Are You a Real Runner? Goal-Setting, Family, and Scheduling for Adult Runners

Think back to the last big race that you trained for. You probably followed a plan, invested in gear, overcame injuries, and spent a lot of your waking hours preparing for the race. Once it was all done, did life takeover and your running took a backseat? Did you wonder if you were ever a real runner or if it was a fleeting identity?

Anya hiking

Many of us adult, recreational runners struggle with this. It may deal with the lack of consistency in training, or the misguided idea that short, slow runs don’t count.

In my years of coaching runners that range widely with their goals, I’ve been inspired by their dedication through all the ups and downs. I know it’s not easy.

Many are working full-time jobs, struggling to get energized after a long day. Others are busy chasing kids around and going for a run doesn’t seem feasible. Family, work, and other responsibilities can be overwhelming. How do you juggle all of it?

In broad terms, when running isn’t a priority, it can fall by the wayside unless we find a sustainable, enjoyable way to stick with it. People have different approaches and I’m always interested in bringing those varied perspectives to you.

We learn so much from coaches and therapists, get inspiration from pros, and feel comforted by hearing from peers. That’s why I’m bringing on a recreational runner to share about her running journey and what keeps her going.

If You Run, You Are a Real Runner

Today’s guest is Anya Mullen – she’s not a pro runner, she’s not a PT or a coach, but she is a regular runner just like you and me. She also has been working for Strength Running for the better part of a year now, helping me refine some of the content that you see on our various channels. We first met back in 2015 at a group run and started working together earlier this year.

Her running career spans nearly a decade and her life has changed quite a bit over that time, along with her running. Anya has run everything from a 5K to an ultra, including an unsupported, unofficial 50 miler that her partner talked her into (listen to the podcast for the full story).

Anya completing 50 mi

Anya Mullen lives here in Colorado and has been juggling running with her work, family and home life. And that’s a big part of what we’re talking about today: just how we fit it all in, plus reflections on whether or not you’re a “real” runner. We also talk about goals and how they evolve over your running career, especially after you have a family. 

This episode is more personal and explores some of the issues that prevent us from training as much as we’d like. I hope you’re left with a few ideas on how to fit your running into your schedule, plus affirmation that yes, you are a real runner. Without further delay, please enjoy my conversation with Ms. Anya Mullen. 


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Thank You PATH Projects!

Path Projects

PATH Projects continues to be a great supporter of this podcast! I’m grateful for their partnership and want to share more about their products that I’ve been loving because they so functional and comfortable.

In particular, I’ve just started wearing their 3” Sykes shorts and they’re a little different from the 5” Sykes shorts (you can see those in action here). The material is thinner and lighter, which is perfect in a performance short, and they’re obviously shorter. I’m not sure if my wife thinks they’re too scandalous or loves them, but I’m wearing them constantly. And now that we’ve partnered for a few months, I can confidently say that their gear is durable.

PATH Projects is an online-only retailer of high-quality running gear and apparel. That means there is no retail markup, making their products quite affordable.

PATH uses new technical fabrics, like the Japanese fiber called Toray Primeflex, to create award-winning apparel for endurance athletes. In fact, their Brim shorts and Tahoe base liner won Runner’s World’s 2018 Gear of the Year award. And the Pyrinees hoodie was named one of the best six sweatshirts for running in the cold by Gear Patrol.

You know you’ll be wearing the best when you select PATH Projects!

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