The Snot Rocket: Just the name of it sounds gross and unladylike, but the truth is, sometimes it’s the best way to clear your nose when you’re out running.
I first learned about the snot rocket, otherwise known as the “farmer’s blow,” on a run with my husband a couple of years ago. I needed to clear my nose but had nothing with me. He showed me how he did it, and well, it just wasn’t in me to do it that way, at least not at first. I wanted to just use my shirt and wash it later, but who wants to carry snot with them the rest of the way home?
My first attempts were less than acceptable. I’d either hit my shoe or my leg, or sometimes, I couldn’t even blow effectively enough to get past the nostril. I had to use my shirt several times to clean off the misguided “blow” until I learned to carry a bandana with me. Still, have you ever tried to blow your nose while breathing heavier than usual from running or some other activity? It’s not easy.
Since those first runs and my increasing mileage, as well as the fact that for some reason I have to blow my nose more than the average person when I’m running, I’m proud to say that I’ve finally mastered this method of nose blowing.
What is a snot rocket?
A snot rocket happens when breathe in, place an index finger on one side of your nose to close the nostril, close your mouth then blow as hard as you can through the open nostril to release any mucus that might keep you from breathing effectively. Do so on both sides if necessary. It also helps to turn your head in the direction of the open nostril.
5 Tips for the Snot Rocket Method
As someone who has finally figured out how to do this effectively, I offer these 5 tips:
- Use only outside and when in running clothes. You really don’t want to snot rocket on the treadmill or while at the office. Doing a snot rocket while indoors just leaves a mess you’ll have to clean up. It’s also not advisable to do snot rockets at outdoor public events such as farmer’s markets. Yes, it may be outdoors, and you may be in running clothes, but it doesn’t take a [snot] rocket scientist to know this isn’t the same as being out on the open road or trail with extremely few people around. It’s best to use a tissue in these cases.
- Be aware of which way the wind is blowing. This is one of the hardest lessons I had to learn with this whole nose-blowing thing. If you blow into the wind, it’s possible you’ll be wearing the mucus the rest of your run. Blow with the wind to ensure that the wind will carry the mucus away from your body.
- If in a race, be courteous and make sure there are no other runners within your rocket’s itinerary. It’s just bad sportsmanship to blow your snot onto someone else’s shoes. Always check your surroundings and know where the other runners are. Also, see number 2; don’t let the wind change the direction you intend to blow in.
- It’s not unladylike; it’s a necessity. Women sweat, and we also need to blow our noses from time to time. If you run outside regardless of the season, rest assured, you’ll probably need to blow your nose at some point.
- Sometimes, you may still need a handkerchief. There have been times when I tried to do a snot rocket but either didn’t have as much mucus as I thought or I just didn’t blow hard enough. For those times, it’s always good to have a backup other than your sleeve. Although I can snot rocket and run at the same time, I’ve found there are times, especially in the winter, when having a bandana on hand can be a good thing. Just put a knot in one corner, tuck it into your waistband, and you’re set.
Learning to do this efficiently will make your running more enjoyable, especially as you run more and start increasing your miles, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. It took me a while before I mastered it, and even before then, I had to get over the idea of how gross it seemed. It sure is better than wearing the snot on your hands or shorts, though.
What are you thoughts? Have you ever tried the snot rocket, perhaps even mastered it? Or are you apprehensive about giving it a try?