10 Ways Runners are Experts at Everything

You may not realize it, but runners are experts at everything.

No, really. You’d be very surprised to discover just how much runners know about a variety of disciplines.

Here’s proof from what I’ve observed as a marathon runner…and it’s only 10 ways runners are experts at everything. I swear the list could be longer…

1. They’re practically gastroenterologists. They agonize over their bathroom breaks. Seriously. Whether it’s figuring out how to make themselves poop, what to eat before a run to ensure they DON’T need to go No. 2 or what to do when explosive “events” are about to happen mid-run, runners are absolutely obsessed with bathroom stuff. Forget going to your gastroenterologist. Just find a runner.

2. They know more than your nurse does about Vasoline. They have about 59 important uses for Vasoline. I won’t get into all of them, but let’s just say from nipples to “down there,” runners know how to use Vasoline unlike anyone else. There’s a reason it’s handed out on tongue depressors during races. Nurses can’t even. For reals.

3. They know more about your foot than a podiatrist. They really obsess over their socks. Socks?! Don’t you just buy the cheap sports socks from Target and call it good? Oh hell no you don’t! You need arch support and then there’s ankle versus no-show. There’s thick to fill out a shoe with too much room or the thin to take up less room. There’s compression to improve blood flow and a host of other styles intended to enhance your running performance. Trust me, the guy at Sports Authority can’t spit game about socks the way a runner can.

4. They know more than your shoe guy. They have a shoe for every occasion. Want to go for a hike? They know which shoe to grab that has the extra tread, but isn’t too heavy. Want to feel lighter and speedier? They’ll point you in the right direction to find the racing flats that’ll fit best. Feel like doing a triathlon? Oh, they’ll know which brand and style to grab too. Talk to any serious runner and they’re likely to have at least three pairs of shoes in their closet intended for specific workouts.

5. They know more than your nutritionist. Fiber: Bet you didn’t think fiber was going to make this list. It’s true. Hearkening back to point numero uno, runners have to know what’s loaded with fiber because, well, for better or for worse (mostly worse), fiber is the culprit of many, MANY bad runs (pun intended). They can tell you the most fibrous foods to eat….and when you SHOULDN’T eat them (read: within 6+ hours of important race is a good rule of thumb and at least two hours before a run). See? No nutritionist necessary here.

6. They know more than your masseuse. Who needs a professional masseuse? Runners have every torture muscle device under the sun! Whether you’re looking for a firm Stick to work out the kinks, a hard, soft or medium foam roller to squeeze out the lactic acid or simply something to make the bottom of your feet better, go see a runner. They’ll introduce you to a torture chamber worse than 50 Shades of Grey (seriously).

7. They know more than the guy at Best Buy. Gone are the days of carefree jaunts in the park. No, every runner out there has a GPS watch, ear bud, music device and a billion apps that’ll calculate their calories burned, heart rate during every second of every minute of every mile of the race, the steps they took, the pace they should run….you get the picture. Runners are so strapped with devices they likely wouldn’t make it through any normal metal detector.

8. They know more than the girl at GNC. You’re planning to run your first marathon? Good for you – get ready for the part no one every told you about: replenishing! From salt tablets to energy gels and electrolyte drinks, runners have tried them all! Decide now if you like to chew while you run because that’s a critical factor to share with your expert runner so they can decipher which refueling option will be best for you.

9. They know more than the weather man. Only Grandpa rivals the obsessive nature of a runner when it comes to weather. Forget Googling the upcoming 10-day forecast. Just talk to a runner.

10. They know more about traffic signals than a police officer. A wise runner knows how to pay attention to where traffic is flowing, who to pay attention to at any intersection and how to navigate any tricky traffic scenario. If you’re curious about how you can successfully run on the roads without getting hit by a car, find a runner.

So, the next time you need advice on anything, just turn to a runner. Really, they’re the experts at everything.

Happy running, friends!

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