What Not To Say To a Runner

02 Sep, 2019 • by Admin

Make sure never to say these things to a serious (or even semi-serious) runner.

People literally question the purpose of becoming or being a runner and many related stuff. So I thought of all the ridiculous things I hear from non-runners, and asked my runner friends about their own experiences – and came up with this list.

Running is so boring!

Maybe it is. Lots of things are boring. Driving is boring. Riding in an elevator is boring. Unless … you make those things not boring? Listen to music. Or a podcast. Meditate on a challenge at work. Or in your family. Or in your relationships. Look around. Become one with your surroundings. Or just focus on you.

For runners, their running time is when their minds do things that are usually hard to achieve in a regular busy day. Running is me-time. So if it’s boring to you, don’t just assume it’s boring to everyone!

Did you win your race this weekend?

Yeah, no. I came in 287th. Or 3,451st. Or whatever. Because, and this might be difficult to wrap your head around, the goal of the race is not to actually win the race. I mean, sure, some super-fast, well-trained human beings are trying to win. But most runners are not one of those. I did, however, beat my personal best. And I ate a free bagel! Side note: No one ever asks me this, probably because the answer is an obvious no, and because I haven’t entered a race. Which brings me to …

How many marathons have you run?

I’ve run zero, a figure I expect to grow by approximately zero over the course of my lifetime. Not all runners run marathons, just like not all dog owners run the Iditarod. Marathons are tough and wonderful and inspiring as all get-out. But they’re not for everybody. Even people who run a lot.

I don't know how you can enjoy running!

This is one to which I’ve never known how to respond. Are you saying that you don’t like running? Because that’s okay, I don’t like golfing, but I’m not going to tell you it’s weird that you like it. Are you really saying someone who enjoys running is wrong to do so? Do you just think it looks difficult so there must be no joy in it? No matter the reason behind this statement, it just leaves me confused.

Why do you race if there is no chance of winning?

Why do you paint if there’s no chance of becoming an award-winning artist? If people only did something that took a lot of training and time and effort and work because they wanted to win, the world would be a very sad and broken place indeed.

Why are you so slow?

If you look at a car, it’s got multiple gears. Likewise, runners are able to run at different speeds. There is no way you can maintain the same effort for a marathon as you would for a 50m sprint. We are going to assume that only non-runners are rude enough to say that, in which case, we might be slow runners, but we are slowly moving forward. If you are not a runner, you are not moving at all.

Why would you pay that much just to run a race?

If you think our race registration was expensive, wait until you see how much we spend on running shoes… Jokes aside, this question is offensive because how a person chooses to spend their money is nobody’s business but their own.

Yes, races are pricey, and only getting more expensive, but let’s assume that most runners have factored the upcoming season’s race fees into their annual budget, so unless you know someone who’s actually bankrupted himself/herself from running in too many races, rest assured that they’ve made certain lifestyle choices and willing sacrifices to participate in running events.

Although, if you are so concerned about our personal finances, we’ll never turn down your offer to sponsor our next pair of running shoes…


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