This is a sequel to Alison’s first post on other runner stereotypes.
From internet memes to quips on TV, runners get made fun of a fair amount. But hey, we’re tough—we can take a joke. However, there are some stereotypes about runners that are so untrue, they have to be debunked. We’ve already busted some of the major myths about runners- here are four more with the record set straight:
The health nut
Fiction: Runners are virtuous souls who eat organic kale, grass-fed beef and fruit for dessert daily. There’s no room for sugar or fat in a runner’s diet; they eat perfectly healthy 24/7 and never ever cheat. And don’t forget all that water—runners drink it by the gallon.
Fact: This one couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, runners have to make healthy food choices to properly fuel their workouts, and most of the time they stay on track. But just like they know that a rest day is crucial to a well-rounded routine, runners know that treats have their place in a well-rounded diet. Post-race pizza? You bet. Marathon training burger break? Yes please. Cookie just because? Absolutely. A smart runner values balance and looks forward to something special after mostly healthy choices. And yeah, they drink a lot of water, but they also appreciate a cold beer as much as anyone.
Fiction: Come on, real runners don’t use the treadmill. You can’t get a decent workout without the challenges of outdoor terrain, the varying temperatures, the endless routes, the….the point is, the treadmill is a total waste of time and true runners always hit the bricks outside.
Fact: The treadmill gets a bad rap, thanks largely in part to runners themselves. It can be boring and monotonous and even though sometimes weather leaves us no choice but to use one, the treadmill is still despised by most. But some people do actually like it. Yes, really! Treadmills mean climate control and TV binges, and with the right combination of speed and incline, they can provide a killer workout. So don’t discount a treadmiller; she can probably match you mile for mile AND keep you entertained by telling you about the latest Scandal.
The dog jogger
Fiction: Anyone who tries to run with a dog is getting a mediocre workout at best. Between untangling the leash and stopping for Fido to sniff every fire hydrant, you’ll be lucky to jog half a mile.
Fact: Dogs can make some of the best running partners a girl can have. Many breeds are natural runners and will happily join you on your daily miles. If you check with your vet to ensure your pup is healthy and monitor him during your runs, you might end up getting an even better workout than usual thanks to your encouraging canine coach.
The fashion plate
Fiction: This runner is always head-to-toe coordinated, with her leggings that match her top and her shoelaces that compliment her sports bra. Serious runners don’t care how they look and anyone who spends that much time on her wardrobe is clearly more interested in a fashion show on the gym treadmill than in doing any real running.
Fact: You can’t judge a book by its cover and you definitely can’t judge a runner by her outfit. Sure, some runners truly don’t care what they wear and are happy to do their miles in old college sweats and clashing tee shirts. But just because another runner might take an extra five minutes to put together a coordinated look, it doesn’t mean she’s any less of a serious runner. Anything that makes you feel great will give you an extra boost on your run, so put on your haute-couture capris and go crush that 10K.