10 Bad Habits Of Runners That We/I Really Need To Break.
I’ve been running now for close to 30 months and I’m still appalled by the number of bad habits I exhibit as a runner when I’m out on the street.
Here are 10 embarrassing habits and traits that I need to curb immediately.
- Miscalculating the level of friendless with which I great other runners – I try to be pleasant and greet each runner I met with a nod of the head (I’m much more restrained than I was before as I finally realised I was flicking head sweat onto them). Sometimes the other person won’t reciprocate and I’ll think “shit, was I too forward? or are they just a prick?”. You’ve gotta face the reality, some runners are in their own little bubble and the very act of waving at them seems to irritate them even more.
- Getting so lost in my train of thought that I forget to mount curbs - Hitting the flow in a run is a sought after experience. However there have been plenty of times where I’ve dropped so far into a trance that I’ve tripped up a curb. If anyone sees my error, I pretend that it was an intentional stretching exercise and that I’m totally in charge of my body (yeah right).
- Running at the same pace you always run but in hotter weather - Whenever summer hits it’s important to lower your pace expectations at first. It’s easy to underestimate just how much more difficult it is to run in the heat. Last Saturday and Sunday I had to stop on 2 consecutive runs as I was trying to maintain a 9:20 min/mile pace in 23C heat. Thankfully I’ve found my level in this heat which is a slower 9:50 min/mile. Sometimes you have to have bad habits beaten out of you.
- Becoming too possessive over the pavement – I still get annoyed when I hear cyclists ring their horn behind me. First of all these motherfuckers shouldn’t be on the footpath. The cynical bastard in me wants to scream “Get on the fucking road you fucking hippy!”. I know they’re only off the road because of inexperience and/or fear but it still grinds my gears. When I’m out there in my own little world I tend to get annoyed when anyone moves too close to me. A metre is close enough.
- Trying to run faster on every single run - In March 2013 I hit a period where I was making major progress with my pace on each run. I couldn’t stop getting faster and assumed it was always gonna be that way. Then I had a bad run and everything seemed to change. I lost confidence. It can be a demotivating habit to continually expect better of yourself, especially over such a short period. But to expect faster, longer and better on each routine is a recipe for burn out.
- Complaining that you have to run to other people - ” I don’t wanna run! My legs hurt! My balls hurt! It’s so unfair that I have to run 10k tonight!” If you catch yourself complaining to others before a run, remind yourself that you don’t have to run. No one is forcing you into doing exercise. Moreover, when you complain to non-runners, they most likely won’t see what the problem is and will rightly think that you’re a bit of a dick.
- Rounding off the distance of every run - It isn’t enough to run 6.99 miles. You’ve gotta make it 7.00 miles and then everything’s perfect in your mind! I dunno if this is the beginning of OCD in me, or if I’m just pretty fucking particular. I tend to get scared if I stare at my watch and it says “6.66”. Then I want to shout “SHIT! SATAN’S COMING!”
- Forgetting the pain of running a certain race distance and then becoming blasé about it - I’m very close to entertaining 2 marathons in late Winter and I seem to have completely forgotten about the collective pain of the Paris and Belfast marathons. As runners we seldom learn. Typically we forget the bad experiences and remember the good. Which I guess is good if you’re wanting to remain out of your comfort zone but bad if you’re main goal in life is to real sane. But still. I think I wanted to die in the last 10k of Paris. My expression said it all.
- Constantly fucking eating or thinking or dreaming of food - I’m sitting here in a state of catatonic despair after having eaten through 2 punets of Strawberries, a packet of Rainbow Drops, a Pot Noodle, a sausage roll and some Chewits. And you know what’s going through my mind? “How about some cheese, big lad? How about some Haribo! One won’t hurt! One of everything! MWAHAHAHAHAH!”
- Assuming that running will always make you feel better emotionally - Running can help pick you up mentally, but there are runs that leave you feeling so drained and nauseous that you just wanna go to bed and sleep. After the Paris experience I just wanted to curl up in a ball and watch Lassie movies for a fortnight. It was fucking shit.