1. Snot rockets are totally acceptable
“Training for a long time with an all-male group, I picked up some of their behaviour. Like, if I feel stuffy, I just blow out a snot rocket. It’s a little messy at first, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it – now I can shoot my snot right toward the ground. You just close one nostril, assess where the wind is blowing and force a strong blow in that direction.” [Exercise acts on the nose like an irritant, similar to perfume or smoke, causing excessive mucus production in the lining of the nose, according to experts.] “It’s not something I take pride in, but when you’re running, especially at altitude, you need all the oxygen you can get and it’s a distraction no one wants. Wearing long sleeves and gloves to wipe your drippy nose also works.” – marathoner and Olympic medallist Deena Kastor
2. Nature’s call is loud!
“When I was younger I always used to ‘hold it’ – I would convince myself that I could wait until I got home. What I didn’t realise then was that I was damaging my bladder and ruining my run by not simply stopping and going behind a bush. It was only when I got to the States and started training with a team of girls who would stop along their runs to ‘go behind the bush’ that I realised it wasn’t such a terrible thing and started doing it myself. Unfortunately, this part of our sport is not very glamorous, but the truth is if you have to go, you have to go. I always try to find a nearby restaurant to use their facilities but sometimes that isn’t an option and you have to become one with nature.” – SA 10 000m Olympian Dominique Scott
3. Farting is a real possibility
“About a kilometer into an early-morning group run, I realized a whole lot of gas needed to escape – and holding it in wasn’t an option. I hung back from the group and just let rip on the trot like a machine gun. Not my sexiest moment.” – Wanita Nicol, WH deputy editor
4. Watch your step
“Twice I’ve fallen because I wasn’t watching the ground and kicked uneven patches of pavement. Both times I ended up in a full sprawl. It’s very embarrassing – and potentially dangerous. Once I tore a ligament.” – Leigh Champanis-King, WH copy editor
5. Don’t run in a G-string
“I once went for a training run and, without thinking, put on a thong that was a little bit loose so the crotch material rubbed against my skin. I didn’t feel anything during the run, but I’ve never felt such stinging, horrendous pain as in the shower that followed. It was impossible not to scream out loud.” – Amy Hopkins, WH food and managing editor
6. Cold air makes your nose run
“I usually pack tissues when I run, but one frosty day I forgot and it got to the point where I couldn’t breathe at all. So I stopped and blew into my T-shirt. There it was, down near the bottom, for the whole run, for the whole world to see.” – Michelle October, WH junior writer
7. Pushing hard can have unexpected consequences
“Years ago when I was at school, I was running the 1 500 metres and I pushed so hard at the end that I literally peed myself – with the entire school watching. After crossing the finish line, I just ran straight into the bathroom.” – Michelle von Schlicht, WH art director
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