If you run, you’re probably a huge weirdo. But don’t worry, I am too – and there’s safety in numbers so I’m glad you’re here!
After running for 16 years, my life has become progressively weirder. Not only do I do things that normal folks think are unbelievable / weird / crazy / stupid, but what I think is standard is anything but for the general population.
And it seems with each passing year, the harder it becomes to stop running. The odd rituals and obsessive tendencies become further ingrained in my personality until they help define who I am.
Sleep isn’t just fun, it’s recovery.
A bathroom stop isn’t just a relief. It’s a chance to check your hydration.
Parks aren’t just for picnics, they’re for barefoot strides.
Food is evaluated as fuel.
Indeed, we’re a wacky bunch. But that’s what makes us fun – our idiosyncrasies are what bonds, unites, and strengthens runners everywhere.
So from one weird runner to another, I just want to say that it’s great to be weird together.
To celebrate runners, I’ve created a list of the top 13 weirdest things we do because we run. But these are mostly from my experiences as a runner. I’d love for YOU to add your own oddities, obsessive-compulsive rituals, and crazy tendencies in the comments below.
Let’s have some fun!
Our Weirdest Running Habits
Runners aren’t just weird about what they do, but also because of what they like and what they wear. These are our weirdest tendencies, habits, and preferences – and they might just sound familiar.
1. We have a skewed sense of weather. Tropical storm caused record flooding? Lightning? Triple digit temperatures? Well, you gotta get in your run!
After giving my mother countless anxiety attacks, I now give this warning: It will take a nuclear holocaust to stop me from running.
2. Our hobby isn’t as “fun” as others. Getting up at 4am to run over 26 miles for fun this weekend was a CHOICE! This is what I do for fun! Why my non-running friends don’t get this is beyond me.
My response: Oh, you’re in a kickball league? Neat.
3. Nipple Band-Aids! While I’ve never needed to tape my nipples, it’s a tried and true strategy for those of us predisposed to chafed, bloody, raw nipples. The next time your nipple is pouring blood, don’t forget that you chose to run!
Other sports require their participants to wear jock straps. We have Band-Aids… for our nipples.
4. Our definition of “far” is very different. We run more per week than you probably drive – and some of us run enough per year to get us from LA to New York.
Once on the weekend, we’ll run far enough to prompt our family members to say, “that’s why they invented cars.”
5. We are Gear Junkies! We own more shoes than fashion bloggers and the latest update to your favorite pair is discussed at LENGTH on Runblogger.
Most runners could be mistaken for paid tech consultants because of their expertise programming GPS watches, heart rate monitors, and wearable tech that the general public doesn’t even know exists.
And socks? I own more than 30 pairs.
5. Our commitment is steadfast. Yes, we run almost every day. Yes, we do it in challenging weather. YES, we get up before dawn to run!
I die a little bit on the inside when people are incredulous that I run most days.
6. We run a LOT. Not only do some of us run every day, but there are some runners who do it TWICE in one day!
Tell a non-runner you’re going for the day’s second run and watch their head explode.
7. Bathroom breaks don’t need to happen in bathrooms. Taking a quick pit stop outside is no big deal (just make sure you have a tall blade of grass to hide behind).
Using the facilities without facilities doesn’t even phase me anymore – just another Wednesday!
8. Shoegasms. Runners get more excited for a new pair of running shoes than most people do about getting a new flat screen.
Look at those colors! The heel-toe drop differential! Wait, is that Fresh Foam?!
9. We downplay what others think is extraordinary. Running a marathon, training for hours, and finishing races faster than most can can finish them on a bike makes others think we’re superhuman.
But to us, it’s just something we love to do. And when the extraordinary is normal, that’s a weird world to live in.
10. Wear gratuitously short shorts. Shorts with a 1.5 inch seam and a split leg design attract the scorn of non-runners everywhere. And have prompted some of the most hilarious taunts I’ve ever heard:
Hey, why are you wearing your sister’s shorts?!
Mommy, why is that man naked?
Why are you wearing booty shorts? Get your life together!
11. Own too many running books. For just a glimpse into my library, just look at my collection of running books. Who owns so many books about one sport? How much is there to really know about running?
I think it’s completely reasonable, but my “normal” friends think I’m fit for a straight jacket.
12. Shaved legs (on guys). I haven’t done this in years, but there was a time when they were always shaved. Look at the front of the pack at any major road race and you’ll notice quite a few smooth legs on the male runners.
Besides swimmers and cyclists (who have better reasons to shave), male runners do it to feel fast and look intimidating. Plus, slipping into clean sheets with freshly shaven legs is heavenly. Now THAT’S weird.
13. Require ample “skippy doo” space. You need space for all those warm-up and core exercises – which are affectionately called “skippy doos” by a friend of mine.
Now I demand a living room clear of furniture so I have ample space to do all those exercises. When family or friends are visiting, they laugh their heads off.
I polled a few family members on our weird behaviors and got these gems:
You changed shoes before the race – why do you need two pairs of shoes?
Barefoot running! That’s so weird. Oh, and those toe shoes. Who runs in those?
Runners are usually so healthy when it comes to their diet and lifestyle, but then all these races end in chugging beers!
Now I want your reasons why runners are weird! Leave a comment below and let us know what makes runners so “different.”
And then let’s rejoice in our weirdness, celebrate our idiosyncrasies, and cherish our wacky habits. We’re a community: an oddball group that shares this unspoken culture.
They’re what makes us runners, after all.
If you’re new here, I’d love for you to join this running community. And I promise not to send you anything too weird 🙂