May | 23
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Inspiration

Global Run Happy Report examines intersections of running and life across the world

Surprise, surprise, runners! Running makes the day better for 97 percent of you!

OK, so you might have been able to guess that, but did you know that 57 percent of runners are likely to come up with their best ideas on the run versus in the shower or the car or anywhere else?

Or how about the fact that only 6 percent of runners across the world prefer a greasy burger and a beer after their race? And here I was thinking I was normal for making that my post-5K go-to…

Our 2016 Global Run Happy Report polled runners from the U.S., Canada, U.K. Italy, France, Spain and Germany and examines the intersection of running with everyday life when it comes to pop culture, nutrition, family, sex and more. We do the report each year in celebration of runners and Global Running Day, coming up on June 1 this year. Be sure to visit Brooks’ Global Running Day page to see how you can join in the celebration. You can take a look back at surveys from 2015 and 2014.

Here are some of the highlights:

Stop and take a selfie

If you didn’t share it did it really happen?

  • Worldwide, 59% of runners share their runs on social media and Facebook is the most popular platform (40%).
  • Whether before, during or after, 35% of runners agree run selfies are a must.

Slow and steady wins the race… in bed

Marathons, mud runs, intervals and rest days can translate into the bedroom:

  • Thirty four percent of runners worldwide compared their intimacy style to a marathon: slow, steady and in it for the long haul while 37% prefer an interval-style, with periods of high energy and breaks. Only 19% admitted they like to get a little dirty with a lot of laughs à la mud runs.
  • The run can also be a natural aphrodisiac with more than half of runners (54%) reporting the energy boost from running is a natural turn on.

Female power

From sports bras to make-up, women have their own unique running language:

  • For women worldwide, the greatest concern when running is lack of support from their sports bra (30%). When they find the right fit, more than half of female runners in the U.S. (65%) said they would wear their sports bra in place of their regular bra.
  • To wear or not to wear? Nearly half (48%) of female runners globally run or consider running in just their sports bra. Women in the U.S. are most likely (24%) to ditch their shirt while those in France are least likely to run shirtless (73%).
  • Mascara, blush and concealer; it’s a toss-up. Fifty six percent of female runners always or sometimes wear makeup on the run while 44% vow never to sweat it out with makeup.

Olympic dreams

Olympic fever isn’t just for the elites:

  • Most runners would choose to represent their country at the Olympics by carrying the torch through their hometown (37%), or competing in a track & field event (41%).
  • When asked to pick their dream relay squad, athletes (53%) are more coveted than Hollywood actors (19%), supermodels (12%) and the royal family (11%). In last place were the Kardashian sisters (Kourtney, Kim and Khloe), with only 4%.

 Love numbers and want to learn more (we see you GPS watch lovers!)? See all of our survey questions and answer by country below.

 

Are you most likely to come up with a new and creative idea while____?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
On a run 57% 54% 46% 57% 58% 62% 57% 63%
In the shower 18% 17% 24% 19% 19% 16% 21% 13%
Cleaning the house 12% 14% 15% 11% 11% 12% 9% 13%
Driving my car 13% 15% 15% 12% 12% 11% 14% 11%

 

 

 Does running make your day better?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Yes 97% 97% 98% 98% 99% 96% 99% 95%
No 3% 3% 2% 2% 1% 4% 1% 5%

 

Which of the following is your favorite thing to do on a run that you can’t do in a meeting?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Sing out loud 14% 16% 18% 15% 14% 11% 15% 9%
Wear short shorts without judgement 25% 21% 19% 22% 34% 21% 30% 28%
Take your shirt off 8% 10% 9% 6% 7% 5% 9% 9%
Sweat excessively 48% 50% 50% 52% 40% 57% 40% 45%
Gossip openly 6% 4% 3% 5% 5% 5% 7% 10%

 

If you could participate in the Olympics, which one of the following would you most like to do?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Carry the Olympic torch through my hometown 37% 43% 44% 31% 41% 34% 26% 41%
Compete in a track and field event 41% 37% 34% 46% 38% 46% 56% 30%
Dance in the opening ceremony 14% 15% 15% 16% 14% 13% 10% 18%
Dress up as one of the Rio 2016 Olympics mascots – Vinicius or Tom 7% 6% 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 11%

 

If you were to run in an Olympic relay race, which of the following celebrity squads would you most want on your relay team?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
The Supermodels: Gisele Bundchen, Bar Refaeli, Heidi Klum 12% 11% 13% 10% 16% 11% 12% 11%
The Royal Family: Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry 11% 13% 14% 16% 9% 9% 4% 16%
The Hollywood Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth,  Michael Fassbender 19% 20% 19% 21% 22% 17% 13% 23%
The Reality Stars: Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian 4% 6% 5% 5% 4% 3% 4% 4%
The Athletes: LeBron James, David Beckham, Kobe Bryant, Cristiano Ronaldo 53% 51% 50% 48% 50% 60% 68% 47%

