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Running and Spitting November 24, 2007

Posted by Joe in running, thoughts.
Tags: , , , , ,

I have never been much of a spitter. Many of my friends are able to really “hock a loogie” – you know that whole snort, cough, and spit move some guys do – but it’s never been my thing. I just can’t do it. My childhood attempts at that kind of expectorating nearly made me puke.

The past 35 years for me have been mostly spit-free, but as a runner (almost 6 months now) I find myself in the midst of longer runs where I feel like I have to spit. I tried not to, but as my runs increased in distance the need to let the phlegm fly built up inside me for unknown reasons. I’ve read that stress to the nervous system will cause an increase in saliva production, and blah, blah, blah – but all those facts only told me that there is more saliva. They do not tell me why I feel the need to spit, or more importantly, why I feel better when I do spit! Maybe it’s physchological, but then again half of running is psychological, so whatayagonnado? I’m going to spit. The problem is that 35 years of not spitting has left me ill-equipped at incorporating it into my love of running.

So I get the chin drool, the cheek run, and occasionally get it on my clothes. The only upside is my lack of spitting skill forces me to exercise caution. I’ve read all of the etiquette guidelines for spitting while running and have concluded that at this point I am much more of a danger to myself than others.

Do you guys spit when running? Do you feel better when you do? Any terrible spitting stories? Any advice for the noob here?



1. melee. - November 25, 2007

i definitely spit when running. a lot of the time if i’m really pushing it i’ll get terribly nauseous and the spitting helps to stave off vomiting. of course, it’s not much of a stopgap as my frequent vomiting at practices and meets in high school earned me quite the reputation. when i used to run in groups more i had a few instances where people hit me with a slimy one because they either didn’t care or didn’t realize how close i was. the best advice i have is to do it if it helps and make sure not to hit anyone (trust me, it’s better to hit your own shoes than someone else’s when you’re running with the unfamiliar).

2. Running Ragged - November 26, 2007

lol…I am so with you on that…I am still a novice when it comes to spitting…I wear gloves just in case the spit doesn’t make it where it is suppose to.

I noticed that my stomach thanks me, because instead of swallowing it, it goes to the outside world, making my stomach a happier place.

As of yet though I have not spit while in company…I need to perfect my technique first! 😉

3. Erik - November 28, 2007

this is funny.

I spit often when running. a couple of recommendations–

-1- try to keep it off the old guy’s driveway
-2- look behind you (for cycleists) or if you are on a sidewalk-with the traffic-for an approaching car. With a good wind you may be able to cross two lanes.
-3- be cognizant of the wind.

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