Questions Non-Runners Might Ask You, And How to Answer Them

© Warrengoldswain | Dreamstime.com

© Warrengoldswain | Dreamstime.com

It’s the season for holiday gatherings and get-togethers. While you are probably going to at least one party with your running friends, chances are you’ll be stuck at the dinner table making small talk with non-runners.

They will prod you with questions and by the end of the night you may even wonder why you even run. All you can do is laugh about it later with your running friends. Not every person in the world runs or gets why we run, but that’s okay!


Here are some questions you are bound to receive at the dinner table. Some easy and witty responses have been provided to continue the small talk.

Do you run every day?

It seems like whatever answer you might provide will result in both shock and amusement. If you say: “Yes I run everyday” it will open the door to more questions. Why? How do you have time? If you say: “No, not every day,” then they’ll question your whole identity.

You don’t look like a runner…

So what does a runner look like exactly? Take an ultra-marathoner: Very rarely do they look like a 5K Olympian, but runners come in all shapes and sizes. I caution you, however: Telling a non-runner about the mere existence of ultra-marathoners opens up an even bigger can of worms.

How many races have you won?

Most of us have won zero races, and that is fine but tell that to a non-runner, and they question if you even wake up in the morning! It’s a different concept to have personal goals other than winning.

Are you fast?

I’m faster than everyone sleeping in this morning.

How many marathons have you done?

Since most non-runners think all races are marathons answering this question is always a tricky one. When questioned, I answer, but I always follow up with my favorite distance (the half marathon).

Did you know running is bad for your knees?

In proper running footwear, it’s just fine. Plus, there are far more benefits to running than not. Did you know coffee is not good for you?

You spent how much on a race?

Racing can get expensive and as runners, we know that. I’ve found answering this question with a witty response relative to questionner the best. I spent as much as your (brand name) jacket, car, etc.

I wanted to get into running, but it’s not my thing…

If it’s not your thing, that is fine, but there are so many different methods and opportunities to enjoy running. Most of us did not wake up one day and instantly love running. It took time and probably making a lot of new friends to enjoy it.

Do you know my friend Jim? He runs marathons too. Or my friend Sue, she’s run 10,000 marathons including Boston?

It’s probably a Christmas miracle if you do know any of their running friends.

So what do you think about while running?

If you are anything like me, then the majority of thoughts are related to food. However, you might be like my husband who gets one song on repeat the entire time. If someone were to listen to any runners thoughts during an entire run, they would think we are all insane!

Do you ever get bored? How do you stay motivated?

I get bored at work sometimes too, but I can’t just call it a day a few minutes in.

Don’t you get tired?

Sometimes, but I’m currently tired of answering all of these questions about my running habits.

Have you ever gotten lost?

I’ve gotten lost on car rides too. GPS still works on a run and can navigate me home. I don’t blame getting lost due to running. To answer this truthfully, I’ve gotten lost multiple times on runs.

Because of running, I bet you could eat anything you wanted.

Well, you said it not me. Don’t judge me when I get a fourth helping of Christmas pie.

Where do you run when it rains? How about snow? Or when it’s really cold?

I still run.

And of course the timeless question: How far is the marathon you are training for?

Hollie Sick is a New Jersey-based runner and blogger who has completed more than 30 half marathons. Learn more about Hollie at her blog, or follow her on Twitter.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment