I’m One Of Those Running Twats

It’s a glorious Saturday morning. The sun is out and it’s actually pretty warm for mid-February. My weekend usually starts by trying to organise going out for breakfast with some friends or family. But this time, nobody was around. One lonely cup of tea later I think enough is enough and so I wander upstairs and don my running gear.

I’m training for a half marathon, and with a few weeks until race day, I’ve come to realise I’ve become one of those running twats. The sort of person that Instagrams every step and shamelessly uses the term ‘athleisure.’

I’ve got all the gear. Some Asics trainers designed for marathons, apparently. They’ve got extra cushioning which I figured would be better for my iffy knee but I don’t really know what I’m talking about. When asking the guy in the shop that I was looking specifically for some “road shoes”, he replied “they’re all road shoes” with a look that simply said… ‘twat’.

Running shoes are fine though. Most people tend to own a decent pair of trainers. The real sign of a running twat is the ridiculously short shorts. And boy I’ve got some. For a year or so running on and off, I was happy with my Karrimor 7 inchers. But this year I’ve gone full prick with some Nike 5 inchers. The type that should you be warming up with some slightly aggressive lunges whilst telling your equally twatty running friends about your PBs, a scotch egg might slide its way into the limelight. (1:34:38 for a half by the way. Thanks for asking. Oh, you didn’t. Sorry I thought you said..)

But it’s not all about the gear. You need to know how to run. And I’m ashamed to say that I have googled running techniques many a time. Keep your arms parallel to the direction that you’re running, keep your posture at the optimal angle and don’t forget to run with your knees, whatever the fuck that means. I just need to remember everything Google has told me and I should be in line to achieve a new PB. (Which as I write, is 1:34:38).

So that’s the gear sorted and the technique. These are both very well, but completely meaningless if I don’t have a training app on my phone. Not just handy for GPS tracking but great for sharing my self-indulgent achievements on social media. They’re also great as a visual aid for when I really want to ram my great lifestyle choices down someone’s throat in person.

Their functionality has other benefits too. The whole Nike Run Club, Strava debate is a hot potato in the running twat world and we love to vocalise our opinions, just loud enough for a few more people to know that we run. Strava is popular because it’s great for data ingestion (yes I just said data ingestion), but I prefer Nike Run Club. It’s a better motivational app and I love the achievements aspect of the app such as streaks or the various PB badges. (1:34:38)

So now I should be good to go. I’m emblazoned in over-priced running gear, I’ve learnt how to run and I can track and share my exercise. Now, it’s just me and the road. The road to race day. One week away is when things get really exciting. I can’t wait for the opportunity to discuss carbo-loading at lunchtimes with my uninterested colleagues or decline after work beers because alcohol is terrible for hydration so close to race day. And when it get’s to Friday, with the office unwinding for the week, nothing beats the anticipation of asking people what they have planned for the weekend, just knowing they will ask me back.

I like to play it cool, maybe starting with “Oh nothing too exciting…” and then hit them with “…I’ve got a half marathon on Sunday.” It’s at this point they know they’ve fallen into my trap. I strike them with unwanted recommendations to try running some day, and then waffle on about the mental and physical benefits. I cap this off with a wanky statement about not being able to beat the feeling of runners’ high which I’m still not 100% sure how to define. I assume it’s that lack of guilt when you drive to McDonald’s after a run because you think you’ve earned it.

All that’s left is to do now is turn up on the Sunday with my fellow running twats and try and run as well as I possibly can, maybe even getting a new PB, which as it stands, is 1:34:38.