What time makes a proper runner a runner

I have just read an article on the BBCwebsite with regards to Paul Ryan, a US Vice Presidential candidate - so what's it got to do with running you ask.

Well not much and a lot depending on what side of the 4hr marathon barrier you currently sit.

This is an very abbreviated version

Quizzed by radio host Hugh Hewitt on his marathon personal best (PB), Ryan replied: "Under three, I think, you know, high twos... a two hour and fifty-something."

But it transpires that Ryan only ran 4:01:25 in a race in 1990.

This is not the reason for the thread this is -

David Castle, editor of Running Fitness magazine with a marathon PB of 2:53:47, concurs.

"Marathon runners are very protective of their PB. Anyone running under three hours will have put in a fair amount of training. Model Nell McAndrew [who reduced her personal best by 14 minutes to clock 2:54 in this year's London Marathon] is virtually training like a professional athlete.

"You will certainly be doing up to 40 or 50 miles a week, running five times a week."

Each time barrier is hugely significant. A sub 1:30 half marathon or a sub-40 10k is hugely important for amateur runners. You can tell by the way runners so often refer to seconds, even in a PB for a long race.

If your half marathon personal best is 1:39:38, you never round to 1:40. You tore yourself apart for those 22 seconds. Those were the 22 seconds that nearly broke you.

"When we talk about runners becoming proper runners, [it might be] under 3:30 [for a marathon]," suggests Castle.

But there is always the temptation caused by "bravado", Castle says.

"Who wants to say they ran four hours? It's an OK time but not a runner's time.

So despite all that is said about running, according to Mr David Castle you are not a runner unless you can run under 4hrs for a marathon!! That puts me back to jogging then as my time of 4:1:29 at 57 is not a runners time.

Taken from the article - There is no shame in 4:01:25. Even a four-hour marathon is a gruelling, extraordinary feat. Most people's marathon PB is: "I'm yet to run a marathon."

Thankfully I only subscribe to Runners World otherwise I would cancel my subscription if I had one to Running Fitness!!!!!!

 

«13

Comments

  • He's entitled to his opinion surely ?

  • As the editor of a running magazine derisive comments are not within his purview. He should be completely neutral and avoid offending aspiring runners who work week in week out to achieve their PBs - no matter what the time is. I have seen numerous comments on the marathon threads telling people that everyone who runs is a runner so comments like that are completely inappropriate given that we are striving to encourage more not fewer people into the sport and not make it elitist. The Olympics said 'inspire a generation', where is the inspiration in comments like that.

    .

  • I imagine he was asked that particular question, which in reality has no right or wrong answer, but he felt he had to say something. If he'd said "about 4:10" you'd have been happy?



    Given this was an article written by a journalist, he probably gave the answer "3:30" to a different question entirely.
  • What's more interesting is that Paul Ryan lied about his marathon PB. Even for a politician, that's pretty low. image
  • Going on that I'm not a proper runner, as I've never ran a 1:30 half (PB 1:43:51) a sub 40 10km (PB 47:09) or a 3:30 marathon (PB 3:49:38). I'll remember I'm not a "proper" runner when I run my 9th marathon next month.

  • Article sounds fine to me, and I don't meet any of his criteria. 
    A friend did three marathons last weekend, and another this weekend in a time of 3:32. He's 62.
    He's a proper runner. I'm not. 

  • Having seen first hand how the news can be manipulated I agree and as an editor he should be aware of that too. I would have been happy if he had said that completing a marathon for anyone is an achievement Oscar Pistorius's mum said “The real loser is never the person who crosses the finishing line last,”  “The real loser is the person who sits on the side. The person who does not even try to compete.”

    Unfortunately even if it was an answer to a different question it is the answer that is read.

    As for Ryan - every comment is scrutinised and checked for accuracy in America and more so if you are the next possible Vice President.

  • Strikes me that Paul Ryan is a bloody liability, even for a Republican vice presidential candidate.

    Everyone has an opinion on what constitutes a 'proper runner' whether that is a sub 3hr marathon or completing a 5k race for life without walking.  But that is not the point.  The point is that Paul Ryan lied about his pb in order to impress.  He knew that for a twenty year old to run a 4hr marathon, whilst it takes some training, is not really impressive.

    So he lied.

  • Dolly, I'm completely with you on this. I just read the BBC article and was very disappointed by David Castle's comment ("Who wants to say they ran four hours? It's an OK time but not a runner's time").

    I have only ever run one marathon - in 4.04 - I was 12 at the time (in 1981). I won't ever 'forget' my time either!

    I run half marathons these days and my pb is 'only' 1.41. I guess that as this, broadly (depending on which converter you use), equates to a 3.33 marathon I still cannot call myself a runner as 3.30 is apparently the yardstick. Anyway, I felt more of a runner at 12 with my 4.04 than I do now - that will always be my greatest running achievement.

    Anyone who can complete a race of any distance should proudly call themself a runner. We all have different natural abilities, pressures, free time etc so one person's 5.30 is equal to another person's 2.30 in my humble opinion. David is entitled to his opinion as well, I accept that (and maybe they put him on the spot). However, he is also a spokesman for the average runner. Very disappointing and I hope he takes the opportunity to clarify his comments in the next issue.

  • For me it's always about 10 mins more than my current PB.
  • Keef55 - 12??
  • Yeah...  12??

