Recognise Anyone??


The running season is in full flight now, and the local 5km races are filled with different characters and personalities. The “serial stretchers” they will stretch right up until the start. The “Boozer” is trying a warm up mile and plans to run off the guilt and hangover of the night before. The “midlife crisis” is overdressed in unforgiving lycra and ready to burn off the overindulgence of his thirties, and he’s warming up with the “underdresser” who insists on wearing shorts 2 sizes too small. The “loner” has the headphones in and is avoiding eye contact, while the “Footballer” sporting his club socks wonders what all the fuss is about.  The “real runners” are bounding up the road hoping it will all start soon so they can leave these “running riffraff” behind.

BANG ….. and the “quick starter” is gone sprinting the first 200 metres of a marathon closely followed by the “Footballer” before both are forced to stop and recover once out of sight of the start line and the “real runners” trot past giggling. Sixteen miles in and the “puzzlingly good portly runners” shatter the egos of their thinner colleagues as they cruise past effortlessly and everyone tries to avoid the “spitter” who uses the race to empty their sinuses. The “silver haired sensation” sneaks through the field unnoticed to smash the hopes of younger runners. And now as the finish line is in sight it’s the  “big finishers” chance to shine, they have waited and held back so they can put in an eye-catching sprint finish , closely followed by the “Boozer” who just wants water!

all sorts of marathon runners

‘Everyone is different’, different personalities looking to complete a marathon in different ways and times and for different reasons. These differences are really important when it comes to running and sport because as an athlete it is important to understand the significance of personality types and its potential effect on training, injury and performance. Personalities are created by the particular traits a person displays. A trait is a characteristic, for example one of mine is ‘laziness’, which can be related to a person. The Five Factor Model of Personality  is used by many to describe personalities under the headings of extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness to experiences. According to the FFM model the “real runners” tend to be introverted, display lower neuroticism (they are emotionally stable) and higher levels of conscientiousness and focus – they set goals and stick to them when compared to the “running riifraff”  (Hartung & Farge, 1977; Allen et al., 2011).

So I decided to take the “MYERS-BRIGGS PERSONALITY TYPE” test and it turns out I am neither introverted or particularly goal orientated. I am in fact mildly extroverted and not for the most part goal driven. Apparently I may annoy others by making promises and then forgetting to follow through because I like move on to the next interesting thing. So clearly I will continue to run with the “running riffraff” but I will try to advise the “quick starter”, avoid the flying snot from the “spitter” and make conversation with the “loner” while hoping to grow up and be a “Silver sensation”….. So does that make me the “midlife crisis”?? Enjoy the summer of running!


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I qualified with an Honours degree in Physiotherapy from Trinity College Dublin in 2004. Since graduating I have worked in St. James Hospital Dublin and have worked in all the areas of speciality within the hospital including cardiorespiratory, orthopaedics, rheumatology, care of the elderly, neurology, burns and plastic surgery among others . I have also completed a post graduate certificate in acupuncture in UCD 2009. The Physiotherapy Department in SJH has strong links with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy students on practice placements and also delivered lectures on the undergraduate academic programme in TCD. I have a keen interest in all sports and currently plays with Cill Dara RFC 1st team squad, and Milltown GAA. I have previously worked as Physiotherapist to Co. Carlow Senior GAA Team, Milltown GAA, Leinster Junior Rugby Team and Cill Dara RFC. I am an experienced runner and competed in the Dublin City Marathon in 2002. I continue to participate in running events and multisport disciplines such as Gaelforce West, Gaelforce North and the Motivate Challenge. I have a particular interest in strength and conditioning. I utilise this knowledge of resistance training in the treatment of his clients. I am committed to continuous learning and development in order to ensure the optimal level of care is offered to my clients, and with this in mind I am currently undertaking a certification in Strength and Conditioning (CSCS) with the NSCA.

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