The “How to tell if you’re a crazy runner” quiz

I’ve done a couple of quizzes, and they’ve been pretty popular (here’s one for cyclists, and one for field biologists).  I naturally feel compelled to write one for runners.  As far as runners go, I’m not that crazy.  Right?  Let’s find out.

1.  Addiction: Running releases endorphins in your brain and there is a definite possibility that you will become addicted to it.  Even if you’re not one of the rare individuals that experiences a true “runner’s high”, if you need to run in order to feel that all is right with the world, give yourself a point.  If you’ve ever experienced physiological running withdrawal (cold sweats, mood swings, headaches, or shakes) because of an injury give yourself five.

2.  Gear: Though theoretically a low-gear, low-maintenance sport, running can quickly become a drain on monetary resources once that GPS watch or brand new set of shoes catches your eyes.  Running tights?  Under armour?  Music players, gels, special socks, chafe proof underwear, heart rate monitor?  Need I go on?  If you make special room in your budget for running gear, give yourself a point.

3.  Minimalist:  (I debated with myself back and forth on this point, but I’ll include it.)  Minimalist runners can be just as bad as gear hungry runners.  Touting the benefits of barefoot running can be obnoxious, true.  But if you’re one who loves the feel of pavement on your naked feet, if you run without gear or GPS just to feel the wind in your hair, give yourself a point.

4.  Diet:  There is a certain proportion of the population that runs to be thin or to lose weight.  But when you find yourself changing the way you eat to enhance your running, you know you’re a lost cause.  If you avoid certain foods at certain times (i.e. high fiber), or alter your diet to give it the best chance of building muscle and performing at its peak, give yourself a point.

5.  Pain: There will always be pain involved in running, whether your legs are screaming at mile 23 or begging for a break during hill work.  If you keep on pushing through during the hardest runs, in spite of pain, give yourself a point.  If you relish the pain as a sign that you’re working hard, give yourself five points.

6.  Blisters:  Blisters are something every runner will have to deal with at some point or another.  If you ignore them completely give yourself a point.  If you buy special socks or special lotions to avoid getting them in the first place, you’re smart, give yourself two points.  If blisters are such a commonality in your life that you forget that you have one the size of a credit card on your heel, give yourself five.

7.  Goodbye toenails: This may not be universal to all runners because different strides lend themselves to losing toenails or keeping them.  But if your stride lends itself to losing toenails and you keep running anyway, give yourself a point.  If you’ve ever suddenly realized that you had only two toenails left, give yourself five.

8.  Time: Like all things, running requires sacrifices. If you schedule your week with room for running, choose running over social events, or get up crazy early to squeeze in a run before work, give yourself a point.  If running four hours on a Saturday is THE event of the weekend, give yourself two.

9.  Weather: Anyone can be a fair weather runner!  If you’re out there in blistering cold and boiling heat, if you run in the pouring rain or pelleting hail, if you run despite the wind, give yourself a point.  If you’ve ever gotten frost bite because of running give yourself two.

10. Travel: It’s often difficult to squeeze exercise into a busy travel schedule, but if you relish in the challenge of finding your way around a new area on a run, or if you see running as a way to explore, give yourself a point.

11.  Training: Hill work?  Tempo runs? Time trials? Negative splits?  As soon as you start training for races, you’re doomed.  If you have a training plan that you follow religiously, give yourself a point.  If you can use the word “fartlek” in casual conversation without smirking, give yourself two.

Am I missing anything?  Let me know in the comments!

The Scoring:

1-10: Getting into it!  It’s a long road ahead…

11-20: You’re definitely a serious runner!  At least you’re not crazy yet!

21-25: Be careful, you’re letting a little crazy show around the edges…

26-30:  Yep, you’re crazy.  Kiss your toenails goodbye!


Drat, I’m a 28. 


4 thoughts on “The “How to tell if you’re a crazy runner” quiz

  1. Hmm, having just spent valentines evening at a track meet watching my son and his xc and distance track runners race, I get it. Those kids are crazy by your quiz. They run all year, blistering heat, freezing cold (this year a winter for the record book), 45-60ish miles/week. I don’t get it, but they love it. I’d score a 0, but I admire their craziness. And I know what a fartlek is 🙂 and hills, tempo….my son lives and breathes this, so I do too, vicariously of course.

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