Quiz: Which type of runner are you? (Includes the "I only run for the bus" runner).


 types of runners
There are only eight different kinds of runner. Which are you?

In my travels across the fitness land, I have met and experienced many different types of runners.

But in the end, I believe all of us can really slot into one of eight categories. And they are as follows:

1. The Natural Runner

The Natural Runner is the kind of person that is just built for running. They’re lean, their heart rate is always low and their body mass is perfectly proportioned to propel them magically along the ground.

Your Natural Runner can go for a run after work and easily smash out 15 kilometres. Then they come home all nonchalant, like every person should be able to run 15km in just over an hour.

When you ask them about how they got to be so good at running, they’ll just blink at you, as though they can’t even fathom ever not being good at running.

You might be naturally inclined to seriously dislike the Natural Runner. But don’t be a hater. Even though they are crazy epic superhumans, they’re definitely not dicky about it.

Forget about the Natural Runner and focus on your own natural talents. Cross-stitch? Wine-drinking? Whatever, it’s all good.

2. The Not-At-All-Natural Runner (also known as “The Battler”)

The Battler is the person you see at the park who is… well… battling. They’re shuffling along, red-faced and panting, their feet barely lifting off the ground as they do laps around the oval. Occasionally, they stop at the bubbler for a much-needed drink of water and a rest. A looooong rest.

Needless to say, The Battler is not cut out for this running business, but for whatever reasons – peer pressure, health scares – has decided to try it anyway. And stick with it, regardless of how many times they get lapped by other, fitter people.

You should always admire The Battler. Generally, they’re entirely aware of how terrible they are at running and would really much prefer to be at home, focusing on their wine-drinking talent. But they’re out, getting fit and even though they are slower than a turtle with a broken leg, they’re STILL RUNNING. Hells yeah.


3. The “I went for a run and now everyone has to know about it” Runner

You know that this person runs, because they mention it. All the time. Even during conversations that have nothing to do with running. A standard sentence out of their mouth might sound like this: “Oh, that’s so funny you mention rice paper rolls – I went for a run the other night and ran past a new place that does rice paper rolls – it was about 10km into my run so just around Bondi Junction… God I loved that run… Do you know that run?”

Every run they do gets posted on all social media platforms, with an exact breakdown of kilometres done and calories burned. They generally wear a lot of Lululemon, even when participating in an activity that involves no exercise whatsoever.

 types of runners
Evangelical runners are “not super smug and show-offy – they’ve just drunk the running Kool-aid, big time, and want everyone else to drink the Kool-aid too.”

If they do a running event, they’ll find a way to drop their event time into a subsequent conversation and probably also a smug-disguised-as-modest comment about how it was so much faster than they thought it would be. Urgh.

Stop listening, block them from your Facebook feed and try to pretend they do not exist.

4. The Evangelical Runner

The Evangelical Runner is a slight improvement on number 3. This is because they’re not super smug and show-offy – they’ve just drunk the running Kool-aid, big time, and want everyone else to drink the Kool-aid too.

The Evangelical Runner generally uses words like “relaxing” and “meditative” when talking about running, which seems like crazy talk to most of us – but nope. They can’t get by without that kind of cardio and they try to get everyone else on the bandwagon too.

If you ever hear phrases like…

– “You just have to run for 10 minutes, after the first 10 minutes, you’ll LOVE it!” or


– “You just have to be able to run five kilometres, once you can run that, you will never stop running!” or

– “You just have to commit to going three times a week, you’ll never want to give it up after that!”

… you are speaking to an Evangelical Runner. And they are probably telling Kool-aid-inflicted lies. Back away slowly.

5. The “I only do fun runs for the t-shirts” Runner

This runner likes to sign up to events – the Mother’s Day Classic, the Colour Run, the Neon Run, the Bridge Run, the Nike She Runs – because they’re enticed by the free t-shirt that comes with the event. Everybody loves a free t-shirt.

This runner might be inspired by their sign-up to the event and decide to actually start training. But most of the time, they’re doing it with a not-very-serious group of friends and none of them really give two shits about how fast that 5km goes past, so they don’t really bother doing anything beforehand.

Look out for these runners at your next running event. They’re the ones in the tutus, dancing around at the start line, having infinitely more fun than you are.

6. The Submarine Runner 

 types of runners
The Submarine Runner: “Wait, no, I’m puffed and tired and my shoulder is hurting in a really weird way. No wonder I don’t do this more often.”

The Submarine Runner is the runner that usually lays dormant below the surface for lengthy periods of time.

Occasionally, however, something motivates them to actually pull out their running shoes and so they emerge into bright daylight to jog along the pavement for the first time in, say, six months.

Every time a Submarine Runner goes for a run, they go through a thought process just like this one:

– “Oh. This is kind of nice. I should do this more often.”

– “Wait, no, I’m puffed and tired and my shoulder is hurting in a really weird way. No wonder I don’t do this more often.”


– “If I did this more often, I wouldn’t be so puffed. And I would probably lose that wobble that’s happening on my stomach right now.”

The Submarine Runner always gets back from their run, promising themselves that they will run more often. And then their runners sit in the cupboard untouched for another six months.

Oh well.

7. The Guilt-Induced Runner

This is the kind of runner that will only run if they’ve feeling exceptionally bad about themselves. They usually can’t be talked into exercising, but something extreme has happened to motivate them to finally get their butts into gear.

This extreme thing may or may not include:

– A few litres of ice cream and several packets of chips, eaten mindlessly while watching television;

– An obscene amount of pizza, demolished as a happy-Friday present to one’s self;

– Four cheeseburgers devoured in one sitting at McDonalds (yes I did this one time and no I’m not proud and yes alcohol was involved);

– An overindulgent feast consumed as part of Christmas/Easter/birthday celebrations.

The Guilt-Induced runner will often calculate exactly how many calories were consumed and work out for a period of time that aims to combat those calories in the vain hope that somehow their bad eating habits will be completely diminished.

8. The “I only run for the bus” Runner

And even then, they’ll only run for the bus if they’re really, really, ridiculously, obscenely late and it’s the last bus to ever run, ever again.

 types of runners

What kind of runner are you? Have I missed any?

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