5 Types of Running Guys

Friday 5If you’ve been running long enough you’ve encountered a situation where you’re the only lady among a group of runners. That means you’re running with guys, perhaps a lot of them. On the face of it, it sounds like no big deal, right? We go to school with guys, work with guys and live with guys. We’re always around lots and lots of guys. But running is different than the classroom, the boardroom, the kitchen, and even the bedroom.

Below are 5 types of running guys who just might show up at your next running group date. You might never encounter one of them, but we thought you might like a friendly warning of what’s out there. And if you have come across one, please share your experience in the comments so we can enjoy a good laugh at his expense! Running with guys: it can be tricky (and hilarious)!

1. The Awkward Conversationalist. Running causes many people to talk about things they might normally be uncomfortable talking about. It’s kind of like the cliche of the dad loading his young teenage son in the car to discuss the birds and the bees. This normalized lack of eye contact is like truth serum to some. Add in the intimacy that comes with sweating half naked together and guys sometimes start spewing really weird stuff. This comes in several forms. There’s the running-induced lack of self-censorship, which might cause some men in your company to say things like “did you see her rack?!” when passing a well-endowed woman. He might also come in the form of the guy who confesses his testicals are very sensitive. Ask Cinnamon about that one. My best encounter with an AC occurred several years ago when I was running with a dude who I had run with many many times before. Out of nowhere he said, “I wish my girlfriend was more like you.” SCRATCH! Um, needle off the record, dude! We still had several awkward miles back to the car during which I blabbered about any and every dumb thing that popped into my head to avoid giving this dude any more awkwardness-inducing airtime.

If you find yourself running with an AC, just hope he doesn’t end up looking like this and making it completely unbearable! Image via gridironfans.com

2. The Inadvertent Crush. I don’t have personal experience with this one [hi honey!], but I know others who have. Sometimes the tables turn and you might catch yourself thinking that you wish your boyfriend was more like the guy you’re running with. (Um, keep it to yourself. Don’t drop that bomb mid-run!) It’s bad enough that an inadvertent crush could ruin a good training partner situation that you’ve got going on, but WAY worse if you have a significant other at home!  You wouldn’t be the first woman to fall prey to the inadvertent crush, as a running relationship tends to be limited to short spurts of conversation that just as easily can frame someone as way greater than they really are, and this can take a turn for the horrendously awkward. Remember, everyone looks more attractive from the side eye and when your relationship is limited to 90 minutes of sweating together. Take any romantic feelings for your running dude friends with a grain of salt!

How could you not develop a hardcore crush on a guy so unafraid to scale a wall of rocks in his half-shirt and silver running tights. Or something. Image via mensswimandunder.com
 3. The Macho Man. Many many many men like to show off. It’s in their DNA. When the male is a runner this can translate into some stupid pacing. If you’ve ever run on a treadmill in the gym you’ve seen the muscly dude crank the speed up to 10.0 and act like it’s nothing even though your well-trained eye is counting down 3 … 2 … 1 … hands on the bar and feet quickly to the non-moving sides of the belt while huffing with red face. This can happen even with runners who should know better. Some dudes just feel the need to assert their dominance with speed. The tip here is to let them go and take care of yourself. No jumping the shark while trying to run some blowhard under the table – although how sweet is it to take guys like that down … while pregnant and pushing a double stroller?! Not that I’m the type who gets off on that stuff or anything 🙂
Tom Turkey Showing Off
When the male is a turkey: the wildlife equivalent of the Macho Man. (Photo credit: Moosicorn)

4. The Guy Who Can’t Admit You’re Faster than Him. The close cousin of the Macho Man is the GWCAYFTH.  This guy isn’t faster than you, but boy does it bother him and boy will he do whatever it takes to live in denial. Last summer Pepper and I did a lot of track workouts together and every so often a guy would show up. He was nice enough, but he wasn’t in great shape. Nevertheless he insisted on trying to do our workouts. From go he’d hang on our shoulders huffing and puffing in our ears. We nicknamed him heavy breather. Sometimes we’d purposefully try to show him how easy it was for us by chatting during our intervals about how easy they felt. Other times we’d take bets on how many reps before he fell off. He was surprisingly persistant and always managed to breathe heavily in our ears long after we thought he’d die (or wished he would for some peace!) We never had the heart to do anything about him. Frankly, unlike the Macho Man whose ego appears bullet-proof, there’s something a bit pathetic about the GWCAYFTH that seems to make it impossible to break it to him that he’s just not fast enough to hang. If you have a tip for dealing with this one, let me know!

