‘I feel like I’m an ‘Imposter’ runner’ was a comment said by a couple of people I ran with last week when I went out for a little run about with the newbie graduated couch-to-5k runners of Wreake Runners RC.

We had a little laugh at this comment, after all being humble is a nice trait. But giving yourself a label that is less than glowing may not be the best thing for your confidence and self-belief.

I said I understood the feeling, but perhaps they could re-think the word imposter – after all we were all there to run our little socks off. As far as I could see, they weren’t ‘imposters’, they were simply new at this running lark.

I know we all tend to downgrade our capabilities, but the words we use DO have an impact on our well-being. As parents, we praise and cheer our kids on to learn new skills.  We encourage them to crawl, then walk, then play football or dance or climb or run about. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t label our kids as ‘imposters’ and make a bit of fun of them because they were still in the early learning stages.

Anyway, back to the group … the reasons they gave for feeling like an ‘imposter’ runner was because they were slow and it was still hard to run 5ks.

So off we pootled.

I ran at my pace and they were surprised that as the ‘experienced’ runner my pace was pretty much the same as theirs. The only difference perhaps being that I had a little more stamina on the hill climbs than they did – but that’s just practice.

I pointed out that the feeling of it being hard and new happens regularly when you become a runner.  It’s hard getting to 5ks, but then it becomes easy with practice.  It’s at that point, runners either try and go faster or go longer.  Any which way, they move the goalposts, set their new hard and that feeling of being a beginner at the next level comes back.

It’s something I do over and over and over again.

Once upon a time I couldn’t run 5ks, but then I could. So, I became a newbie 10k challenger.

This too became easy, so I continued to push my boundaries.

  • Half marathon.
  • Full marathon.
  • Ultra marathon.
  • Multi-day marathons.
  • Self-sufficient, extreme terrain and conditions.

For each event I was a newbie at that discipline, but the thing that didn’t change was that right from day one when I took those tentative runny type styley hops from left foot to right foot repeated over and over and over again … I was a runner – as were these folk.

As a runner, we spend a lot of time on our feet which provides a lot of time for chitter chatter – out loud with other runners or in our own heads.

Say good things, think kind thoughts and enjoy the thrill of being a newbie.

This status means that you’re out there doing something very exciting … you’re chasing your next extraordinary level.

x Nikki