 

Which of the following best describes your style of intimacy?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Marathon: Slow and steady, I’m in it for the long run 34% 35% 34% 32% 35% 38% 36% 26%
Mud Run: A little dirty with a lot of laughs 19% 22% 23% 23% 16% 16% 14% 20%
Intervals: Periods of high energy, but with breaks in between 37% 34% 32% 35% 41% 34% 42% 38%
Rest Day: I don’t want to risk injury 10% 8% 11% 10% 9% 12% 8% 16%

 

 

Which of these post-run effects turns you on?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Getting sweaty 19% 24% 21% 16% 11% 24% 13% 21%
Being warmed up and flexible 30% 34% 32% 27% 26% 39% 21% 31%
It makes me feel strong and confident 51% 62% 59% 47% 44% 41% 54% 53%
The energy boost it gives me 54% 57% 54% 54% 60% 57% 56% 43%

 

Which of the following best describes your favorite post-race meal?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Carbs! Pasta and meatballs 20% 20% 18% 25% 21% 24% 17% 17%
Greasy,  burgers and beer 6% 9% 7% 6% 6% 5% 7% 4%
Light and nutritious, salad or fruit 31% 26% 29% 25% 31% 33% 32% 44%
Protein-rich, Greek yogurt or chicken breast 28% 31% 32% 28% 25% 23% 30% 24%
Sweet, energy bar or piece of chocolate 14% 14% 13% 15% 18% 15% 14% 11%

 

After a run all I want is…?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Ice Cream 3% 4% 4% 3% 4% 1% 2% 3%
Sex 7% 9% 9% 8% 8% 6% 7% 6%
Beer 5% 5% 5% 5% 4% 3% 7% 5%
A nap 5% 7% 7% 5% 4% 5% 5% 5%
A shower 76% 72% 70% 74% 79% 82% 77% 80%
Fast food 3% 4% 5% 4% 1% 2% 2% 2%

 

Who is most responsible for inspiring you to start running?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Family 15% 20% 19% 16% 10% 15% 14% 14%
Friend 17% 15% 18% 17% 17% 14% 17% 19%
Colleague 4% 3% 2% 4% 3% 6% 4% 4%
Coach 4% 5% 5% 3% 3% 4% 7% 2%
Celebrity/athlete 4% 4% 5% 6% 8% 3% 4% 2%
Self-starter/interested in running for myself 55% 53% 51% 53% 59% 57% 55% 58%

 

What are the toughest conditions to dress for when on the run?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Rain 28% 22% 16% 24% 32% 33% 36% 30%
Cold 17% 23% 19% 13% 13% 16% 15% 17%
Wind 16% 13% 11% 18% 18% 14% 23% 14%
Snow 25% 30% 38% 28% 19% 23% 14% 23%
Heat 15% 13% 14% 17% 18% 14% 12% 15%

 

How do you most like to recover from a cold weather run?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Grin and bear it through an ice bath 5% 4% 5% 5% 5% 4% 5% 4%
Foam roll tired muscles 7% 6% 6% 6% 5% 10% 9% 6%
Re-fuel with chicken noodle soup 13% 15% 18% 13% 9% 10% 8% 16%
Take a hot shower 76% 75% 71% 76% 81% 77% 78% 74%

 

Which of the following is your greatest concern when running?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
See-through clothing after sweating 14% 10% 9% 13% 13% 17% 12% 20%
Red nose 15% 8% 14% 15% 28% 17% 8% 13%
Chapped lips 22% 28% 16% 22% 30% 21% 17% 20%
Sunburn 16% 19% 21% 12% 7% 17% 16% 18%
No support bra 33% 34% 39% 37% 22% 27% 47% 28%

 

Do you ever wear a sports bra as your regular bra when you are not running?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Yes 49% 65% 53% 43% 47% 41% 57% 37%
No 51% 35% 47% 57% 53% 59% 43% 63%

 

When on a run, do you ever wear just a sports bra without a shirt over it?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Of course, off with the shirt! 15% 24% 18% 16% 11% 10% 18% 10%
No, but I’d consider it 33% 35% 36% 30% 39% 17% 48% 29%
Never, the shirt stays on! 51% 40% 46% 54% 50% 73% 34% 62%

 

Do you wear make up on the run?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Yes, I won’t leave the house without something on 11% 12% 8% 13% 12% 16% 9% 7%
Sometimes, depends if I already have it on from the day 37% 44% 43% 36% 31% 42% 27% 36%
No, I wouldn’t put my skin through that 52% 44% 48% 51% 57% 43% 64% 57%

