Work Out

7 Things No One Told Me About Running

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see the terms page.


When I started running a year and a half ago, I was still under a cloud of illusion that I could simply start running to clear my head. It seemed cheap, self-explanatory, and was something I could do in solitude. I’ve learned a whole lot in those 18 months, so here are just a few things that no one told me about running when I first started:

  1. It is expensive! From entry fees (if you are running for bling and beer, like me) to gear, I have easily spent $1,000 on running since I started in October 2012. Shoes need replacing every few hundred miles, and there’s nothing worse than having to hold up your pants while you run (which happened to me in my first 5k!)
  2. You can gain weight: especially if you’re a distance runner. The more I found myself running (miles or times per week, it didn’t matter), the more calories I was downing (and the more runger I was combatting.) I have found a happy medium now between running, eating, and cross-training to continue losing weight, but I never expected to gain weight while doing such high-intensity cardio.
  3. You will NOT look cute: see above collage for proof of this! I never had any illusions that I looked like Pamela Anderson on the beach as I huffed and puffed away on the treadmill, but I didn’t think I looked like a shapeless blob shuffling along race courses (until I saw the pictures from Rock ‘n Roll.)
  4. It’s addictive: the runner’s high is not a myth, people. Craig Finn, frontman of my favorite band, wrote a song on the newest record about it, and in an interview said “I’ve found a runner’s high to be one of the safest, cheapest, and most durable highs.” Coming from a band who built their persona around being a druggy bar band, I think that says something.
  5. It’s really hard not to become “that person” on Facebook. You know the ones – always talking about their long runs and posting intimidating “motivational” pictures every morning. I’m not really a braggy person (believe it or not) and that type of post doesn’t sit well with me. Most of my friends don’t care if I ran six miles before I came to work, so I save it for the blogs.
  6. You need to learn a new vocabulary. Yasso 800s, BQ, brick… these are things that pop up in every training program and on nearly every running blog. In October 2012, I couldn’t have told you what any of them meant (and I’m still not really sure what a fartlek is.)
  7. There’s a whole community of people who want to help you, teach you, and befriend you. As independent as running is, I never expected to find great friends like I have found. Anytime I have a question about running (or fitness in general,) I can hit up any number of Facebook groups, drop by #runchat, or tweet a general question for an instant reply. The support is incredible and there’s a whole host of resources literally at your fingertips.

What do you wish you knew before you started?