How to stop feeling like a running imposter

Originally published on The Running Bug

New to running and not convinced you fit in? Stop feeling like an imposter and bound your way to running success in five easy steps.

How to stop feeling like a running imposter

Do you enjoy running but feel like a fraud if you call yourself a ‘real runner’? We’ve all been there, but whether you’re running one mile or 100, there’s no reason why you should feel that way. Follow our simple steps to stop the cycle and accept your status as a bonafide runner.

1. Log your miles

When you can see your progress first hand it’s much easier to accept that it’s reality. Jot down your miles in your daily diary or log them on the Running Bug and see how they quickly add up. The miles don’t run themselves, do they? You do. 

2. Earn some race bling

One of the best ways to realise that you’re a real runner is to put your training to the test and take your legs to a start line.  The cheering crowds will make you feel like running royalty and you’ll soon see that your ability is just like the other runners around you. Regardless of whether you’re going for gold or simply happy to cross the finish line, this victory and your newly-earned medal should leave you beaming with pride.

3. Treat yourself to new kit

Sometimes it pays to treat yourself to a new pair of trainers, a snazzy running watch or a cool outfit. Style isn’t everything in life but comfort and feeling your best are big factors to running well. Invest in some technical running kit and you’ll definitely start to feel the part.

4. Patience = progress

Whether you’re just starting out or taking on an important challenge, remember that any progress takes time and patience. No one was born with the instant ability to run marathons, not even Paula Radcliffe. So if you want to push yourself, accept that you might fall at a few hurdles before getting there. And that’s perfectly fine.

5. Stop comparing yourself to other runners

We’re all different people, with different bodies, goals and dreams. Within that we all have certain things that we might need to work harder at than others. Don’t feel bummed out because your workmate is quicker at 5K or runs half marathons for breakfast. Be happy for them and use their success as a goal to aim for, not compare with.

In the words of marathon runner John Bingham: ‘If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.’