 

If you could run anywhere, where would it be?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Near the beach 41% 45% 38% 38% 49% 36% 44% 40%
Through a big city 7% 10% 10% 8% 4% 6% 7% 5%
In the mountains 20% 18% 23% 19% 17% 23% 28% 14%
By the countryside 31% 27% 29% 35% 30% 35% 21% 41%

 

When you travel, which of the following do you do when packing your running gear?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Not applicable, I don’t travel 5% 3% 5% 5% 3% 11% 2% 4%
Total Who Travel 6673 966 949 951 975 891 985 956
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Pack the minimum gear necessary and re-use during the trip 41% 42% 49% 49% 35% 29% 36% 45%
Bring everything I can possibly squeeze into my suitcase 23% 26% 22% 23% 27% 16% 23% 26%
Pack a separate bag for my gear and running shoes 36% 31% 29% 28% 39% 55% 41% 30%

 

What is your favorite social channel to highlight a run?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Any of these (Net) 59% 62% 60% 59% 70% 61% 70% 34%
Instagram 9% 11% 12% 6% 10% 6% 12% 4%
Twitter 6% 7% 7% 8% 6% 5% 8% 3%
Facebook 40% 38% 35% 38% 53% 44% 46% 25%
Snapchat 4% 5% 6% 6% 1% 5% 4% 2%
None, I don’t post my runs on social media 41% 39% 40% 41% 30% 39% 30% 66%

 

When you run do you take selfies?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Any of these (Net) 35% 38% 35% 34% 38% 32% 43% 23%
Before my run 16% 20% 15% 14% 16% 13% 21% 9%
During my run 12% 15% 12% 14% 12% 11% 10% 11%
After my run 19% 22% 18% 16% 20% 18% 27% 10%
Not applicable/I don’t selfie when I run 65% 62% 65% 66% 62% 68% 57% 77%

 

Which of the following superheroes best describes you as a runner?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
The Flash – nobody can beat my speed 16% 15% 15% 15% 18% 17% 20% 12%
The Incredible Hulk – strong and durable, but not light on my feet 28% 31% 30% 32% 23% 21% 29% 30%
Batman – all about the gadgets and the gear to improve my performance 20% 17% 19% 18% 23% 18% 16% 27%
Superman – the total package of strength, speed and endurance 36% 37% 35% 35% 35% 43% 35% 32%

 

Q.23  Which of the following are most likely to be on your running playlist?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Any of these (Net) 88% 92% 89% 88% 93% 86% 93% 81%
Pop:  Taylor Swift, The Weekend or Justin Bieber 28% 32% 32% 27% 29% 27% 31% 22%
Dance:  The Chemical Brothers, David Guetta, Skrillex 28% 24% 23% 30% 30% 31% 34% 22%
Classic Rock: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin 30% 39% 32% 28% 30% 30% 29% 24%
Hip Hop/Rap:  Kanye, Fetty Wap or Drake 21% 29% 28% 19% 19% 22% 16% 14%
Mellow:  Adele or Ed Sheeran 14% 14% 12% 13% 15% 16% 15% 12%
Modern Rock: Foo Fighters or  Vampire Weekend 22% 28% 23% 21% 24% 17% 25% 18%
Country: Carrie Underwood or Keith Urban 10% 17% 16% 8% 7% 9% 6% 7%
None of these 12% 9% 11% 12% 7% 14% 8% 19%

 

 

What type of thought is most likely to pop into your mind when you are running?
Total U.S. Canada U.K. Italy France Spain Germany
Any of these (Net) 89% 92% 92% 93% 93% 90% 93% 70%
Family 17% 20% 21% 16% 15% 17% 11% 18%
Work 16% 16% 14% 18% 19% 14% 18% 13%
Friends/significant other 17% 19% 17% 17% 18% 14% 25% 12%
Sex 8% 8% 9% 9% 10% 6% 7% 7%
Making it to the end of the run 31% 29% 31% 32% 32% 40% 32% 20%
Nothing, my mind is blank 11% 8% 8% 7% 7% 10% 7% 30%

 

Methodology

The research was completed online among a random sample of consumers aged 18+ who run 2+ times per week for exercise in the following countries: U.S. (N=1,004), Canada (N=1,003), U.K. (N=1,001), Italy (N=1,002), France (N=1,002), Spain (N=1,000), Germany (N=1,000). Interviewing was conducted by Ebiquity January 25 – February 3, 2016.  Overall the results in each market have a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.

About Derek
I’m a runner, a writer, and a shoe lover who enjoys morning coffee, travel, singing in the car, and getting legitimately lost on trail runs. Three things I can’t live without: bubble tea, Fridays, and my Brooks PureFlow’s.
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