10 Things You Should Never Say To a Runner

© Dirima | Dreamstime.com

© Dirima | Dreamstime.com

Our running friends get it. We can chat about all of the nitty gritty details with our friends. Without a doubt, any runner has gotten some, if not all, of these questions.

So this one goes out to our “non-running friends” – trust me, we’ve heard all of these plenty of times:

1) “You don’t look like a runner.”

So what exactly does a runner look like? Like someone at the Olympics? Runners come in all shapes and sizes and to tell anyone they don’t look like something is the biggest insult you can make. Why is this even a thing? It doesn’t matter your shape or size, if you like to run, you are a runner.

2) “Do you ever get tired?”

Of course we get tired! We also get tired from hearing that question and living our day-to-day lives. I get tired grocery shopping but it still has to be done. Most exercise you do will make you tired so stop asking us.

3) “I wish I could do that.”

Sure there is a select group of the population that will never be able to run. I truly feel bad for those who cannot run. Most people that “wish they could run”, have the ability to run…they just don’t.

4) “I only run if I’m being chased.”

Runners are the ones doing the chasing my friend.

  • We are always chasing a goal time.
  • We are chasing a place at the podium.
  • We are chasing a dream or a personal goal.

Often times the commenter is trying to be funny, but trust me they aren’t.

5) “Don’t you get bored?”

Of course, every run isn’t glamorous and fun. Some are painfully boring. For the most part between group runs, running with friends, podcasts and music, we don’t get bored. If we got that bored, we wouldn’t do it anymore. If you are anything like me, then your daily life is far more boring than running.

6) Isn’t running bad for your knees?

Any sport takes a toll on your body. Running is not just “bad for your knees”. The latest research actually indicates running strengthens your knees as well as your entire body.

So no, my misinformed friend, running is good for me. Has anyone ever noticed it’s always non-runners that ask about runner’s knees?

7) Do you need a ride?

If I needed “a ride”, I would have opted to cycle or drive my own vehicle. What part of my GPS watch, running attire and actual running did you miss?

8) “Can you give me directions?”

Seriously, do you not notice I am doing something? Usually, I do try to give whoever asks directions but it’s usually an incoherent mess and probably no use to them. I know my exact running route but I often forget that while running.

9) “Run, Forrest, run!”

Another comment that non-runners think is hilarious. You got me, I’m still laughing…

10) “Did you win?”

Probably the most obnoxious question that can be asked! Unless you’re Usain Bolt, who hasn’t lost a race in years, most often you will say,”No I did not win,” and feel inferior.

A tip for non-running friend is to: ask, How did it go? That leaves an open-ended conversation and if it went well, your running friend will brag!

6 comments… add one
  • David November 10, 2016, 3:11 pm

    Regarding #10, if I’m running, the answer is always a resounding “Yes!” Having spent a fair amount of time not running due to injury or illness, getting to the point where I run, and pursue this passion of mine, is a victory.

  • Shaun Mason September 22, 2016, 4:53 pm

    People start shouting “You’re almost there” about half way through the LA Marathon. Besides the fact that I’ve run the race 8 times, there are mile markers to tell us where we are. They have numbers on them representing the corresponding mile of the race the person seeing the marker is running. At mile 12, you’re not almost f*****g there, so yelling that at mile 12 just means you’re an idiot, or annoying, or an annoying idiot. My favorite comment from a spectator was a woman who was shouting “come on! Get the lead out!”

  • DJ September 22, 2016, 9:23 am

    One of my favorites, “Don’t worry, it’s downhill both ways!

  • Abishek September 21, 2016, 10:06 am

    Another one:
    We need to go 10 miles for dinner , while we drive I think you can run.
    Seriously….

  • cheryl September 2, 2016, 11:39 am

    I’ve been running for 45 years and no one has ever said these things to me because I don’t talk “running” to those who have no clue about what it is all about.

  • Greg Brown September 1, 2016, 4:46 pm

    The three lies I always tell runners when I volunteer on the route:
    1. LOOKING GOOD maybe 1/2 way when they appear to wanna die
    2. ALMOST THERE one or two miles out of a 1/2 or full marathon
    3. (forgot) maybe add your own. Been on a long one.

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