Addictions are no laughing matter when they’re unhealthy because addicts don’t usually function properly and people around them suffer. But happily, some addictions aren’t life-threatening — like hiding the truth about the number of cats one owns — or being a runner whose passion can sometimes consume one’s lifestyle.
If you question whether you’ve become addicted to running from time-to-time, compare your behaviours to the 14-signs of addiction listed below. Then take our quiz at the end of the article to see where you stand.
1. You know you’re a running addict
- If you can’t stop — literally or figuratively! Even when people suggest you modify the number of marathons on your annual run calendar, you ignore them. You may even lie.
- If you find yourself going through withdrawal symptoms following an injury when you can’t run, thereby becoming crabby, grouchy, moody, depressed, frustrated or just plain angry.
- When your lifestyle takes a hit because you’re pushing yourself to unreasonable limits. This can result in gastrointestinal dilemmas that range from appetite change to insomnia. Hard to imagine being sleepless after running so frequently? It happens more than you think.
- If you’ve let the sport dictate your social life — if you drop old friends because they don’t run or you begin to judge the people you meet just because they don’t look upon a long run as the perfect outing.
- If you start taking too many risks. We’re not talking about having sex on the fly at night during your conditioning run! We’re referring to running when you know your muscles are fatigued, your stamina is non-existent or you desperately need down time, but you refuse to listen to yourself.
- If you put your favourite sport ahead of your career, finding excuses to skip business trips that can advance your career or missing late-in-the-evening meetings because you must rush home to bed to make your 5 a.m. conditioning run the following morning.
- If you exhibit signs of obsession: Friends grow weary of hearing you whine over and over again about the personal best you didn’t achieve or the runner who beat you to the finish line by a second or two.
- If you’re in denial or you get defensive when friends who suggest cutting back on your training. Their opinions may suddenly become a nuisance rather than helpful advice, and instead of feeling grateful, you stalk away and refuse to talk about what you see as “their issue, not yours.”
- If you stop doing something you love because you’d rather run than indulge in the pleasures you once found fun – travelling for pleasure, dancing, concerts, clubbing, theatre or gourmet dining.
- If you experience financial problems due to overspending on gear, technology, trainers, gym memberships and race registration fees. If you are behind on your bills as a result, that’s really serious.
- If you find a copy of a book addressing sports addiction from an anonymous person tucked into your gym bag, like “The Truth About Exercise Addiction,” published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2015, or another self-help book on the topic of sports addictions.
- If you make fun of statistics that prove, for example, that only 0.3-percent of the general population becomes addicted to running, but once the addiction kicks in, that figure escalates to 25-percent.
- If you can’t survive without your daily dose of endorphins, pleasure rushes that are every running addict’s candy. Further, if you never in your life received kudos for your accomplishments but your running achievements have brought them your way, that’s addiction-producing, too.
- If you go against doctor’s orders, running too early in your recovery because you’re scared; certain that if you don’t get back into your running shoes, your appetite for running could dissipate or disappear — an eventuality that is too painful for the addicted runner to even consider.
Are you a running addict quiz
If you want more insights into your search for the truth, answer these questions. If most of your answers are yes, you may wish to read the aforementioned book before you burn out or hurt yourself!
- Do you spend more time in sporting goods stores than you do at the office?
- Are guests repeatedly drowned in newspaper clips and medals focused on your run wins when they visit?
- Have you started to show up for social gatherings all sweaty and gross?
- Do you suffer withdrawal after a marathon because all of that preparation has suddenly come to a halt?
- Is your dog looking for a new owner because he’s exhausted from running rather than being walked?
- Have you run in dangerous areas at night because you’ve got an insomnia-related running addiction?
- Have you begun to buy generic foods to save cash for your next electronic fitness device?
- Has your TV set never moved from the station that broadcasts international running events 24/7?
- Does your Internet search engine do nothing but look for upcoming marathon and running events?
- Have you abandoned favourite magazines because every publication you read is about running?
- Do you own more than three pairs of running shoes?
We’re curious: Were you able to figure out whether or not you’re addicted to running using our pointers and the quiz?
Let us know your score — and if we hear from you quickly, we’ll venture that you’re addicted to taking quizzes, too!