch.

What always strikes me when I’m running and even more so watching, is the varied running styles that finish ahead of my best times. There are the shufflers that leave you for dust and the heavy grunters that you spend the whole race trying to run away from.  It’s mad. How do they run so fast with such an alternative running style?

This got me thinking about a stat in runner’s world that said something mad like more than 50% of woman said that how they look running is the biggest barrier to getting out the door. I understand the bonkers pressure women are under to always look good but when it comes to sport and fitness it irritates me. I wonder who they’re comparing themselves to? Certainly not the people I see running for fun or a race. Honestly if you feel insecure you should go to a park run or your local race and embrace the different running styles and marvel at how quick they are.

I saw a woman running last week on my drive home. She was a new runner and had her head down and her whole body language shouted, “don’t look at me”.  I was thinking like I always do when I see new runners, “good on you”, “well in!”  I wanted to shout this to her but thought it was patronising.

The truth is there are the most random styles of running out there and it seems the more different they are the faster they seem.  Men don’t care what they look like so why do women?  We’re all doing it for the same reason –  to be fit and healthy and anyone that puts on a pair of trainers, gets out the door and runs for 2 minutes or 2 miles should hold their head high and be proud.

The only people that jeer when you’re out running are the boy racers that let’s be honest would do the same to a dummy on wheels if it had a wig. They’ll shout at anything for reasons they only know.  Everyone else that sees you will either think like me or be inspired to dust off their trainers and do the same as you.

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