7 Quirky Things Runners Do

Or Is It Just Me?

two men on an early morning run
Jordan Siemens/Vision Digital/ Getty Images

Every sport has its idiosyncrasies and odd behaviors that only true aficionados of the sport understand.  Running is no exception, of course. Over the years, I’ve developed some quirky running-related habits and, by talking to fellow runners, I’ve discovered that I’m not the only weird one!  There are other runners who are guilty of these same habits, so, we must be normal -- among runners, anyway.  Here are some of my strange behaviors that I’ve come to accept as being normal running behavior.

1. I’ll run around the block again just to get my Garmin to a certain number.  OK, so I know that Garmins aren’t always 100% accurate, and I shouldn’t really care about the exact number of miles it says I ran.  But there’s something so satisfying about seeing a certain mileage on that watch.

2. I get jealous of runners when I’m driving.  While there are times when runs are not going well and I wished I wasn’t running, I somehow forget about that when I’m driving and I pass runners.  I immediately wish I could switch spots with them.  I start thinking about how far they’re running and what their route is.

3. I use Starbucks restrooms like a ninja.  I have several regular running routes and, along the way, I have certain favorite bathrooms in Starbucks, convenience stores, or fast food restaurants that I know I can use very quickly and surreptitiously. Usually the bathroom is very close to the entrance or far away from the register, so I know I can be in and out before an employee has a chance to shout, “Bathrooms are for customers only!”  All they see is a flash of brightly-colored technical running clothes flying out the door.

4. I check out other treadmill runners’ consoles.  Yes, I know it’s not good treadmill running etiquette to stare at another runner’s numbers, but sometimes I just can’t help myself and I have to sneak a peek.  And, yes, if you’re going faster than me I just might crank up the speed a little.  And if you start to go even faster, I might increase my pace again.  But, hey, we’ll both probably get a better workout, right?

5. I like using running lingo. As runners, there are certain terms that only we understand and it's fun that we have our own language. I sometimes forget that when I’m talking to non-runners and some running terms will slip out.  I get some strange looks when I tell someone I BQ’d or PR’d when they ask me how a particular race went.

6. I check myself out when I pass a store window or busstop. I think we’re all at least a little bit curious about what we look like when we’re running.  That’s why we like seeing the race photos we get emailed to us after a race.  Sometimes when I’m running, I’m thinking, “How’s my form?”  “How do my new running shorts look?”  “Is my hair sticking up?”  So if I pass a window, I’ll sneak a peek.

7. I’ll talk to complete strangers, if they’re runners. Typically I’m a shy person and I don’t frequently make conversations with total strangers. However, I’m much less reserved if I see someone wearing a shirt from a race that I ran. I’ll immediately start chatting about the race, see what they thought of it, and ask about what other races they have coming up. The bond among runners is deep!

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