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How to spot a runner in the wild

These habits are dead giveaways, even when a runner is incognito

Contrary to what many of our friends and family think, we runners do more than just run. We also go to work, attend parties, eat at restaurants and do pretty much everything non-runners do. Even in these non-running situations, it’s pretty easy to tell who the runners are if you know what to look for, and the following habits are dead giveaways.

7 runner habits that make no sense

They’re stretching in the Timmies line

It can be difficult balancing training with all your other life commitments, so sometimes you have to multi-task. Standing in line at Tim Hortons waiting for your morning brew is the perfect time to fit in a quick stretch, especially if you didn’t have time after your morning run. It’s not weird, it’s efficient.

They carry a water bottle with them everywhere


Runners sweat a lot, so we have to drink a lot of water. Until you’ve tried to do a 20 km long run when you’re dehydrated, you won’t understand.

They use the bathroom a lot

Hey, all that water has to go somewhere, right?

They’re wearing a GPS watch

Watches aren’t cheap so if you’re going to spend the money, what’s the point if your watch doesn’t track your heart rate and sleep data? Plus, if you wear your GPS watch all the time, you won’t miss any miles if you have to break out into a run to catch the bus.

They have distinct tan lines

A shorts tan, watch tan, sock tan or sports bra tan is a dead giveaway that someone is a runner. You know they really put in a lot of miles in the summer if their tan lines are still visible in the middle of winter.

Running superstitions: we know they don’t work, but we do them anyway

They’re always eating carbs

Runners expend a lot of energy and we need to replace that with carbohydrates, and lots of ’em. You can easily spot a runner because they’re constantly snacking on granola bars or eating large bowls of rice or pasta at lunch. Hungry? Ask your running friend — chances are they’re packing an extra snack somewhere.

They’ll tell you

As runners, we can sometimes be a bit shameless. Whether you’re interested or not, we’re going to tell you about the hard track session we did last night, the long run we did on the weekend or the big race we’ve got coming up. Why? Because we’re proud of ourselves (and rightfully so) and we’re secretly looking for a bit of congratulation for our hard work. Can you blame us?