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Dating A Runner (31 Things To Know Before Dating A Runner)

by Sonya Schwartz

The picture of health, generally positive attitude, body goals… I see why it can be love at first sight with a runner, especially when you’re observing them from a distance. However, as to all things in life, there’s more to dating runners than meets the eye. Things that you might want to avail yourself of before dabbling in romance with them, to begin with.

Whatever you are thinking of in the way of pros or reasons to date runners, I bet you’ll find this piece a convincing enough rebuttal to think again. By the end of the article, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that not all that glistens is actually gold.

Contents

31 Things To Know Before Dating A Runner

1. Sometimes, they forget to shower

Every so often, you may come across the perfect runner who doesn’t always look or smell like what they’ve been through. Unfortunately, you need more than luck to come across one like this because there’s not enough to go around.

Usually, what you get is a clammy human either too tired or too late to pop in the shower before meeting you. The more keen they are on the hobby, the higher the odds of this happening. They may not hit you with all this right off the bat, but once the awkward early stages of dating pass, be prepared to have them meet you in sweat-soaked running clothes.

2. Runners' feet aren’t as easy on the eyes as the rest of them

runner's feet aren't as easy on the eyes as the rest of them

In case physical appearance is what keeps drawing you to runners, know now that the sexiness isn’t universal. All the running takes its toll, and not just on their shoes or socks, but their feet as well.

There’s the chaffing, the blisters, and the particularly not pretty toenails. While the rest of them may have you placing them on some grand pedestal, their proof of humanness lies within their shoes and will disillusion you real quick.

3. Their laundry piles faster than they can get them

The more active someone is on the track, the more reason to keep them at arm’s length. If you do insist on dating them anyway, never move in with them unless you’re comfortable seeing dirty running clothes and socks all over the place.

It’s worse of course if you meet a lazy one who needs someone to clean up afterthem. But sometimes, even runners who are generally more responsible can’t help it. Their energy and time are limited and there’s always so much to do between resting, getting ready for the next run, and managing everyday life. 

Thus, laundry isn’t always a priority until it piles, which will be as often as they are active. 

4. The thing you heard about runners’ homes smelling like shoes is true

If you don't like it when a random person on a bus kicks their sneakers and the air goes from manageable to reeking, think that but on a more regular basis. It's bad when they don't have enough shoes to properly rotate between active sessions. 

Worse when their hygiene is just generally questionable because then the entire house could be filled with shoes and socks and they'd still stink them all up. And the worst part? The longer they’ve been into the lifestyle, the less likely they are to see a problem with the unbecoming scent that welcomes you to their abode.

5. You'll always be the side squeeze

While it's always encouraged to have something to do outside of relationships and work, running is a bit too possessive of a hobby. It’s addictive and anyone who’s into it will most likely want to apply themselves to getting better on the tracks. That means diet and training plans, early mornings and late nights, financial and physical commitments, etc. 

All that gets most of their attention while you’re forced to be “understanding.” Like, you can literally see for yourself the toll their routine physically takes on them so complaining is always awkward because you wouldn’t want to come across as selfish.

6. They will make you wait

Patience is a virtue indeed, one you may find you don’t have enough of if you try dating a runner. It would appear their affinity for speed only kicks in when there is a finish line in sight. That goes both literally and figuratively.

As for the former, to put it simply, they run late to everything (no pun intended), mostly because they tend to lose track of time while running. They could reach their target within the time you both planned around but god forbid they turn around while still brimming with energy.

Their affair with athletics may also make them draw out the dating process considering one person can only do so many things simultaneously. Thus delaying committing to you longer than necessary.

7. You may never know if they like you for you or just your massage skills

you may never know if they like you for you or just your massage skills

Speaking of training and extended run, you may not be the one doing the running, but dating a runner will give you a fair idea of what it takes to have those calves. While they are out pursuing their runner’s high, you are left to pick up the slack when the endorphin wears off. Unless you think you can bear to see your sweetheart aching in discomfort and do nothing.

Or else, your skills as a masseuse will be put to the test. Massages and body rubs are a quick way to most people’s hearts (and other stuff), but in the running world, it’s a little deeper. A need they’ll probably require a lot more often than your ex did. And no, they won’t use a professional massage therapist as much because those cost money they can spend on more running clothes. 

8. You have to deal with the crank they become when they can’t run

If you think dating a runner is unbearable while they’re active on the track, you don’t even want to imagine what it’s like when they’re kept from it. You’d think for a hobby so tasking that they’d be glad to get a break, even if forced. But you’d be wrong.

Maybe it’s the endorphin fix, or they’re just addicted to the pain, but whatever condition, be it injury or sickness, deters their running affects everyone around them as well. I’m talking about symptoms consistent with withdrawal, including increased irritability, restlessness, detachment, anxiety, and depression. It’s that deep.

