Runners pick up odd habits that the normal public might consider unacceptable: from bluntly exposing their crazy health secrets to constantly smelling like menthol and methyl salicylate (formally known as Icy Hot). However, if one actually experienced the life of a cross country or track runner, their behavior would quickly make more sense. These are some of the habits that runners pick up throughout their running career:
Dressing down 24/7: Wearing sweats and tennis shoes all the time are never looked down upon when it comes to runners and has a whole new meaning while being in-season. My friends and I would usually wear our running gear for the upcoming practice underneath our baggy sweats, and as soon as it was time, we would strip off our first layers and would take off on our warm-up. For a runner, convenience is the key, and luckily, none of us really missed the concept of wearing uncomfortable clothing to impress our friends. My friends were mainly athletes who thought and dressed the same way, so I never thought twice about it.
Constantly Wearing Icy Hot: Runners will always have some sort of sore ligament that needs soothing, after all, running requires every bone in the body to perform at once. The smell of Icy Hot or something of the sort will always fill the air as a runner goes by. It might be a much smellier solution, but it’s a lot easier than wearing ice-packs or taking a break from a minor ache.
Personal problems exposed — on purpose: Runners get to know each other extremely well during the season. From bladder problems to major period cramps, runners tell it all. On days that the athletes have long runs, friendship battles and the latest gossip are discussed while trying to pass the time. I myself had absolutely no shame as to what my other athletic friends knew about me, mainly because I had dirt on them as well.
Complaining: Runners can find the smallest things to complain about: one shoelace being longer than the other, a pinky toe cramp making the runner lose focus. You name it; they will complain about it. If you are close to a runner, you will quickly come to find out how picky they can really be, no matter where they are or what exercise they are doing. While running, I had the tendency to complain when a hair strand was out of place. After all, who wants hair in their eyes while running? It’s not that runners are ungrateful or anything, it’s just that they are accustomed to running under almost perfect circumstances, though we never really can get everything exactly as we’d like.
In my opinion, runners are more of the special athletes because they have more freedom and flexibility in their sport than others. However, this sport is also the most complex in regards to maintaining what the athlete needs in order to stay on his or her feet. With that being said, any trick or method to make a runner more comfortable will be used throughout the season — no matter how crazy the habit.