30 Things Only Runners Know

Emily Abbate
by Emily Abbate
Share it:
30 Things Only Runners Know

It took me years of running to casually refer to myself as a “runner” (~chills~). Hundreds of mornings tying my laces and logging miles before the sun came up. A slew of races, from single miles to full marathons. When I started using the designation, it felt like a badge of honor to wear proudly as I talked to fellow pavement pounders of all paces about the things only other runners would understand, from chafing and blisters to the importance of shorts length and sweat-wicking materials.

If that sounds familiar, see if you can relate with these 30 signs you too are a runner:

1. You’ve got specific tights for any weather condition. Those fleece-lined ones, though.

2. You have mastered the art of the race photo. Smile, wave, proceed.

3. You own Body Glide. Chafing is nobody’s friend.

4. You’ve tried a slew of different Bluetooth headphones. Cords are so 2016.

5. You’ve turned down after-work plans because you’ve got miles to tackle tomorrow. That 6:30 a.m. alarm waits for no one.

6. You plan your day around your run. Definitely never the other way around.

7. You’re planning your family vacation around your training schedule. Mickey Mouse is cool and everything, but the morning 10-miler happens first.

8. You wear different shoes for sprints versus marathonsAnd refuse to compromise.

9. You know your favorite gel flavor. I’m big on vanilla bean and jet blackberry, myself.

10. You have a go-to running buddy. They also won’t judge you if …

11. You’ve lost a toenailOh, the dreaded black toe.

12. You’ve forgotten non-athletic socks are a thing. Because, same.

13. You have a prefered post-run meal. Burgers and beers, for everyone!

14. You have a favorite [insert here]. You also likely own it in 4–6 different colors.

15. Your laundry basket is constantly overflowing. Family-sized Tide #FTW.

16. You own something to display your race medals. Extra points if it’s not crookedly hung on the wall.

17. Your budget includes race fees. Best $35 you spent all month.

18. Your physical therapist knows you so well, you’re on their Christmas card list. Not to worry, it’s a reciprocal thing.

19. Your running watch is a part of your everyday wardrobe. It’s a lewk.

20. You consider peanut butter a food group. Even better when it’s paired with a banana.

21. The sight of port-a-potties makes you anxious. Because when’s the next time you’ll be able to pee?

22. You have a go-to playlist/podcast for miles. Oh, Drake. How I love thee.

23. You’re grumpy on rest days. Like, Seven Dwarfs-worthy.

24. You know every water fountain and convenience store in your city/town. Hydration is a way of life.

25. You know how to tape (and run on) a blisterSexy, ain’t it?

26. Snot rockets. Air hankey. Need we say more?

27. There are multiple frozen water bottles in your freezer. Your muscles need that post-stride TLC, after all.

28. You know how to convert kilometers to miles. Or at least have Googled it one-too-many-times.

29. You have a favorite pre-race mealGrilled chicken and pasta, #FTW.

30. You know what a “fartlek” is. It makes you giggle, and it has absolutely nothing to do with … you know.

About the Author

Emily Abbate
Emily Abbate

Emily has written for GQ, Self, Shape and Runner’s World (among others). As a certified personal trainer, run and spin coach, she’s often tackling long runs or lifting heavy things. In addition to that, she’s working on Hurdle, a podcast that talks to badass humans and entrepreneurs who got through a tough time —a hurdle of sorts— by leaning into wellness.


Never Miss a Post!

Turn on MapMyRun desktop notifications and stay up to date on the latest running advice.


Click the 'Allow' Button Above


You're all set.

You’re taking control of your fitness and wellness journey, so take control of your data, too. Learn more about your rights and options. Or click here to opt-out of certain cookies.