One of the things I’ve noticed about running is that you can never judge a book by its cover. It doesn’t matter how fast you think you are running, how young and fit you are, or how slim you are, there will always be someone less fit, bigger than you and older who’ll come storming past or who will be just ahead of you out of your reach.
I’ve met people on my running journey who have been running for years, but who have never run a half marathon as fast as I have (PB: 2 h 10 mins) or broken the 30-minute barrier on a 5k. Equally, I know people who have just started out running who have already beaten my 5k PB (26 mins 50 secs). It may be tempting to compare yourself to others, but running is such a personal thing. For example, that old timer who overtakes you could have been running 18 minute 5ks 30 years ago, or that overweight person up ahead in front of you might have been on the athletics team at college. You just don’t know. Genetics also play a part. I am naturally curvy and have sizeable thighs – I’m probably physically better suited to martial arts, weight lifting or sprinting, I’m not really built for long distance running.
So next time you look at another runner, judge them or try to compare yourself to them, remember – appearances can be deceiving!