How to show the world you’re a proper runner

During our delightful lockdown, large numbers of joggers-newbies appeared practically out of nowhere. Because, who would want to miss out on their entitlement of one form of exercise a day, right?

First of all, let us be clear that we (we = the true running legends *cough*) support them and encourage them to run because we love running. We want them to keep it up and do well.

At the same time, we sometimes can’t help it and tend to judge them with the same scepticism that we have for all the newbies who join the gym on January 1st every year. We know that soon their numbers will be depleted and most of them will end up back on their sofa. Sad reality.

As much as you want everyone in the world to take on running, you were doing it since before you were even born and don’t want to be mistaken for a newbie (not that there is anything wrong about being one). So how do you make sure that the world (the passing-by drivers, doggers, cyclists and most importantly other runners) realise that you are the real deal?

Here are the key points, some of which you are already following (that is if you really are the hardcore gel-eater that you claim to be):

  • Wear a race top, ideally an older one, with a year clearly visible to show everyone you’ve been doing this for a long time.
  • Lycra. Be dressed in lycra head to toe. Loose sweatpants advertise that you are a newbie.
  • Wear as little clothes as possible. Is it windy and rainy? So? Running vest and shorty shorts are still all you need. Put away that bloody winter jacket you rookie!!
  • Wear only real running brands, especially when it comes to shoes. Lonsdale sneakers are NOT running shoes. It’s gonna get expensive so whoever told you that running is a cheap sport was not a true runner.
  • Do not jog holding a bottle of water. Especially not if it’s just an old coke bottle refilled with water and you are doing two laps around the block. No! You don’t need that stuff. If you are going for a long run (long run is not 3 miles!!!) and need some hydration, use a proper fancy running belt or camelbak.
  • Do not stop and walk! It’s a no no. Just keep running. No stopping. NO!
  • Go running no matter the weather. Pissing down? Only the hardcore runners will be out – so you can show the world you are one of them!
  • Enthusiastically greet all passing runners. An acknowledgement nod is not good enough. Wave as if you’ve just spotted your best mate.
  • Join Strava. Share all your runs on other social media for those who are not Strava athletes. Running without a fitness watch is not allowed!
  • When talking to friends, refer to your cousin’s husband’s uncle as your “coach” just because he once gave you a running related tip.
  • If you really want to take it to the next level, get a foam roller. And then never use it.
  • Finally, please don’t do stupid stretches using a bench in the park. No real runner has ever been spotted doing that kind of stuff.

I hope these tips are helpful and will consolidate your status of a running legend. Also note, that it is much easier to impress non-runners who have not got a clue whether you have just completed a 10 miler or jogged up and down the street. Chances are they will tell everyone you run marathons just because they regularly see you sweaty and dressed in lycra. Take advantage of that!

Now, if you are a newbie who is trying to fit in the running community and disguise yourself as one of us, follow the tips above religiously (you are welcome). We sincerely hope that what started as a disguise will become your nature. I am already looking forward to spotting you sucking on a warm piss-flavoured gel at mile 15 of your Sunday run.

How to get away with your second run

Imagine living in a world where going for a second run is not allowed. Great idea for a sci-fi movie plot. Except it’s our reality.

If you’re one of those nutters who always used to run twice a day, or need a second jog in order not to murder a family member, here are some tips on how to make it happen:

  1. Run at night. Wear black clothes and cover your face in black paint. Tell no one. If your spouse becomes suspicious, admit a fictitious affair.
  2. Do your second run wearing your household member’s fitness watch. Ideally without them knowing so it will be them who gets Strava bollocking.
  3. Run in disguise. A wig won’t do. Be thorough. Invent an “undercover runner” persona. Think it through. What is their name? What is their comfortable pace? Do they push themselves or just jog casually? Music or no music? How do they greet other runners? Do they hate dog walkers? What is their running style?
  4. Buy a new fitness watch and create second Strava account. Under a fake name obviously. Follow your fake Strava account and comment on their runs.
  5. Ask a lazy-bum non-active neighbour if you can have their daily exercise allowance. Exchange for toilet roll if necessary. Make them sign a legal contract. Hire a lawyer not to get screwed over. Carry the contract with you on all your second runs.
  6. Run on your way to do your essentials shop. That surely does not count as exercise. Upload a picture of you with a shopping basket to Strava in case anyone complains.
  7. Pretend you are insane and do your second run with a fully equipped military bag. If someone asks, say you were told to get to the extraction point as soon as possible.
  8. Do a morning run. Pause your fitness watch. Un-pause to do your evening run. Don’t shower between the two runs – that would be cheating.
  9. Wear a nurse uniform and pretend you are run-commuting. To be prepared, watch some YouTube videos on how to give CPR – if worse comes to worst.
  10. Don’t use your home rubbish bin. Instead, run outside to the bin every time you have a piece of rubbish to throw out. Encourage family members to munch on Celebrations and offer to dispose of each wrapper individually.

Please do delight me with your ideas – I am sure you have plenty 🙂

And most importantly, do not let me tempt you – always stick to government guidelines and social distancing rules 😉

Me + run-commute = love at first stride

I’ve gone mad (ok, I might have been mad to start with) and just completed my first run-commute today!

You, slaves of the office and 9 to 5 victims, you who struggle squeezing a run in because in the morning it’s too early and in the evening it’s too late. You totally should try to run-commute. Why? If nothing else, because it’s often faster than driving or taking public transport! Especially during a rush hour…

On Monday, the idea of run-commuting flew into my funnel (if you don’t watch Thomas the tank engine, please ignore my choice of words). On Tuesday I bought the first running backpack I saw. On Wednesday, I was looking for reasons not to do this and since I haven’t found any valid ones, today – on Thursday I have done it.

First impressions: It’s hard work. It feels odd running with a bag because it changes your posture and the way you move your arms. You feel like a teenage mutant ninja turtle. A well-secured bag is definitely essential. Also, be careful what you pack in it because every pound makes it a little harder.

On top of that, people think you are bonkers. Changing into lycra in our HQ toilets and then trying to sneak out while everyone stares at me like “What’s this clown doing here?” is mildly intimidating. Also, when you are running with a backpack people outside stare at you too. Passing cars beep (if you are a female). But sod them all! Sod them because this not-so-teenage ninja turtle is on fire and will keep run-commuting whenever she can.

I cannot recommend this enough. Join the club!

%d bloggers like this: