1) Take forever to warm up using stretches that are highly sexual
I’m not a sprinter. I’m not the slowest finisher at the running track, but I’m definitely not in that elite genre of protected species known as “the sprinter”. I’ve seen guys turn up to the running track, stretch for 85 minutes, run a single 100m straight and then pull up looking suspiciously at their hamstring. They then stretch for 45 minutes…and go home! There are many, many attributes that occlude me from joining the elite ranks of the sprinter, but I think the biggest one is that I just don’t have the patience to spend 90% of my time preparing for another 13 second rep. In that time I could be getting the dishes done.
But I think if you are a non-sprinter, and want to join the genre of “running poser”, you need to stretch like a sprinter, but with one difference: the stretches need to be overtly sexual. Other runners will be puzzling over why a spreadeagled thrusting motion helps with a calf injury and why you are wearing your underwear on the outside, but they just don’t understand the intricate world of “the sprinter”.
2) Wear perfectly matching clothing “for the sponsor”
Anyone that runs 6 days a week and enters a dozen races a year has a collection of running clothes that resembles a dysfunctional patchwork quilt of out-of-date branding, long since abandoned races and race shirts sponsored by companies that have long since gone bust. If you have perfectly matching Nike clothing, with little touches like the coloring on the sleeves matching the laces on the shoes, and socks lined up so the logo is in perfect alignment to the shoe: then you’re a poser. There is too much chafing, blood, sweat, drool, poo and tears in running for you to ever look good doing it. Any runner has worked that out and given up. The opposite gender doesn’t swoon over people that have a physique like Gollum, copious quantities of unidentified liquid coming off their face, and shoes that smell like a dog that has been swimming in a sewerage treatment plant . My girlfriend describes me as a “failed breeding experiment between a greyhound, monkey and a broomstick.” But then she was upset because I managed to convince her that she was adopted. But all in all, running is a dirty secret and a dirty business and wearing branded clothes to look good is like putting lipstick on a pig. Sure, it will impress other pigs… But to everyone else it is still a pig with lipstick on…
3) Do your warmup running in the most inappropriate place
Maybe there is an empty full-size Olympic running track just outside, but you’re going to warm up for this parkrun in the coffee queue at Starbucks. Sure, people are giving you “that look” but they are not runners and they “don’t understand” that you need to warm your body up. So what if you knocked over their tray of Americanos and one of their hypochondriac children is screaming from the black liquid burning through their skin. They just have no pain threshold because they aren’t runners. They need to buy some more coffee and leave you alone; you have another 8 reps of strides to get done.
4) Wear skintight clothing one size too small
Everyone likes a person in Lycra that can’t quite pull it off. If you are able to get that running shirt on without 90 minutes of meditational breathing then it is too loose. You don’t want that 1mm of space to create an air pocket and slow you up in the middle of a big race. Ideally running clothing should either be painted on, or be the kind of thing that requires cooking oil to get on. Ideally it should be that compression clothing that only looks good if you’re a pro athlete, costs 10 times as much as normal running clothing and doesn’t fill the massive gap in your training plan. The poser prefers to look like a poorly planned sausage.
5) Hit the social networks
You don’t want to be one of those “quiet achievers” that just gets on with it and racks up mile after mile of hard-fought quality training. You want every canal footbridge (epic climb), every run to the bus (interval session), every walk between the office (recovery run) to be shared with everyone on your massive Facebook friend list because everyone needs to hear about your transition from “couch potato” to “couch potato that bangs on about running without really doing any running”. No run is too slow and no distance is too short to upload all of your Garmin stats based on a GPS that is clearly grossly overestimating, and a hill profile that can only be described as “fictional”. Also make it very clear that you are proud of yourself and how good you are/how hard you are working. Even better would be to include a picture of yourself doing a high sexualised warmup in perfectly branded skintight clothing…
6) Have a cliched motivational tattoo
There is nothing like a life-long tattoo as a symbolic reminder of your 4-week sojourn into running. If you want to be a proper “grade A poser” this should be written in Chinese or Latin, so you can explain that you have had:
“be yourself, only better”
tattooed on yourself completely unaware that it is actually the slogan for at least 10 different companies that offer gastric bands, breast enlargement and liposuction. You may not have had the heart to do any proper training, but at least you have managed to endure the pain of having a cliched motivational running tattoo permanently etched onto your body.
7) Have shoes so bright that you have to wear welding glasses to tie the laces
I once had a pair of Adidas trail shoes that were so bright that they scared a small horse which kicked out at my friend who was running behind me. This is the kind of thing you are after to be a proper poser. If you find other runners start putting sunscreen on themselves (or wearing welding glasses) upon sighting you, then you’ve got it right!