Can You Spot Your Running Spirit Animal?

Molly Hurford
by Molly Hurford
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Can You Spot Your Running Spirit Animal?

When it comes to running style, we can separate by race distances, workout preferences, paces or even fashion. But what about defining yourself by your running spirit animal? We’ve broken down a few of our favorites, and listed the best workouts for fun, productive runs. Take a look and see if you can spot your running spirit animal.

YOUR BEST MOVE: LONG SLOW DISTANCE

It’s important to fuel appropriately. Many long-distance runners don’t eat or drink enough during regular runs and save regular drink stops for race days, but if you’re out for more than an hour and a half, you should be eating and drinking as you go. Start fueling early to avoid a bonk or the need to quickly chug a full water bottle because you weren’t sipping for the first 90 minutes.

YOUR BEST MOVE: TRAIL RUNNING

If you’re the kind of runner whose brain wanders as fast as your feet, you might benefit from trail running. Focusing on the rocks and roots and crazy terrain may help settle your mind and provide enough challenge so you’re able to focus on the task at hand.

YOUR BEST MOVE: INTERVAL TRAINING

Remember to take it easy between sprints and hard efforts. Hares have the tendency to perform intervals where their so-called recovery is still done just slightly under anaerobic pacing. Hit those hard efforts hard, and then back off and recover fully. You’ll find that the more you focus on recovery between efforts, the better those efforts will be.

YOUR BEST MOVE: FARTLEK RUN

Rather than specifically timed intervals, give your run a more playful tone. Whether you decide to sprint for the last verse of one of your favorite jams or go hard until you pass that ridiculous lawn ornament down the block the unstructured nature of random bursts of speed keeps you on your toes.

YOUR BEST MOVE: TRACK PRACTICE

You do your best work when there are people to chase (or race), so why not seek a local track practice and unleash the beast? Your more casual running buddies will thank you … They’re probably pretty tired of feeling like every ‘fun run’ is a personal challenge.

YOUR BEST MOVE: START A RUN CLUB

You probably have chafed a bit at run groups you weren’t leading, but if you can be in charge, that’s your ideal. The speed and experience level doesn’t matter as much as finding a group that allows you to be social and to be the group leader. You can practice your motivational techniques, and you might even learn that sometimes you don’t need to be the big dog.

YOUR BEST MOVE: STEADY

We can’t all be the lithe runners we see winning marathons, and Clydesdales are pretty freaking cool in their own right. They’re the workhorses — literally — of the bunch, and while you might just be getting started as a runner and adding speed seems tough, you have a bunch of other get-in-best-shape options. Try adding weights to walks, go out at a steady, comfortable pace or make it a social thing by inviting a friend or three.  

About the Author

Molly Hurford
Molly Hurford

Molly is an outdoor adventurer and professional nomad obsessed with all things running, nutrition, cycling and movement-related. When not outside, she’s writing about being outside, travel and athletic style on TheOutdoorEdit.com, or she’s interviewing world-class athletes and scientists for The Consummate Athlete Podcast. You can follow her adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat at @mollyjhurford.

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