Fifteen Things Runners Want You To Know

, by Unknown

Everyone knows a person that runs for "fun". They have all the water bottles, wristbands, headbands, and everything they own has a motivational one-liner across it with a Nike "swoosh". Do these people really run for fun or do they just want others to be impressed by them? Obviously the answer is the latter. Who in the world enjoys exerting vast amounts of energy to make themselves sweaty and out of breath every single day? No one. They just want you to think things like "Wow! Runners are basically superheroes!" So, to help you when faced with a runner, here are fifteen things that runners want you to know so you know when to act impressed during your conversation with them.

1. Their heart rate - Every runner wants you to know that their heart rate is so low that they've been pronounced dead four times. You will be presented with a number so low that it makes Lance Armstrong seem like an 823 lb couch potato who eats nothing but butter, brown sugar, and deep friend Big Macs. The runner will then challenge you to find their pulse while shoving their personalized stopwatch in your face to help you time the beats. Politely pretend like you can find their pulse and act like you're counting each beat with great care. Tell them it was a ridiculously low number so they can post it on their Facebook wall to get likes from family and friends who literally could not care less. When you get home, be sure to comment upon their status otherwise the entire rate-measuring procedure was for naught and you have just wasted your time.

2. They absolutely cannot stand soda - Soda isn't good for a runner's body. It makes them feel energized for a while and then they crash right in the middle of mile seven of their daily marathon. It will also raise their heart rate, which as mentioned earlier, is basically what their entire lives revolve around. The same goes for energy drinks and coffee. If a runner gets too caffeinated, then they will become jittery and will be unable to focus on their exercise. While the extra movement caused by the shakiness does burn calories, it may cause the runner to appear weak in the eyes of other runners. This is unacceptable as running is just as much about the image you create for yourself as it is about the exercise results you are able to maintain. In short, make sure to keep a spray bottle full of Mountain Dew for use as a repellent in case you are ever trapped in an area that is swarming with runners.

3. Their favorite food has no fat, sugar, or extra calories - Runners are all about health food, so much so that their favorite foods are things like carrots, celery, and balls of tofu cooked by refracting light through a magnifying glass as it sits on a yoga mat used by Usain Bolt. They love to say things like, "My favorite candy has got to be raisins. So flavorful and juicy!" and, "I can't wait to eat ridiculously small portions of Keith's fruit salad. I heard he grows the fruit in his own backyard and then individually extracts each sugar molecule with microscopic forceps." Living a lifestyle like this is the only way runners are capable of keeping their calories eaten to calories burned ratio to a maximum. If they aren’t burning twice as many calories as they are eating, then they will go into a sort of catatonic state, causing them to be incapable of running anymore which is simply unacceptable.

4. A marathon is 26.2 miles - White oval stickers with “26.2” on them in black numbers will cover almost every smooth surface they can get their hands on including their car windows, cell phone cases, laptops, and the foreheads of their first born children. In case you were unaware before seeing their stickers, they want you to know that a marathon is 26.2 miles and they ran that far at least one time. Whatever you do, DO NOT ask them any questions about the marathon. They will immediately launch into a story about how exciting it was to run for five hours with no bathroom breaks and minimal water. Pray that there isn’t any other runners nearby otherwise you will have opened a Pandora’s box of wildly unamusing marathon stories. If you’re “lucky” you may even get to be subjected to a tale of a lesser human being who was forced to stop running due to a cramp or some other less-than-admirable mishap during the race. Fingers crossed!

5. They almost got sponsored by Nike - For some reason, Nike and its headquarters are a sort of Mecca for runners. Everything they own is Nike. They like to say things like "I almost got sponsored by Nike" as if that actually means anything. In actuality, their third cousin once flew over a state where a Nike executive stayed in a hotel for a week in 1994. That's the closest they've ever truly been to a deal with Nike, but they’ll lie to you all the same. Companies like Under Armour and Addidas have similar followings as well. While their fans are not quite as dedicated as Nike fans, their logos can still be found on a fair percentage of marathon attendees. Realistically, none of these brands have any major differences between them, but runners take their brands very seriously nonetheless. It’s not uncommon to witness an argument or an outright brawl between a Nike enthusiast and an Addidas fan.

6. They're always in training - Runners never seem to get a break. As soon as they finish a 10K it's off to start training for a marathon. Everyone who even mentions running within a four mile radius of a runner is immediately bombarded with facts about the runner's training and how they "just need to get my mile time down below six minutes and I'll be good. It's an uphill battle but I love a challenge." This type of dedication is admirable when applied to something like running a business or promoting a product in which you genuinely believe. However, when this much time and effort is being put into something as pointless as running, it seems to elicit more sympathy than admiration. No one likes to see his or her friend’s life spiral uncontrollably into a future of running for fun. Most of us have much higher hopes for the people we care about and would like to see them succeed at something more valuable to society than running quickly.

7. Even their dogs run - They absolutely love chaining their dog to themselves and dragging the poor beast on a run with them. The dog trots disdainfully while the runner jogs self-righteously alongside it. They eventually reach a juice bar where the runner gets a fruit smoothie made from fruit so fresh that it's the prince of Bel Air and the dog receives a diet organic virgin water on the rocks in a crystal bowl. To be fair, this is likely the only type of water that the insanely well-bred canine can even stomach. Runners are known for their obsession with purebred animals with lineages dating back to the time of the first Olympic games. Maybe they’ve convinced themselves that owning the ancestor of the pet of a great competitor will somehow influence their own abilities. Maybe they just need something else to brag about besides their running achievements so they purchase an admirable dog. Who really knows?