9. They don’t play with their food

As you know, running uses up a lot of fuel. All the energy lost has to go back in somehow hence food. The only good side to this is that they probably won’t judge or even notice if you eat to your satisfaction. But on the flip side, their incessant appetite also means they act out more when hungry or predispose you to eat too much if you live together.

Also, if your love language is sharing food with your partners, you should know your runner bae most likely doesn’t speak it. If s/he ordered it, even if it appears too much, taking a bite out of their food before they’re done with it can raise more hell than it's worth. 

10. They can be a bit finicky about their diet

When I say people who run don’t play with their food, I’m not just talking about quantity. These people are as particular about what they take as… well anyone who watches their diet. They load up on their carbs for energy, but the rest of the classes also have to be there to make it balance.

Meanwhile, some of them (commonly females), are a little too about the green life to fit the stereotype of runners eating everything in their way. Whichever one you come across though, just know they’d be picky in their own way. They have to have their meals the way that’s been working for them or everything goes out of whack.

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11. Running stuff and food eats up all their money

Maybe it’s not just about their fit body. Maybe you're considering dating a runner because you think they have some disposable income. You might be right but that's no guarantee they will spend lavishly to impress you, and not because running makes you stingy. 

Between food and their growing running gear collection, average runners may not have loads of spare cash to spoil you with, I'm afraid. There's always a more advanced pair of running shoes they're eyeing or a new tech accessory to give them an edge during training

They want to sign up for a marathon, travel abroad for a race or two, and get another pair of compression socks because such is their life. These are their needs and these things take money. Add that to an organic diet, for instance and the point makes itself. 

12. There’ll be plenty of occasions to save them, and you won't always like doing it

If you date someone who is into trail running or trains by exploring different unfamiliar routes, prepare to become their standby uber. I know this comes across as exploratory, and it can be, especially during the honeymoon phase when you’re prone to adventure.

But wait till they’re waking you up from much-needed sleep to come to pick them up because they got lost or mugged on one of their long runs and need a ride. Or, you’re ridden with anxiety wondering if something happened again because it’s way past their usual return time and there’s no cell reception, and you might have a rethink.

13. If you love date nights on weekends, better get used to masturbating

Can’t squeeze in date nights during the week because you both have an active work life? Well, that’s a crying shame because you can’t hold your runner down on the weekends. They may love you more than life itself, but Sunday mornings are sacred to these folks, and not just because of the heavenly race.

If a runner isn’t running or training for some important race on weekends, they’re probably injured or officially out of clean running clothes/socks. Or, maybe their functioning running shoes need fixing. And in that case, the best you can do is take advantage and squeeze in some quality time while sorting the issue before they have to be back out there.

14. They're usually up and running during critical snuggling hours (Pun intended)

they usually up and running during critical snuggling hours (pun intended)

Most runners love their early run, not just on Sunday mornings. They want to get the miles in and kick start their metabolism before the sun and the rest of the world fully awakes. So, if you’re dating one, at 4 am when your mates are cuddling up and getting spooned by their s/o, yours is dripping sweat and covered in dirt.

If you’re lucky or a late riser, they may come back before you wake up, but by that time they are no longer on the same groggy frequency as you. So, you may get the occasional breakfast in bed, but the odds of waking up to someone beside you are not so great. Even when they are not going on a run, the early riser thing becomes them so it’s not really much of a difference.

15. They most likely won't wear the fancy pants in your relationship

A runner’s lifestyle is like carrying the gym with you wherever you go, and most people don’t associate their Sunday best with working out. The way it goes in their mind is that they already put their body through too much to prioritize anything but comfort as regards what they wear.

If it’s not a black-tie event or something equally formal, best believe your date can join you anywhere wearing shorts and a top. Partly to show off their tight legs, but mostly because they either have to get back to training afterward or didn’t get a chance to change before leaving.

16. Their hobby will hijack every trip and vacation

Like it isn’t bad enough to share your partner with a sport on your home turf, they will take their mistress with them across the border as well. On the one hand, you may have their hobby to thank for the multiple trips to different exciting places, especially if they are really good at it or run professionally.

But on the other hand, whether it’s a vacation or a work trip doesn’t make much difference, because they’d be out exploring the terrains either way. They will always find races to join (if it’s not the sole reason they agreed to travel in the first place.) And the best they can do when you complain is ask you to come with them. 

17. They forget you don't get runner's high

Athletes are quick to point out how all the ‘happy’ chemicals their movements pump through their system. How they can sweat their stress away and generally lead more relaxed, positive lives than us peasants. That’s all well and good until they start to crave the same vibe from the person they’re seeing.

