Runners are Gross: 7 Things We Don't Tell You

Being a runner is really gross. There are things we runners don't talk about to our non-runner friends. But if you've ever been on a long run with a friend  or a total stranger, these topics frequently come up in conversation.

 No one tells you running is so gross until it's too late and you're already addicted. 

Runners are gross...

Runners are gross...


#1. We Love to Sweat

I love to sweat. Sweat is gross, smells gross, makes my hair gross, but feels amazing. Call me weird, but if you run, you know that I'm not weird at all. Of course we wear protection (aka deodorant) but we really don't mind the sweat. 

#2. We Secretly Like Porta-Potties

There is something weird that happens when you start running. The farther you get away from a suitable toilet, the stronger the chance of the urge to go. You're officially a runner when you spot a disgusting, over-flown, stinky, no-flush, no-toilet-paper, porta-potty in the distance and you feel like the luckiest person on earth. 

#3. We Blow Snot in Public

Any runner worth their snot (you see what I did there?) can shoot a snot rocket with the accuracy of a sharp shooter. It is a skill that is quickly acquired by runners as it is necessary for survival in the wild (or on the streets). Spitting is also socially accepted runner-approved behavior. 

#4. We Blister

They are ugly. They hurt. They bubble. They burst. They rub raw. They are part of the game. As runners, we do all the right things to minimize them, yet they sometimes find a way to creep in anyway. Stay far away from cotton socks to help prevent blisters before they invade. Try rubbing ointment on blister prone spots before you run to reduce friction. 

#5. We Have Girl Problems

My deepest apologies to my male readers, but this is a reality that deserves a mention. Have you ever heard about women's cycles synchronizing? Well, I think that I sync according to my race schedule. Seriously. Not fun for 13.1 miles.

#6. We Lose Toenails

Not only do we we lose weight when we run, we also lose toenails. Who needs toenails anyway? It is a small sacrifice to make for the love of the run. I kid. I kid. Really, if you buy your shoes 1/2 size to one size bigger than usual so that you have at least a thumb space in your toe box you will likely will never have to deal with black or lost toenails again.

#7. We Chafe

Last but not least, we get that horrible burning and rash that shows up in all those places we don't talk about, but we can talk about them now: your armpits, your nipples, between your legs, and under your heart rate monitor. And guys, I'm sure you have a whole different pair of issues (pun intended) I'd rather not know about. I usually don't notice the rash until I jump in the shower. Ouchy! Ointment before you run on the areas that may rub together can help prevent the problem.

Did I miss any? How else are runners gross? Can you relate? Tell me in the comments. 

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Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, as well as online training. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.