When it comes to workouts, we are our own biggest critics. How often does someone ask you to go on a buddy run and you say "no, I'm too slow" or "I could never keep up with you"? How often do you reject the "runner" label, just because you're not a half- or full-marathoner? How often do you resist signing up for a race because you don't want to finish close to the back of the pack or think your body could never make it that far? Yeah, thought so.
You—and so many other female runners—are run-shaming yourself, and you've got to stop. Good news: The latest stats from Strava, a social networking app for millions of runners and bikers, will make you totally reconsider how you stack up against other women on the road.
In 2016, the average American woman using the Strava app ran 4.6 miles per workout with an average pace of 9:55 minutes per mile. That's right—if you're running 10-minute miles and never cross the 5-mile mark, you're right in there with basically every other female runner in the country. (If you do want to get faster, try this speed track workout.)
So if you think that your recreational running doesn't "count" because you don't have a sub-seven-minute pace or because you cap your mileage at a 5 or 10K, it's time to re-evaluate. Every mile and every minute count. Running can be amazing, and running can also kind of suck, whether you're an elite or lacing up for the first time. We're all out there dealing with the same burning lungs, hot sun, cold wind, and tired legs together. (Read why one woman will never run a marathon—but still calls herself a runner.)
Even if you're slower than the Strava average or don't run as far, just remember: You're still lapping everyone on the couch. And we don't even care if that's cheesy.