Granted we all have our way of releasing stress and getting our own endorphins to run. Still, you may have trouble keeping up at their level if you’re not quite as active. Do I need to begin listing how that might leave a gap in the way you relate?

18. If you insist on dating a runner, you better like making conversation about running-related stuff over and over and over

There is no taking a break from passion, right? Even those who didn’t start out to have running become their ultimate thing, end up getting hooked. And before you know it, it’s all they can chat about. Like new parents who can’t stop talking about how cute or fussy their baby is, a runner will want to carry you along on every little detail if they like you.

While the talks may be understandable when preparing for a race they’re anxious about like a marathon, they won’t only be about the important stuff. They will eagerly run everything by you from the extra miles they cover during training to the latest endurance workout regimen they’re trying.

Interestingly, they may not be quite so expressive when it comes to the other stuff, but good luck shutting them up once they start droning on about the joys of running. 

19. Their lifestyle will make you think you don't care enough about your health

A healthy competition between couples isn’t out of place, especially if it pushes both parties to get better. That being said, people who love running have a way of overdoing it without even trying. If you’re dating a runner, even if you’re no slouch in the gym yourself, you may still feel like you need to cover more miles yourself to measure up.

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When they keep getting the cool gear, telling stories about how much fun they have trail running and what races they are excited about, you may feel left out. It’s worse when you know their excitement is genuine and they’re not being patronizing because then you conclude by yourself that you’re the one holding out on your own wellbeing.

20. A runner’s stamina in the sack can ruin other lovers for you

I’m not going to lie to you and say people who run are shit in the sheets. First of all, their heart isn’t likely to give out should you two decide to up the intensity in the bedroom because running is nothing if not an endurance exercise.

And speaking of endurance, you can’t compare that of an avid runner to your run-of-the-mill gym rat’s even though they have their strengths too. The point is, dating a runner significantly improves your odds of reaching the finish line in bedroom sports. Others can hardly meet, let alone surpass the bar they set, and you’ll know this, making it that much harder to break up with them.

21. They have too many shoes that look the same and way too many accessories

they have too many shoes that look the same and way too many accessories

Looking in from outside you might be wondering why one person needs so many running shoes, but chalk it up to us all having our thing. Different strokes and all. But by the time you start dating and spending more time together, it begins to bother you more why they can’t just throw away the old to make space for the new. 

Or why the majority of their wardrobe favors miles over style. Or the shared range of items in their race gear bag. Running clothes, running shoes, ergonomic socks, compression sleeves, all sorts of accessories from watches to fanny packs and headphones… Minimalist? Sorry, runner bae can't relate.

22. Their ambition and competitive spirit can be a bit much

You know how when things get intense and you console yourself with the fact that they will return to normal soon? Unless you pick an occasional runner, there’s no getting your life back from this hobby. ‘Normal’ at any given time is training to reach a goal in less time than their previous best.

The more important the race, the more training time away from you and the more support you feel obligated to provide as their partner. It’s all fun at first, but if you have your own waters to navigate or are just not that into their races, things can get overwhelming pretty fast.

23. They are spontaneous, but not necessarily in the romantic sense

Some people are nothing without proper routine and planning but then break character when they start to run. They may set out for a sprint but end up doing a mini-marathon because they got in their groove. People like this don’t just run impulsively, but also pay to watch other people run or join in on a race. 

These are often regulars so dedicated to the miles they don’t see running as just an exercise, but a way of life. But it doesn’t automatically translate to being that uninhibited off-field especially at first, so if you’re considering dating runners because of spontaneity, think twice.

24. They may glisten on Insta but it’s mostly just sweating and vibes irl

Trust me, I know the appeal of seeing sweaty, hot people behind a screen and what picture it paints in your mind. They make the run itself look so effortless while ramping up the miles which can be an incredible turn-on, especially when you have a little crush.

But let me put it to you that just like your own life probably isn’t as glamorous as the online version, theirs aren’t either. The sweat may make them glow in the photos, but when they come home to you, the real thing is still sticky and gross. If they’re not the neatest, you may need to get comfy with their stinky feet, running shoes, socks, and more. But hey, at least they’d be fit.

25. Sweating is like the least of their mess

If you must pursue your dream of dating a runner, I hope you don’t do so thinking your ultimate sacrifice will be seeing them all drenched. In addition to the feet and potential BO situation, experts say they also face a possible leaky bladder or runner’s diarrhea situation.

They are also prone to heat rashes, sore/bloody nipples (usually guys), and upper body acne (usually ladies). It gets worse. This is probably the part that will bother you the most when the sports underwear goes off, sometimes it leaves in its trail chafing (in the groin and crotch) and hemorrhoids. Do with that information what you will.