8. Nowhere is ever a good enough place to run - Everywhere they run seems to have a problem: not enough water sources, too many other runners, or, worst of all, slow walkers. "I love running at Rosa Park but there's just too many old ladies walking with sweaters tied around their waists," seems to be a sentence commonly overheard when runners encounter one another. A runner could be picked up in a limousine, driven to the airport, put on a plain to Greece, and then be delivered to a pristine Olympic stadium and still complain about the weather conditions or the angle at which the Sun is striking the track. It is likely that never being satisfied with the area in which they are running is used as a technique runners use to have an excuse for not being as fast as they had hoped they would be. “I probably could have shaved a few seconds off of my time if the Sun wasn’t in my face the whole time.” Sound familiar?

9. Only their own technique is correct - Obviously running requires rapidly moving one leg forward and then moving the other leg forward over and over again until you're covered in sweat and overconfidence. While the leg motion is pretty much universal, no one can seem to agree on what you are supposed to do with your hands. Some say, "You have to have your fingers extended so you can cut the air like a hot knife through butter which we will never eat because it's vile and disgusting and designed for lesser beings," while others insist, "You've got to keep your fists clenched to let the world know that you're a runner and you're not afraid to punch them if they get in your way. You have to keep your active heart rate up and a person in your way will force you to slow down, causing it to fall well below acceptable speed." In reality, no one knows the proper running technique, and even if they did, does it really matter?

10. Eye of the Tiger is the best song ever written - Motivating music is key when driving yourself to run aimlessly through a neighborhood with your shirt off. According to many runners, "Eye of the Tiger" is scientifically proven to be the most motivating song ever written, followed closely by "Big Weenie" by Eminem and "Fergalicious" by Fergie. The rhythms of these songs put runners in an almost trance-like state that allows them to run for hours without being driven insane by the incessant sound of rubber hitting pavement. Since these three songs can get old after a few hundred listens, many runners use filler songs to complete their playlists. Rest assured that “Eye of the Tiger”, “Big Weenie”, and “Fergalicious” can all be found at the top of every runner’s iTunes Top 25 Most Played. Music is important for many aspects of almost anyone’s life, but it is especially important when a runner is training for their first marathon, their last marathon, and every marathon in between.

11. Their run doesn’t count unless it inconveniences everyone – Sidewalks are basically kryptonite to the modern runner. For some unknown reason, runners seem to do their very best to avoid the sidewalk at all costs and instead run on the side of the road, risking their own lives and nearly causing a car accident a minimum of once every fifteen seconds. Every single person driving their cars, who were once able to enjoy their drives, are now forced to be on constant alert for a runner who may be trying to share their lane. This ruins driving for everyone else, but allows the runner to increase their all-important active heart rate to even greater levels by causing an adrenaline rush every time an 18-wheeler nearly flattens them. Many scientific studies have been conducted in an attempt to learn why runners appear to be so opposed to the idea of running on a sidewalk, but each study has yielded no results.
12. Gas mileage is incredibly important – Every runner seems to be very concerned about the fuel economy of his or her car. They all own some sort of hybrid or even electric vehicle that is capable of travelling some astronomical distance while only burning a thimble-full of fuel. Even more ridiculous than the gas mileage of their car is the fact that they even own a car in the first place. These are runners we’re talking about. Why don’t they just run everywhere? Of course, this is a silly, answerless question because it’s no use trying to understand these people. While it is wonderful for the environment for a runner to drive such an efficient car, it only adds to the air of smugness that these people are surrounded in almost constantly. We all know how arrogant a typical hybrid owner is, but when coupled with the haughtiness of an experienced runner, the level of self-importance reaches almost catastrophic proportions.

13. They buy new shoes every two months – When you’re going for a run every single day, it’s understandable that you would need to replace your shoes fairly often. This is primarily to reduce the risk of injury and keep yourself safe during your run. This is one of the few facts about runners than can be understood by regular, everyday people. However, runners seem to use this fact to their advantage by managing to work the regularity with which they replace their shoes into the conversation in an attempt to give you a reference point for just how often they run. Listen closely for indicators such as, “Yeah, this is already my third pair of shoes this year,” and “I’ve only had these shoes for a month or so and I’ve already worn them out.” These are signs that you are about to have to act immensely impressed by the quantity of footwear these people have destroyed.

14. Bright colors = great shoes – Speaking of footwear, runners seem to be in the mindset that the more blinding the color of the shoes the better results they will yield. Every runner’s favorite shoes are some horrifying combination of neon greens, oranges, and yellows that would make a scarlet macaw look as dull as Bruce Willis’ hairline. If the shoes don’t give you vertigo, they are unacceptable in the eyes of a runner. While there are plenty of negatives to the gaudy shoes worn by runners, there is it least one positive. This benefit is made apparent when one of these people decides to not only run on the side of the road, but to do so at night. This increases the impending death factor by about 300%, but thanks to the brightness of their shoes, many runners manage to be seen at the last second and avoid being skewered by hood ornament by mere centimeters.

15. Treadmills are unacceptable – Even saying the word “treadmill” will often elicit a bout of uncontrollable laughter from any diehard runner. As previously stated, they don’t believe that their run will count at all unless it inconveniences everyone with whom they come in contact. How can they ruin parts of other people’s days from the safety and comfort of their own exercise room? Perhaps an even more pressing question: how are they supposed to post a screenshot of the map of their run to brag on Facebook if they stayed in place during the entire round of exercise? As anyone with a social media account has seen, runners are constantly insisting upon posting proof of their runs online after using a smartphone app to track where they ran. This is simply not possible while using a treadmill because posting a photograph of a single dot on a map is not all that impressive in comparison to the map of a several mile run.

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