Gentleman’s Guide to… Running hygeine

Running is a sweaty business – here’s how to avoid inflicting your odours on others

running hygeine
Trim your toenails

Blackened nails are something of a badge of honour among runners, but they can in fact be more than a minor nuisance – requiring DIY needle surgery that risks infection. Long toenails also provide a convenient hiding place for dirt and germs. Trim your nails after showering, when they are softest, and cut straight across rather than rounding the edges.

running hygeine

Don’t be a repeat offender

‘Sweat-wicking’ doesn’t mean ‘good as new’ at the end of your run. Shorts are good for a few days (depending on the intensity of training), but tops, pants and socks have to be one-hit wonders – unless you want your running to become a solo pastime.

running hygeine

All change, please!

The only thing worse than a crowded tube is a crowded tube with a smelly passenger on board. If you’re planning a point-to-point run and catching public transport back, at least mask your ‘eau de BO’ with a change of clothes. Your fellow passengers will be eternally grateful.

running hygeine


You’re a busy man: the kids need picking up; there’s work to do; the football’s on… But you also stink. Before you allow yourself to get distracted, scrub yourself down and allow your family to come out of hiding.

running hygeine

Send shoes into hiding

You’ve been for a run and feel great. What a man you are! Unfortunately, Judy from accounts treats your lunchtime jaunts with considerably less enthusiasm, because Judy knows that you’re going to leave your smelly trainers on the desk to prove to everyone that you’re a fitness legend. Ease office tensions by keeping them firmly out of sight.


Illustrations by Peter Liddiard at


Isaac Williams

Written by Isaac Williams | 95 articles | View profile

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