The GWCAYFTH is like one of these buzzing around your head except he’s too big (and too pathetic) to swat. Image via mrhandyman.com

5. The Windbreaker. I’m not talking about the guy wearing the threadbare outdated running clothes (although they’re certainly out there!) No, ladies I am here to warn you about the class of men who are not conscious of what they eat the night before that long run. The type that could stand a few doses of probiotics. Ladies, beware the windbreaker, he who audibly or stinkily passes copious gas – like for the entire run. A toot here or there is fine. It happens to the best of us. But when the entire 2 hour run smells like the port-o-potty or sounds like a toy tuba recital you know you’re in the company of a windbreaker. There’s not much you can do about it, but perhaps a case of beano compliments of the running club might be in order to prevent future abuse.

No offense, but I don’t want to be a member of your club! Image via liketotally80s.com

This post was inspired by 2 groups. First the Letsrun Trolls! Hi Domitian and friends! Second is the wonderful Nittany Valley Running Club who so kindly hosted Cinnamon and me for their Saturday group run. And for the record there were no awkward conversations, none of them donned irresistible silver tights, no one was either a Macho Man or a GWCAYFTH and they were all very discreet with their bodily functions. They were great and we can’t recommend running with them enough if you’re so fortunate to find yourself running in the State College, Pa. area! THANKS Marty, Mark and Marv et al!

Salty and Cinnamon and the awesome and completely gracious guys from the NVRC.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Can I respectfully submit one more? It could be a sub-type of #2 if you’re not careful, but it’s the Nice Guy. The one who smiles/waves/nods/acknowledges your existence on a run while letting you pass, the one who’s cheering on slower runners at the end of the race, the one who’s encouraging others and thanking race volunteers and not stuffing his pockets full of bananas and granola bars at the finish line.

    I’m a little biased since my husband is this sort of guy (he’s Good Cop, I’m Bad Cop 90% of the time) and it’s worth pointing out there are guys on the course with great qualities, too! I’ll be the first to admit he can be part of the #5 club sometimes, though 😉

    1. The vast majority of guys, both running and non-running, are awesome! Just having a little fun at the expense of a few characters we’ve all seemed to have met along the way 🙂 Haha! I know many guys and women who are occasional members of the club!

  2. Thanks, Salty. We had a great time hosting you and Cinnamon. And we’re glad we flunked your “tests”! For your fans: there were about a dozen of us. The five in the picture and one more were in the “slow group”, which Salty and Mark (far left) ran at the front of for the last 4 miles of 10. One small correction. If we’d been up with the “fast” group, you’d’ve heard plenty of awkward conversation. And bad singing. And, depending on whether Tom had garlic or chestnuts the night before, some wind…

  3. I completed my very first 10K a week ago and encountered a GWCAYFTH in the last mile or so. I came up behind him when he was walking. I was almost close enough to pass him and he spurted ahead for a while, then dropped to a walk. And I came up behind and was about to pass, and he spurted ahead again. And again. And again. Gracious man! Go at a steady pace! Drive me crazy!

    1. Haha – I’ve had this too. I was in a 10k and when I passed a guy, he quickly passed me then started spitting and snotting (to a ridiculously unnatural degree). I presume he was trying to prevent me from passing him again. But alas, he was chicked at the end of the day.

      This is a fun post, but I have to say I LOVE all my guy running buddies! My only lament is I don’t get to run with them (or women either for that matter) often enough!

  4. You forgot type #6.

    The LRBF, Let’s Run Bottom Feeder. An earnest contributor to the Lets Run Boards, dedicated to mid/long-D running improvement. These guys are typically late teens to early 30s white middle class dudes, especially collegians, who are mildly socially inept and strongly introverted – characteristics that select for success in distance running. They train hard and are committed to improvement but they are given to frat-boy excess/switch behavior when they’re off the track. They are also unsuccessful with girls, because of their excess intensity/lack of knowledge of females. However, at least they admit their failings and frustrations.

    On LR the cloak of anonymity empowers them. Like Tiberius. Except, unlike Tiberius, the LRBF don’t have much wisdom to impart. You know, “Girls are biAtches” “How do I ask her out/get a date” etc.


    Here’s the Tiberian version of the LRBF dream, paying homage to their dedication, their dreams through the totemic vehicles of Prefontaine/Without Limits, and at the same documenting their failings, mental lack of resilience and inbred social autism.