  • Dollyg wrote (see)

     Model Nell McAndrew [who reduced her personal best by 14 minutes to clock 2:54 in this year's London Marathon] is virtually training like a professional athlete.

    "You will certainly be doing up to 40 or 50 miles a week, running five times a week."


    Surely he;s not trying to equate those 2 sentences?

    I massively doubt McAndrew does anywhere near a professional athlete.

  • I've never heard of David Castle but he's clearly very good at talking bollocks.  Maybe he should stand as a Republican nominee.

  • I wonder if he's related to the guy at the end of a 10k I did once, where upon finishing 7th, but not running in a club vest, I was told that the 6 ahead of me (in club vests) were "PROPER" runners.

    I should have asked him if the guy who came last, 450th, was also a proper runner, as he was sporting a rather dandy club vest too.

  • Yes, 12 (or 13, he says, sounding a bit like the chap who started all this by exaggerating his time!). It was the Masters and Maidens marathon in Guildford. I did the 15-mile warm up race as well and the winner gave me his trophy which was a really nice gesture.

    You could do it then as the age restriction wasn't in place I guess. No one seemed bothered by me racing anyway (I was running with my father). I wasn't the only one who did it at that age either (there's another thread on here about it).

    I don't recommend it though. I didn't run for another 30 years after that !

  • I'll give what I think is the simplest and most profound definition of what a proper runner is:

    "Someone who tries to run the same distance quicker than they did before, all else being equal" image

    Everything else is just a variable. For example, my last mara, I ran in 2h54 on the back of 1500kms training in a 4 month period.. My next mara, I hope to get in around 3h30. On the back of maybe 250kms of training in 4 months. Which one most ideally represents the best effort? Which one is most likely to indicate I have got what it takes to be a runner?

  • If a complete stranger has ever taken a picture of you with both feet off the ground, preferably in brightly coloured footwear, and then plastered it all over the internet for other strangers to look at, I'd say you're a proper runner.

    Actually, scrap that.  If David Castle asked me for my definition of a proper runner I'd say ''Anyone who has run a marathon under 2:45''.  Then I'd say ''Nerr''.

  • That's it then...I'm a jogger...!

  • I will always feel like a fraud until I get David Castle's sign off for being a runner. I look forward to it.

  • This blog post sums up the feelings of most of us "non-runners" I expect

    http://www.chronicrunner.com/2012/09/im-not-runner.html

     

  • IMHO, if you've got what it takes to pin on a race number, race, leave all your energy on the road and be lying down after the finish line - you're a runner, no matter how long/fast the race is.
    No motivation/desire to compete = fitness enthusiast/jogger instead...

  • image if thats what it boils down to i may as well give up now! *goes off to retire*

  • Really, who gives a flying ferk? Who's ever heard of this bloke and what does he matter?

    And anyway, I think that running fast is just so vulgar. I'm not slow, I'm an endurance athlete.

  • If you ran today - you're a runner....

    If you ran yesterday - you're a runner....

    If you run tomorrow - you might be a runner....when you've done it...

     

    Sadly Mr. Castle obviously thinks you're only a runner if you do that most important of events, the Holy Grail, the "MARATHON"!!!

    I've got news sunshine - I couldn't give a toss about the marathon - i've never done one, I'm doing one in October purely to help support some friends, and I really couldn't care what time I finish in...

    I'm an ultrarunner.... and proud of it

    I'm sure Seb Chaigneau, Fernanda Maciel, Killian Jornet and all will be pleased to hear they may not be runners... I'm sure loads of my club mates who can't hit sub 3:30 will be pleased to know they're wasting their time as they're not runners....

  • Muttley: "running fast is so vulgar". I think I might get a t-shirt with that on it image .
  • Shall we ask RW to start a new magazine called Joggers World - just for us joggers then!!image We could take Muttley's comment and RR tee shirt idea -  "Joggers World where running fast is vulgar"

    We better ensure that the editor doesn't say that to be a jogger you need to have jogged the whole distance, otherwise you are not a real jogger!!

  • Dollyg wrote (see)

    Shall we ask RW to start a new magazine called Joggers World - just for us joggers then!!image We could take Muttley's comment and RR tee shirt idea -  "Joggers World where running fast is vulgar"

    We better ensure that the editor doesn't say that to be a jogger you need to have jogged the whole distance, otherwise you are not a real jogger!!

    That is exactly what it was called originally to try to appeal to as large a mass market as possible.

    However, the publishers didnt account for the fact that there arent any joggers ..........

  • Based on all my PBs I am a runner, sub 2:50, sub 1:20, etc, but all of those times are from a long time ago - I returned to running at the end of 2010 to lose weight and get fitter again at the end of my 50th year - I now run 3 minutes per mile slower than before, It occured to me sunday at the end of my 8 mile run that in the olden days I could run a half marathon quicker than I am now running 8!!! BUT and this is the important thing for me - I still consider I am a runner so for me the difference is not running speed but how you see yourself - If it was left to me I would categorise everyone as a runner,  and yes Parkrunfan is correct - Runners World started as Jogging magazine and then became Running magazine before becoming Runners World - I think Running  Fitness was originally marketed as Todays Runner in direct competition to Running Magazine - (I also think Dave Castle runs for (or used to) Tonbridge and was pretty good which may explain his attitude - I may be wrong on that too!!).

    So at the end of that - to me we are all runners whatever speed we cover the ground at -

«13
Sign In or Register to comment.