Athletics Magazine

My 15 Unwritten Rules for Runners

By Brisdon

I don’t get it. Why does my family get all pissy on me for playing Christmas music in the car? As far as I am concerned, holiday music is fair game from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day.  This is one of those unspoken holiday rules.

This got me thinking. Are there unwritten rules about running? Sure! Here are some I can think of:

1. Be sure to look before you spit or blow out a snot rocket. In a triathlon a couple of years ago, I had just started the run and the girl in front of me turned and spit. Right on  me. I beat her up later in the finisher’s shoot.My 15 Unwritten Rules for Runners

2. If you are running with a group, do not carry a bunch of coins in your pocket. By mile 3, you will be shot and left for dead after they steal your GUs.

3. Don’t overshare. I can’t believe I am saying this – pot calling the freaking kettle black! But seriously, you do not have to give explicit details about how big your poop was in the porto, your period flow level, or how many times you pee yourself over the course of five miles.

4. If you stop to tie your shoe, puke, catch your breath, pick up change, take a picture -whatever – move to the right. Get out of the eff’ing way! So many times I have plowed into someone in front of me who stopped unexpectedly. And, I might be guilty of doing it once or twice myself.

5. Turn off the treadmill when you get off of it. This seems obvious, but once someone left it on and I got on it. You can only imagine the words that escaped my lips as I was sling-shotted across the gym, squealing.

6. Look to make sure the treadmill is turned off before you get on it.

7. Say “hello” or nod when you pass other runners.


8. When you are having drinks with a non running friend, put a time limit on how long you talk about running. Avoid using acronyms like AG, BQ, PR and DNF.

9.  Run facing traffic. That way you can see that 18 wheeler and smile at the driver before he hits you.

10. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Unless you make your living as a runner, you need to lighten up.

11. If you fart and someone is behind you, always yell out a warning (I have gotten in trouble for this one way too many times. Now I just yell, “FART!”).

12. Run with your dog, but put that bitch on a leash. I can’t tell you how many dogs I’ve almost fallen over when they cut in front of me (one exception is my friend’s dog, Newman. So well behaved while we run).


13. Don’t whine. We’re all tired when we run. We all want to be done. So shut up and trudge on (SUATO).

14. Don’t fib about your PRs. Paul Ryan learned this one the hard way.

15. Don’t judge other runners be it for how fast/slow they are, if they run with music or not, what shoes they are wearing, etc. Only judge them if they don’t wave to you, carry coins, fart with no warning, or spit on you.

Can you think of any other unwritten rules for runners?

Have you been guilty of breaking some of these rules? Yes, many of them. I’ve been guilty of over-sharing (duh). I also have farted with no warning. I’ve been known to whine once or twice. And, sometimes I take this running thing WAY too seriously.


My 15 Unwritten Rules for Runners

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