Are You Cheating at Running?

Are You Cheating at Running? What’s considered cheating when running races or training is not always as black and white as doping scandals and cutting the course short. Check out this list of things you may not even have considered to be a way to cheat for runners. See if you do anything others may consider giving yourself an unfair advantage.


  1. Love this Carly! What a unique post, and fun to check off the list! I am happy to report that I have not been cheating through any of these methods, and I am so damn bad at running the tangents, I wish I was using one of them haha. Actually wait, I guess I have rounded down my PR before, but Its only a few seconds. Am I still allowed to be your friend? 🙂
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    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Ha ha ha ha! Never fear, Tina, rounding down is okay in my book. We’re still friends!! I’ve never run a race where my actual distance isn’t way more than the course. So annoying!

  2. This is so interesting! I never really thought about any of these before and I really don’t do any of them – except run the tangents and I use headphones during training but never for racing.
    Years ago a friend of mine was racing and while downing a GU, a spectator shouted out “she’s cheating!” I guess he thought she was doping in the middle of the race and obviously had never seen energy gels before! My friend was like “yes, I’m cheating to come in 150th! WTH?” So funny.
    Allie recently posted…Rest for the WickedMy Profile

  3. Great list and I agree on all points (although I loathe when headphones are cranked up for the world to hear in a race and the athlete is oblivious to his/her surroundings). Another sticky topic–pacing another athlete? Cheating?
    misszippy recently posted…Black bean salad recipeMy Profile

  4. oh girl, headphones are an absolute must!! I don’t think I can do it without. I really don’t like bandits, they drive me crazy! and I never thought about selling a bib for a better race time—I always thought they were selling bibs just to not have to lose the money! I would never try that with NYRR though.
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    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I’ve never seen a bandit in a NYRR race – I would be so nervous trying it that I can’t see how it would be worth it! I have no problem with headphones, you rock on lady.

  5. Hmm I don’t know why pausing my watch it cheating…I’m not running if I’m stuck at a light, so why factor that in to my per mile time?
    Amanda – RunToTheFinish recently posted…Is Airbnb right for you? Pro’s and Con’s of Opting not to use a HotelMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I agree! But I ran with a guy once who never paused his watch for any reason – lights, shoelace tying, nothing. His theory was anything can happen in a race so you should keep “honest” times for your training runs so you don’t get your hopes up for a certain time based on training runs you’ve paused. I doubt it makes that much difference.

  6. This is great. I must say that sometimes I pause my watch.. in fact I do this quite often. Really glad to say that I have not done any of the others! ha!
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted…Relay Van Etiquette- How to Spend 2 Days with 5 Other Sweaty Runners.My Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Well, I don’t think pausing your watch is such a big deal unless it’s stopping you from seeing that a particular workout might be too difficult. 🙂 Didn’t think you were the bib-selling, bandit type, Lisa!

  7. Well, I always wear headphones b/c I can’t run w/o them. I didn’t think that I was running tangents in today’s race although My GPS came up before the mile marker came up. Maybe it’s b/c I started the GPS before I crossed the start line? Oh, wells. I also never thought of shaving seconds off my PR. Why do that when others can see your PR on the timing/race sites???

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I think some people are just clueless enough not to think people would check their times online, Joanne! Headphones are no big deal for me, personally. And yes, starting the GPS before the start line is definitely going to add a little to your watch time, but I always figure if my pace is about what I’m aiming at, I won’t be too far off my goal time in a race. I always seem to get stuck weaving at the beginning of races though…It’s a work in progress! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      • I just got into running last year (ran nine 5k’s last year & doing 11 this year. I said that I was not going to do that many, but I guess I lied. lol). Thanks for writing this article, Carly. I am kind of soaking it all in even though I am slow runner (ran 3.2 miles today in 45:51. Timing chip said 45:20 – I think). It amazes me, though as I talk to some runners that they don’t know common running terms, i.e. PR, etc. Weird. Lol.


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