The Runner Gene: Is your running shaped by your personality or is it the other way around?

Is it your personality that makes you the perfect candidate for a runner, or was it running that shaped your personality? I’ve often wondered that if little runner babies are born with a hidden chromosome: the runner gene. Even before they take that very first step they are destined to be miles obsessed, self-motivated machines, sickly addicted to torturing themelves. (In the good kinda way.)
This thought came up today as I was filling out a personality questionnaire. Don’t worry, it’s not Facebook App linked and your timeline won’t be flooded with all of my annoying answers. I’ll just flood you here with the answers I didn’t give but probably should have.

1) Do you consider yourself a goal-driven person?
Yes, and I’m not just saying that because you probably think that’s the ‘right’ answer. I always feel like I have to be doing something, or working towards something. I’m the runnerchick with the sketchpad during the movie…oh, and I’m rolling my plantar across a tennis ball too.

2) Would others describe you as self-sufficient?
Well, no one has ever bothered to ask me if I did my long run, if that answers your question? #given

3) Do you work well in a team?
Here’s what’s funny, I’m a bit on the fence. I work really well if everyone else on the team is willing to pull their weight, but I can’t stand team projects that turn into a one-runnerchick show. To some runners of teams from years’ past, I know you didn’t run a step during the summer and yes, I’m enjoying watching you pay the price. Bwahahaha!

4) Are you motivated by the promise of rewards or returns?
Did someone say a PR?

5) Do you find routines a bore?
Left, right, left? I don’t think there is a B or an O to saddle up with the R and E. (But there is sure the potential for BO, remember to shower sweaty runners!)

6) Do your feeling get hurt if a good deed you do goes unnoticed?
Pretty sure that 90% of all the running we do goes unnoticed. Get a thick skin if you’re going to get your feelings hurt.


All that yammering on in the brain makes you feel a little crazy sometimes, no? πŸ˜‰

7) Do you display your honor and medals?
No, but I’m weird like that. Some people love their medals, I think just writing down a PR or good time in my nerdy training log is satisfaction enough. Oh, and the wobbly legs you get on the post-awesome run cool-down. #hurtssogood

8) Are you excited to see others succeed?
Most definitely! Well, I wouldn’t be 100% genuine in saying I’d be stoked for the runnerchick that beat me. Friends of course, but the gun goes off and we’re all competitors. Sorry, gotta look out for numero uno in that regard.

9) If you’re solving a problem do you like to break it down into segments and analyze each part?
Am I the only one who was stuck looking at their tempo splits for longer than I’d care to admit? Doesn’t staring at them once written down somehow change the meaning or send you a secret message and eventually make you faster? The whole squeezing coal into diamonds sort of thinking??

10) Do you find setting goals at the onset of a project to be beneficial?
A goal-less, aimless runner probably really isn’t going anywhere far. πŸ˜›

Questions for you!

1) How much of your personality has been shaped by running? How much of your running, do you think, is shaped by your personality?

2) The question of the chicken and the egg here: do you think you are a Type-A person who naturally thrives under the self-motivated, tough as nails determination that running takes and were drawn to the sport? OR do you think that when you took up running that is when your personality started to change more in line with that?

3) Personality tests, do you hold much merit in them? What have some of them revealed about your own, supposed, personality?

4) Answer any of the first 10 questions above for yourself!

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6 thoughts on “The Runner Gene: Is your running shaped by your personality or is it the other way around?

  1. I love hearing your responses! Personalty tests are the perfect procrastination, and they have never told me anything I don’t know (except for the time one suggested I do a commerce degree…I think a maths test would have been better). I digress!

    This is a really interesting topic – it has to be a combination, but it’s not an even mix. I’d say personality is about 80% (maybe more!) for me. If I wasn’t stubborn, anxious, driven and a nut-case, there’s no way I’d still be running, and no way I’d be running so far.

    Best sport ever.

  2. I’m with Kate, personality tests are a great method of procrastinating.
    My personality shaped the beginning of my running journey. I was very tentative and didn’t think that I was built for it. Then, I started to feel that somehow running was changing me, running was ‘right’ for me. Running has taught me perseverance, the value of discomfort, and the sense of achievement that can come from sweating for something you want.
    I am the flip-side answer. Not a Type-A for many things (apart from spelling and grammar, alphabetising my bookshelves, and people’s proper titles – it’s not Kate, she is the Duchess of Cambridge πŸ™‚ ), so perhaps running has changed me and made me slightly more Type A! Just don’t tell my Mum or she’ll hide my sneakers πŸ˜‰

    • HAHAHAHA…i love it! so u are selectively type-A…i’ll be sure never to refer to her as Kate. πŸ™‚ PS- ur secret is safe with me, i won’t tell mamma chickpea on u. hehe

  3. I agree with everything that has been said! I don’t want to attempt anything if I can’t do it well, so when I started running I was just sure that I would not continue it. I too thought that my body was not built for running and just knew that I would not be able to run long distance, or even 2 miles!
    With that said, I love to around positive people and every runner that I have spoken to or read about has this specific type of personality. πŸ™‚ I have never met one runner that didn’t have something encouraging to say.
    Great post Cait!

    • that’s wat i LOVE about running, genetics only play a little role…but wat will ALWAYS ensure improvement is the work ethic and mentality. no matter wat, if a person is dedicated they will see improvement…and look at u go, girl! πŸ™‚

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