26. You’ll need a pet or a Netflix subscription because you'll be by yourself a lot

It sounds dramatic I know, but I’m not even kidding. Dating a runner may not be much of an issue for you if you’re usually busy. However, if you have a lot of time on your hands and like to spend most of it cuddled on the couch with the person you are seeing, run from runners.

When they have serious races coming up, if they're not running, they are training or fueling up or catching their breath. Not much time to squeeze in The Handmaid’s Tale by the time they get back to you since they’re off as soon they hit the bed. And when the marathon is over, it’s back to getting up for the usual morning run and preparing for the next race.

27. Their alarm will ruin your sleep

They may seem super sometimes, like when they set out to run a 5K and end up going twice the miles, but runners are still your everyday people with a bit of discipline. They too get tired, and part of them wants to sleep in with you on Sunday mornings, but track and field awaits, and someone has to bring the medal home.

That’s all noble and stuff until their alarm goes off at 4 am and leaves you awake and cranky because sleep isn’t easy for you to find. When it’s not the clock waking everyone up, it’s them while getting ready to run out. While the early bird is off relishing their runner’s high and whatnot, you’re forced to start your day grumpy and caffeinated. 

Either that or sleep apart whenever they have to get up early, which is a tough choice given it can be every other day when they have a marathon coming up.

28. Their perfect date idea will leave you weak at the knees, literally

Usually, dates can be unnerving, especially early on because you never know what to expect or whether you’ll like the other person’s idea of fun. In that sense, the perfect date would be one you can approach from a place of confidence, where your common interest is something you’re quite good at.

For an active runner, I imagine anything adventurous/outdoorsy might excite them, but a running date would still top their list. The only issue is, even if they bring the run down to your level, it’s no guarantee you’ll equally enjoy it. You’d probably be banged up to the point where it’s hard to get up in the morning before they break a sweat.

29. They have the perfect alibi for indiscretions

they have the perfect alibi for indiscretions

One thing I hope we’ve established so far is how crazy the runners’ training schedule can be. It’s normal for your partner to go away for long stretches at a time, so you may not suspect a thing if they fit all their rendezvous within that time.

It’s not just the perfect alibi for cheating, but also handy when they want to avoid you. All they have to do is say they’re going for a run or preparing for a race and you wouldn’t even think to question it.

30. They will make you like them

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s a slippery slope falling in love with someone who likes to run. More often than not, they end up making a runner out of you, even if you resist at first. The way their lifestyle seduces you is systematic. 

Your support in terms of time, energy, financial and emotional investment in their doings from training to races gradually reels you in with each passing day. As long as you’re into them, every race they win or lose feels more personal than the last. 

Before you know it, your ‘no’ is longer as firm as when they ask you to join them on a run. Next thing, you’re getting your own gear and training to sign up for the next mini-marathon.

31. They can't have it all

Lastly, think of not getting with runners as your quota to making the goodness go round in your local dating scene. These folks already lucked into one of the healthiest hobbies there are, and they reap the physical and psychological benefits every time they put on their gear and run.

Each race they run wins them tangible recognitions as well as fans irrespective of what they look like or if they come first. Don’t even get me started on the lucrative career and scholarship prospects for those who run or aspire to on a professional level. 

Whereas, other quality prospects are being overlooked for a shot with an athlete, even one who isn’t interested. We should all do better to spread the wealth lol.

FAQs

Why you should never date a runner?

An avid runner’s primary passion would always be the track, not you. They will splurge on running shoes, gear, and whatever else they need to achieve more miles over you in a heartbeat. The more talented they are, the higher their responsibilities and therefore, the more sacrifices you have to make as their partner.

What is a runner in a relationship?

A runner is someone unable to get comfortable in a relationship due to past unresolved trauma. They let their feelings rule until the possibility of getting hurt or hurting you starts to feel too real, then they run.

Why should you date a runner?

Runners take good care of their body and one of the dividends of that, besides living healthier and a generally positive outlook, is incredible stamina in bed. They will influence your lifestyle choices for the better, especially physically. 

Is running together a date?

Running dates are a thing, but that only applies when both parties agree to call it one. If no one asked the other out, then running together or not, y’all just hanging out

Are runners healthier?

Running helps to improve cardiovascular health and is an ideal workout for endurance and energy. It’s a great way to achieve/maintain a healthy weight and manage stress levels, among tons of other physical and psychological benefits.

Summary

Next time you see an athlete in their running wear, looking all cool and inviting, remember this list and put some miles between you. Or not. I’ve done my part, you have the ball at your feet from here. Have personal reasons for staying clear of people who run? Drop them in the comments along with your thoughts on the list, and share if you liked the post.

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Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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