1. Dress the part.
You thought that all you needed were your old tennis shoes? Think again. Brooks and ASICS are the only shoes a self-respecting runner would wear. If you aren’t spending at least seventy dollars on your trainers then you might as well head for the yoga studio.
2. Never, ever walk.
Don’t even think about walking. Instead, ridicule other runners who have to walk to fuel your own running. An inner dialogue like this should do the trick: “She thinks she’s a runner. HA. She’s a joke. Clearly she’s just out for a jog and she wants the football players to think she’s a real runner.”
3. Stay aware of your surroundings.
Running is an exhibitionists’ sport and no one appreciates the difficulty of running like someone who can’t run. When passing a walker, facial expression is crucial. Look straight ahead and maintain an expression that is a perfect mix of unbearable pain and quiet smugness. You want it to say “Yes, I am doing the hardest thing of my life and you’re just eating an ice cream cone.” Or “When was the last time you sweat this much?” I guarantee you that the walker will feel worse about himself than he already does.
4. Talk about running all the time.
How else is everyone going to know how you spent forty five minutes on your Saturday morning? The thing is, no one knows exactly how often or how long you run, so the more you talk about it, the more they’ll infer on their own. And they’ll usually infer a lot more legitimacy on your behalf if you talk about it more. Case and point: If you talk about how you ran five miles last weekend to a friend, she will think “Man, Alex is the type of person who runs five miles like it’s nothing. She must be a real runner.”
Here are a couple of token phrases that are just generic enough that no one will ever ask any questions.
Before running: “Yeah, I’m thinking I need to take it easy today. Just a four miler after my mile warmup. I really don’t want to hit my peak too early in the season.”
After running: “You know, I just felt horrible today but I pushed through it. You know when you hit that wall of your pain threshold and it’s like, you gotta go through it or stay where you’re at. And I just pushed through it today and it was great.”
- Be sure to shake out your arms every couple of miles. Runners do this when they realize they’ve been tensing their upper body muscles but no one knows if it actually makes any difference.
- Take advantage of social media. A growing number of platforms are becoming available for you to loudly talk about what a great runner you are. Blog about your internal running dialogue, post screen caps of your route on google maps, and retweet Steve Prefontaine quotes.
- Don’t forget to talk about your injuries. No real runner has a perfectly able set of legs and no one will respect you if they think you’re running on one. If you can’t manage to get injured, at least play up your asthma or run a day without socks and get a blister.