7704694750_6db6cf7cf7We all have them.  Those little secrets, or thoughts, or maybe even judgments that we don’t like to share with our non-runner friends.

Not because we are mean, but because we know that to some degree, they’ll just never understand our drive and need to log miles.

Running is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle, whether you like to admit it or not.  And with that lifestyle comes a few secrets.  Ones most of us have been holding back for years.

I know I’m not alone in this because I asked around on Twitter and Facebook.  People agree, we have our secrets.

11 Secrets of a Runner

I sure hope this doesn’t tick anyone off, but I think it’s time we got it off our chests.  Not just for me, but for everyone.  Let’s announce to the world what we’ve all been thinking all this time.

Let’s share our little runner club secrets.

You with me?  Good.  Here we go!

1) We make friends easier than you do:

It’s true.  Runners make immediate connections with total strangers.  As soon as they hear someone has run the same race they did, or suffered through a particularly hot or cold run that week, we instantly bond with our new friend.  And can talk with them for hours.

If fact, sometimes we’ll have more fun talking running with our new friend than we would have hanging out with the people we actually came with!  Sorry old friends.

2) That joke about only running if you’re being chased isn’t funny:

This one came in on the Facebook Page from Lisa.


It’s the joke runners hear all the time.  “What are you running from?” or “You’ll only see me running if I’m being chased!”

Yeah, we get it.  You don’t like running.  You’re so funny.

Maybe instead of making fun of our efforts, you should ask us about why we love running so much.

3) Distance running isn’t as hard as we like to pretend:

That 15 mile long run I did this morning sounds pretty impressive, right?

Eh, actually it is just me slowly moving forward for a few hours.  Anyone could do it.  They just need the same desire that you and I have.

We like to pretend our marathons, ultras, and weekend warrior miles are the most epic thing since Edmond Hillary summited Everest for the first time, when in reality, we were just motivated enough to get out of bed.

Which, I guess does make us pretty epic…

4) When given the option, we’d much rather talk about running than anything else:

Work, weather, feelings, that’s all pleasant enough to talk about.  And us runners are certainly socialized enough to hold those conversations when it needs to happen.

But deep down, we all know we’d rather be swapping running tales.  After all, isn’t that why we’re so quick to make friends with complete running strangers?

5) We actually like wearing tights and tiny shorts:

This one’s mostly for the dudes.

Maybe it’s because we like to show off our great legs.  Or maybe we just really find them comfortable.  Either way, it’s true.

We secretly wish it was appropriate to wear them even when we’re not running.

6) We earned our beers at 9:00 am, you probably didn’t:

Drinking a beer in the finishers coral at 9:00 am?  No problem, we’ve been up for hours and just ran a race!

Wait, why are you drinking beer this early?  Didn’t you just wake up?  Yeah, those are my judgment eyes.

7) Most of us will never win, and that’s OK:

Let’s face it, most of us will never win a race.  Yet for some reason we keep going out there, day after day, working our butts off to improve.

Not because we think those extra hills will put us in first place, because a real win is a victory over ourselves.  Proof that with a little hard work, we can push ourselves harder, faster, longer, and accomplish anything.

8) It takes a lot for us to not talk about running all the time:

See number 4.  If our talk about running is getting on your nerves, sorry about that.

It’s taking a lot for us hold back the running chatter as much as we are…

9) We can eat as much as we want.  You, maybe not:

When you run a lot, you can eat a lot.  You even need to eat a lot to keep up your energy.  It’s just one of the perks!

But as Randy reminds us on Facebook, non-runners might not be so lucky…


10) We don’t wear our race shirts to show off, we wear them because we’re too cheap to buy others:

Wearing a marathon finishers shirt while on a hike or casual bike ride tends to annoy some of our friends.  It’s not that we’re showing off.

It’s that we have so many of these damn moisture-wicking shirts already, why would we buy more?  Sorry friends, you’re just going to have to get used to the fact that I ran a Thanksgiving Day 10k and you chose to over eat.

Ok, so maybe we are showing off a little.

11) Losing a toenail is a badge of honor:

I know you might be a little grossed out when us runners roll up to the pool showing off several black and blue toe nails, but we’re not grossed out.  We’re proud of those bruises.

They represent tough miles, hard workouts, and incredible accomplishments.

What Secrets Are You Holding Back?

Now it’s your turn. Let loose.  Tell the world what you really think!

Let us know in the comments.

Photo Credit


Author Doug Hay is the founder of Rock Creek Runner, host of the Trail Talk podcast, and fanatical about everything trail running -- beards, plaid shirts, bruised toenails, and all. He and his wife live and run in beautiful Black Mountain, NC.

Support Rock Creek Runner by shopping at:


3 thoughts on “What Runners Really Think: Secrets Revealed

  1. There really is a “runners high”, but I don’t try to explain it. You just need to experience it for yourself. If you don’t know if you have experienced the runners high then you haven’t.

Leave a Reply