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The differences between track and marathon runners

Trackies and marathoners are both runners, but so very different

U Sports Track Championships

Marathoners and trackies both fall under the umbrella of runner, but the two forms of jogging couldn’t be more different. Marathoners are into cool-weather running, gear and long intervals, whereas trackies like the summer sun and going fast. Here are some of those differences, highlighted in very specific but common scenarios.

Nate Brannen
Photo: Canadian Running

RELATED: Worst advice for marathon training

When coach throws a workout with a million short reps your way:

Track runner says, “Awesome.”
Marathon runner says, “Oh, no.”

When you have to work out on a brisk fall morning:

Track runner says, “Oh, no.”
Marathon runner says, “Awesome.”

When someone brings up the Nike Zoom Next%:

Track runner says, “Honestly, who cares?”
Marathon runner says, “I have so many opinions–do you have three hours?”

When someone asks about how you fuel mid-workout:

Track runner says, “What’s a gel?”
Marathon runner says, “Maurten or bust.”

When it’s winter but you have to do a hard workout:

Track runner says, “It’s treadmill time.”
Marathon runner says, “I will now put on 10 layers and my YakTrax and get this workout done in the great outdoors.”

Cam Levins before STWM 2019 start. Photo: Maxine Gravina

What constitutes a long run?

Track runner says, “15K.”
Marathon runner says, “Multiply that by two.”

What’s the best time of year for running?

Track runner says, “Summer.”
Marathon runner says, “Fall.”

2019 Boston Marathon finish area. Photo: Canadian Running

The race you would give up your first born to be allowed into:

Track runner says, “The Pre Classic in Eugene, Oregon.”
Marathon runner says, “The Boston Marathon.”

The one place we can all agree? Insane hunger levels, also known as the constant stomach pangs when a trackie or marathoner has entered heavy training. Another point we can all agree on? That trail runners are a different breed (but that deep down we know we’ll hit the trails once we’re done with our road/track careers.)

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