Upon returning to my running club this week after a month-long hiatus, it was noticeable there had been a fair spike in membership since my last appearance. As much as this is attributable to the inevitable ‘New Year Resolution Runner’ phenomena, this initial enthusiasm often translates to many catching the bug.
Part of the joys associated in welcoming new members is to watch the transition of a once recreational activity to an integral part of their lifestyle. Here, we take a look at the tell-tale signs that you have become a fully-fledged, committed (or is it obsessed?) runner.
Learn The Secret Code Nod
There comes a point on every run that you will reach that inevitable impasse: meeting another runner. As a rule of thumb, I like to be proactive in greeting my fellow being and always initiate, at the very least, a knowing nod.
This isn’t just to abide by social etiquette; the running nod is our Omertà if you will, a gesture that signifies a recognition of those lung bursting PB attempts, drenched Sunday mornings and hill sprints that you both have in common. This gesture, trivial as it may seem, is a noticeable sign that you have become part of the fraternity.
Pavement Huggers Become Enemies
There’s a curious and infuriating breed of pedestrians that feel it is permissible to take up the entire pavement on any given jaunt. Oblivious to the fact anyone may need past and generally unresponsive to desperate, pleading calls of “Excuse Me”, these creatures of habitat can cost you a good 10 seconds on any given run.
Learning to cultivate a non-aggressive, super-friendly "runners coming through" will become a common-place feature of any road session as your training increases.
Mile Splits Make For Great Conversation
While your immediate friends and family will politely listen to your captivating running tales, this is generally through feigned interest. Fellow runners, however, will be happy to engage in chat about mile splits, niggling injuries or the discovery of a new route.
When these conversations start to become common practice, you can be sure that you have become a fully-fledged runner.
Start planning your shopping as if you were feeding a family of four (unless, of course, you do have a family of four, then suitably alter). One of the clearest indicators of your increasing mileage is an insatiable appetite. This isn’t just directly post-run either; you will notice the effects of an intense session the day after.
Not having a naturally sweet tooth, I found desserts started to become more appealing. (There is, of course, a biological explanation behind this). Although increased calorie-burning will give you a bit more leeway in treats, it doesn’t necessarily allow for free-reign—check out our nutrition page for more advice.