You’ve laced your sneakers. You’ve attached your iPod to your armband. Now you’re ready to hit the trail and enjoy a nice, challenging run.
But wait! Did you remember to cover your nipples in vaseline?
There are a lot of unique challenges to male runners, especially male runners who haven’t been in the scene long enough to understand how they differ from their female counterparts. Here are just 10 things that every man should know before putting on their running shoes.
1. You’ll Feel Pain in the Pants
While female runners have their own problems with bouncing, there’s nothing else quite like the uncomfortable sensation of free-flying male parts. The good news is that jockstraps and compression shorts can ease some of your suffering. A few studies even suggest that they improve your breathing while you run by effecting your VO2max, AKA your maximum oxygen intake per minute.
2. You’ll Be As Insecure as a Teenage Girl
Let’s face it. Who doesn’t want to look like Carl Lewis or Michael Johnson? They’re some of the most famous runners in the world, and their lean, flat-muscled bodies reflect it. But achieving that ideal male runner’s physique is harder than it looks, especially if you’ve only recently gotten off the couch and put the tidbit aside. While looking at Lewis, be prepared to feel as strangely longing as a teenage girl sighing over a poster of her favourite idol.
3. The Fashion is Atrocious (And You’ll Wear It Anyway)
Pretty much every serious runner owns at least one pair of split shorts. Not only do they allow for the greatest range of motion in your legs, but many runners report psychological benefits as well. They simply feel lighter, faster and more able to complete that triathlon when they’re wearing split shorts. Unfortunately, split shorts are very, very girly. They’re daisy dukes. They have inseams of 1-2 inches at most. You will not look like a virile man-beast in shorts that barely covers your butt.
4. Everywhere Is A Bathroom If You Need It Enough
The ladies are forced to keep jogging until they find a public washroom somewhere. If you’re a male runner, on the other hand, you’ve probably already graced a variety of trees, trails and shrubs with your bodily fluids. Just be careful to look around for the cops before you enjoy your next drizzle. They won’t be impressed by the way you commune with nature.
5. Shaved Legs Are Actually Kind of Nice
Shaved legs are a lot like running shorts. First of all, they’ll make you feel smooth, sleek and lightweight. Shaving has noted emotional benefits, and hairless legs are also easier to rub down with oils, lotions and foam rollers after a marathon. Most notably, however, shaved legs will invite all kinds of comments from friends and strangers. You’ll be a man with the legs of a model. The struggle is real.
6. Male Nipples Chafe Too
People like to pretend that women are the only ones who experience chapped, sore or even bleeding nipples after a long run. The truth, however, is that female runners usually suffer less than men because they have thick sports bras to protect their assets. Men have no such barrier, so they’re forced to wear band-aids over their nipples or coat them in petroleum jelly before going out. You can’t do this, by the way, without feeling like the world’s biggest fool. It’s really hard to think like a champion with band-aid nipples.
7. No More “Dinner and a Movie”
Bachelors, this one is for you. Have you ever taken a date to the movies only to find yourself contorting in weird ways because your calf muscles are killing you? Or have you ever tried to cuddle with a woman on the couch only to leap back up because your legs spasmed? Some actually refer to this phenomenon as “male pattern cramping” because of its prevalence among active men. Nothing says romance like keeping a foam roller on hand just in case.
8. You’re Obsessed with Shoes
It’s time to take back everything you ever said about your wife’s shoe collection. As a dedicated pavement-pounder, you’ll quickly accumulate all kinds of padded, midsoled and aerodynamically engineered running shoes. Your collection will eventually swallow your wife’s and eat up all of your closet space. You’ll argue with her that, no, you really need those new $300 sneakers coming out. You will become the sitcom spouse in your own marriage.
9. You’ll Cover Yourself In Gizmos
Male runners are singularly obsessed with technology. You used to spend all day programming your television and installing surround sound in your car; now you spend it checking your pacebands, smartwatches, distance trackers and heart rate monitors. Some women will share your habits, to be sure, but for the most part, men are the ones who go gaga over gadgets. It’s an expensive habit but one you won’t be able to break.
10. You’ll Sweat a Small Flood
It’s an unfortunate fact that men sweat more than women. Physically fit men sweat more than couch potatoes, too. Their bodies start to recognise the pounding heart, contracting muscles and rising core temperature that signal a run, so they sweat sooner and more profusely to keep themselves cool. The next time you’re absolutely drenched after a run, blame male biology.
These are just a few things that only male runners can understand. Between the bleeding, sweating and public urination, it’s a wonder that any man takes up jogging at all!
What do you think, readers? Are the issues with running worth the reward? Are there any other male running facts that would surprise women to learn?