7 Things No One Tells You About Running

When you were thinking about getting started with running, you may have had some friends who convinced you that it was a good idea. They may have talked to you at length about the benefits of running. After hearing them blather on and taking a look at their race medals and toned butt, you figured you'd give it a try.  But what your friends didn’t tell you were some of the surprising truths that – had you known them – might have made you question whether you were crazy enough to get started with the sport in the first place.

So, to help you know what you’re getting into, here are some truths about running that your running friends may have failed to mention to you.  Even if you’ve been running for a while, it’s worth checking out this list in case you have yet to discover some of these things.

1
There will be days when you hate running.

Two friends jogging across urban street bridge
Justin Case/Taxi/Getty Images

Most new runners have a great deal of enthusiasm and are eager to do races of all distances. But once you get into the training, you may find there are days when your motivation is waning. When that happens, try some of these tips to get your running mojo back:

2
It's not as cheap as you think.

Running Shoe Store
Digital Vision

Some people start running because they don’t want to spend money on a gym membership or fancy equipment.  All you need is a pair of running shoes, right?  That might be fine for when you first get started but, once you get into the sport, you soon discover that there are a lot of other expenses – proper running clothes, water bottles and other gear, race entry fees and travel, sports nutrition, and injury prevention items. But there are ways to cut costs – try some of these tips to save money on running.

Also see:  How Much Does It Cost to Run a Marathon?

3
Chafing happens.

Body Glide
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

You might expect a blister or two on your feet after running, but some people are surprised when they discover the pain of chafing, another common running issue.  Chafing is caused when your skin is constantly rubbing against material during a run.  Common areas that are susceptible to chafing are the inner things, sports bra lines, and nipples (men). But it’s easy to avoid if you don't wear cotton during runs and use a lubricant like BodyGlide on sensitive areas.

Also see:  Products to Prevent and Treat Chafing

4
At some point, you'll go to the bathroom in the woods.

runner in woods
Yagi Studio / Getty

When you start running, it won’t be long before you find yourself having to make a pit stop during a run.  If you’re lucky, you’ll be near a bathroom or port-a-potty.  But you eventually find yourself in a situation when you have to go…immediately, and there’s not a bathroom in sight. 

If you know you’ll be running in those conditions (i.e., on a trail where there are no public bathrooms), make sure you have some supplies ready in case nature calls.  You could always pack some tissues or wipes in your running shorts and race belt.  And, if it does happen to you, you’re definitely not alone. Talk to other runners and you'll probably have a good laugh sharing stories about emergency pit stops and other "You Know You're a Runner When" moments.

Also see:  Embarrassing Running Issues

5
The laundry never ends.

Washing machine
Andrew Olney

One of my least favorite things about running is dealing with the laundry.  Both my husband and I run a lot, and the smelly running clothes accumulate very quickly.  And the problem with those great technical fabrics is that they tend to get even smellier after you run, since bacteria from your sweat gets trapped in the fibers.  So if you wait a couple of days to do your laundry, you’ll pay for it. If that does happen, here are some tips on how to remove the smell from your running clothes.

6
You may miss -- really miss it -- when you can't do it.

Runner lying on the couch
Steve Cole

Although there will be days when you despise running, you may one day find yourself devastated that you can’t run. Whether it’s an injury, illness, or some other issue that has you sidelined, it’s can be extremely frustrating and painful to be told that you can’t run.  If it happens to you, here are some tips for dealing with the emotional side of running injuries.

7
You may turn into one of those runners who constantly talk about running.

man and woman talking
suedhang/Creative RF/Getty

I remember seeing a tweet from Jimmy Fallon that said:  “How do you know if someone ran a marathon?  Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.”  If running is a big part of your life, it makes sense that you talk about it, the same way people talk about important aspects of their lives, such as their kids or their jobs. The key is to find an audience that’s receptive and can relate to your running stories. Try saving the running chit-chat for fellow running and exercise enthusiasts.

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