So whenever I say I run, it's occasional followed up with a random fun fact that the person knows about running/runners/sports which occasionally is flawed. I get these most from people who try to justify why they don't run (even though I don't really care if they run or not and it just gets more awkward if they try to justify it). Anywho, here are the things people assume about runners that I would like to debunk:
1. Are you worried your knees are going to be bad when you are older?
Sure, but not because I run. It's been show in article after article (based on studies or written by doctors) that if you have healthy knees and stability in you hips and ankles, running can actually help build cartilage. Also, it's been studied that high impact sports (running, dance, etc) can increase bone density and thus help avoid osteoporosis in the future!
2. That's cool! So you can eat whatever you want then? Lucky...
So yes, running burns a good amount of calories but that does not mean we runners can devour a huge amount of food ALL THE TIME. It does help me listen to my body though and its hunger signals which is nice. When runger (runner hunger) sets in though I have to make sure not to overdo it. I can easily consume a huge amount of food in a short period of time which only leaves me too full and uncomfortable, like the rest of the population. So while exercise burns calories, it doesn't give anyone a free ride to consume everything all the time.
3. Whoa, you ran a marathon? How do you do that?/Why would you ever want to do that?/I could never do that.
This one gets to me because it's one of those self-defeating/judgmental compliments. I run because I like to race and I feel accomplished after races. I firmly believe that anyone can run and finish some impressive distances. It's just one foot in front of the other, you just do it for varying amounts of time. I always just want to hand them a training plan and tell them to pick themselves up and get a good pair of running shoes.
4. We should go to the gym and lift, you must be great at everything athletic! I bet you'd totally beat me on the track!
So, I'll admit, I'm not good at cross-training. My training schedule is designed for a Monday cross train day, but I usually just take it as a rest day (I know, I know...) so am I strong? Um... from the waist down I guess. Am I fast? Faster than some but not particularly at short distances. Am I good at any other sports? No, not really. Runners are not necessarily good at other sports. Yes, we are aerobically fit so it means we can do other sports, but using other muscles can sometimes make me more tired. I'm a finely tuned running machine, put me on a bike and I get tired pretty fast.
5. You run in costumes? Doesn't it get annoying?
It would be if I was wearing a ball gown but when it's basically re-purposing running clothes, then not so much. You can choose to run in boring shorts and a tank (and some races I choose this option too) but it's more fun if you add a little pizzazz to your wardrobe. It just makes race day feel more special!