Most people in my life are incredibly supportive of my running. But in the past year or so I’ve had to fend off some pretty uninformed statements and well-intentioned questions. So here’s a light-hearted look at things you should never say to a runner!
1. Are you sure all that running is good for you?
Pretty much every non-runner I meet talks to me about the impact on my joints; specifically, my knees. A year ago I’d have just shrugged it off, but now I do actually feel confident enough to fend off this statement. I usually do the following:
- refer to the fact that most of the running knee research is outdated, and studied footballers who do a lot more twisting, turning, stopping and starting.
- refer to ultra running; a sport which pushes the limits of the realms of possibility, yet attracts older runners who can keep up for years longer.
- if all else fails, say there are far worse ways to damage your body than with running.
2. You know, my body just isn’t built for running.
Not everyone wants to run; I get that. If you just don’t like running, then fair enough! I wouldn’t judge you, and I certainly don’t feel offended. But when someone asserts that their body just isn’t meant for running, I get a bit angry. There are many, many reasons not to run, but if you have a well-functioning body, you have everything you need.
3. I’m going low-carb, maybe you should too!
Yeah, don’t say that to me. Whilst I read a really interesting article in Runner’s World on a high-fat, no-carb diet and the affects it can have on reducing fatigue and recovery times, it’s just not for me. I like carbs and I need them to run – they’re still the optimal energy source according to the most up-to-date sources. So thanks, but no thanks…I’m good over here with my pizza.
4. How long is your marathon again?
A marathon is a fixed distance. Google it. A 10k race is a race, not a “10k marathon”.
5. What’s that smell?
Oh yeah, my bad. I’ll go shower. (Or put on more deodorant).
6. Are you sure you wanna eat that?
I’m training for a marathon, I’m gonna eat a lot. A lot of carbs, a lot of protein bars, a lot of peanut butter. A lot of good, wholesome food, and a fair share of flapjacks and chocolate cookies. Because balance. I run 30 miles a week- I will eat whatever I please.
7. Don’t you think those shorts might be a bit short?
Lol, no. Us runners really don’t have a lot of modesty, do we?! I call my trusty Nike Pros my Go-Faster Shorts. I feel confident in them, and when I feel confident, I perform better. So no, my shorts aren’t too short. Skies out, thighs out!
8. You’re skinny/muscular/big for a runner
There’s no such thing as a normal runner. Whilst competitive and elite athletes generally conform to the tall and lean stereotype, you’d be surprised to notice how differently they carry their weight and muscle mass. And also, running is for everyone. Runners come in all shapes and sizes! My body, my rules!
9. On a diet, eh?
No! Just because I’m a runner doesn’t mean my default setting is dieting. I get this a lot because I have oatmeal almost every morning in the office. The first time someone ever made this assumption was when I was actually very underweight, so his comments were seriously unappreciated. Sometimes I eat healthy, sometimes I don’t!
10. Running again?
To be honest this one usually cracks me up, especially now that I’m tapering. When my colleagues see me heading out for a run, they’re often surprised, given that i’m exhausted and I ran a long route over the weekend. But thankfully I just agree with them-lol, it sucks, but I’m in training mode.
Do you have any more to add?
Lots of love,