What you never knew about running – before you take up the sport

So you have decided to pick up running. Your running friends have also convinced you that it was a great idea, because you can get many health benefits, including being more alert and being able to sleep much better.

Running offers plenty of health benefits. (Credit: dreamstop.com)

Running offers plenty of health benefits. (Credit: dreamstop.com)

There is also the ‘runners high’ – which is as the euphoria when you cross the finishing line or completed the training run that you have set for yourself. There are also bragging rights you get from running, with all of those finishers’ medals as well as the finishers’ tees accumulating at home.

But when you make your decision to take up running, here are some things that you may not know about the sport.

  1. Running isn’t actually that cheap 

Running is supposed to be a cheap sport, or so they say, anyway. After all, all you need for training is a pair of running shoes, which will set you back by $200 on an average. After all, you don’t need to pay for those fancy gym memberships or expensive equipment and gadgets that are necessary for other costly sports such as fencing, skiing and wakeboarding.

But when you really get into the sport, you will discover that it actually is not that cheap. There are race entry fees, as well as airfare costs and accommodation fees, if you are taking part in races overseas. You will probably also need to invest in hydration bottles and packs, as well as GPS equipment, energy gels and so on. And so, the costs all add up.

  1. You will experience chafing 

When you took up running, you would probably have expected to get blisters or corns on your feet. This is true.

But chafing probably did not occur to you. Chafing generally happens when your skin is rubbing against material and equipment, or even other parts of your body, because of the constant and repetitive motion of running. Common areas that could experience chafing may include the armpits and even nipples (for men). These parts may be rubbing against the top that you are wearing.

However, chafing is easily solved, by applying Vaseline or waterproof tapes onto the areas that are susceptible to this problem.

  1. You’ll probably need to do an emergency pit stop in the middle of nowhere

Sometimes, the call of nature may come when you are right in the middle of a run – and especially if it is a trail run in the middle of nowhere, there may be no toilet in sight. This may sound like an unpleasant thought.

So in such cases, a few runners may simply decide to fertilise the soil. After all, it can be quite difficult to hold the call of nature for until you see a bathroom – because this might be a long distance away!

If you know that you are going to do a long run through the trails, you should be prepared – such as by bringing some wet wipes or tissue paper along for the run too. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry!

  1. There will be tons of laundry to wash

Be prepared to do the laundry frequently. (Credit: www.ipaintiwrite.com)

Be prepared to do the laundry frequently. (Credit: www.ipaintiwrite.com)

Once you take up running, you should be prepared to clean laundry immediately after every run too. That’s because if you continue to keep up the habit of say, doing the coloured laundry only every week like you used to, the stinky clothes will accumulate.

From personal experience, running clothes really do smell because of the sweat that’s trapped in the fibres – and if you leave it lying around for a day or two, the smell will become quite unbearable. So prepare yourself for doing regular laundry.

  1. You will actually suffer withdrawal symptoms when you can’t run

This may sound quite laughable to non-runners, but I can personally attest to the fact that runners really do get withdrawal symptoms when they are side-lined from running, be it through injury or illness, or some other cause.

So if you wish to take up running, you should prepare yourself for this very frustrating and trying period of time, if it does happen to you.

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