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8 Ways to Tone Down Your Inner Running Nerd

Get your geek on without wearing it on your sleeve.

Running is a glorious thing. It’s incredibly simple, yet intensely demanding. The gear requirements are minimal, it can be done almost anywhere and it brings remarkable health benefits for both the body and the mind.

While all of that is undeniably accurate, it’s also fair to say that we runners tend to go a bit overboard with our enthusiasm. Some of us may have a tendency to drone on a bit too long about our race splits. Or, we may get a little obsessive about detailing the specifics of our latest injuries to friends and family members. Any runner can experience oversights like these from time to time, but if they occur with daily, hourly or even minute-to-minute frequency, it could be a problem.

Avoid these pitfalls when discussing these common running topics and you will be safe from eternal running geek-dom.

1. Shoe Talk

Just about everyone wears shoes (unless you’re at a Phish show), but only runners feel the need to obsess about each and every element of their footwear. If you find yourself linking more than two consecutive sentences that contain terms like “medial posting” or “asymmetrical lacing” please take a pause and let someone else guide the conversation for a while.

RELATED: 20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Running Shoes

2. Heart Rate

Heart rate monitoring is an effective tool for guiding and controlling your workouts. Talking about heart rate monitoring is an effective tool for making other people’s eyes glaze over and wander away from you.

RELATED: The Right Way to Train With a Heart Rate Monitor

3. Nutrition Insights

Have you tried this line on a date? “I’ll order for both of us—we’ll have a 60/20/20 ratio of carbohydrates, protein and high-quality fats. Otherwise, it’s the chef’s choice!” If you suspect you’ve been offering too much dietary advice to your companions you almost certainly have, so just stop it.

RELATED: Why Social Meals Are Better for Your Health

4. Inappropriate Stretching

True story: I (a self-prescribed running nerd) once attended a class for expecting couples with my wife. When the instructor covered breathing techniques for mothers to use during delivery, I found the deep breaths useful as I began stretching a tight hamstring. My wife was not even slightly impressed.

RELATED: Yoga for Runners: Proper Breathing

5. Cross-Training

News flash! Many people choose to participate in sports other than running—to them their favorite activity is not “cross-training” but rather a distinct and enjoyable sport. Crazy, right? Be sure to acknowledge that any activity from adult-league soccer to Zen meditation can be done for its own sake, regardless of whether it’s likely to improve one’s 10K time.

RELATED: What Kinds of Cross-Training are Best for Runners?

6. Digital Watches

The key here is the plural form, “watches.” A running watch offers a simple and reliable tool that can benefit any runner. But if you own multiple wrist-mounted computers and routinely swap them out for different types of workouts you may be slipping into nerd mode. If you wear them simultaneously it’s probably too late for you.

RELATED: 7 Things to Know About GPS Watches

7. Family Time

Your family loves you unconditionally. They love what running does for your physical health, and that it makes you happy. That does not mean, though, that they want to schedule every holiday, vacation and excursion around your training schedule. Try curtailing a long run and make it to Jenny’s basketball game on time for once, OK?

RELATED: Chasing Leia: One Family’s Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Experience

8. Message Boards

Running message boards are great for sharing training information, discussing race results and staying connected to other runners. Unless, of course, they devolve into cesspools of disparagement, empty boasting and mean-spirited exchanges. If you find yourself logging onto online running forums in a good mood and leaving the discussions ready to weep for mankind, try taking a break from them … for the rest of your life.

RELATED: Online Safety and Workouts: What Should You Really Be Worried About?