9 Ways to piss off a runner
If there's one thing us runners everywhere love to talk about, it's running. From our aches and pains to tips and techniques as well as our latest stats, runners love to share with others. But beware - there are a few guaranteed ways to shut down a conversation with a runner. We recommend you steer clear of saying these things which are guaranteed to piss us off!
#1. "My friend ran a marathon without any training at all."
Did they? Did they really? Well, good for them. I'm sure they're very pleased with themselves. Serious runners don't just run a marathon without some hardcore training. Heck, we don't even attempt a 5k without a training gameplan. From diet to strength training, gruelling 5am cross-country runs and race-day strategies, part of the challenge of running a marathon is just getting through the (often exhausting) months of training beforehand! If your friend says they did it with no training, they're either lying or they have pushed their body way past its limits, putting themselves at risk of serious injury which could ruin their future running plans before they've even started.
#2. "Yuck! I hate running."
And I hate rock climbing. Each to their own and everyone's entitled to their own opinions. We know we love running - there's nothing quite like pounding the asphalt at 5am when there are few people around. If you don't like it, that's fine. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with us for enjoying it though!
#3. "It's not safe to run (insert annoying phrase here)"
You'll find older relatives and sometimes even your friends will berate you about the safety of running. "It's not safe to run after dark," they'll say, following this up with a story about a friend of a friend who was raped whilst jogging. "It's not safe to run at the park," or "It's not safe to run when it's raining - you'll catch a chill," they carry on. Remember, it doesn't matter what others think - if you want to run, then run. If you're worried about your safety after dark, take a fitness buddy along with you - layer up in cosy clothes when it's raining so you don't catch cold. Just run.
#4. "Aren't runners supposed to be skinny?"
Um, NO. That extra weight we're carrying is mostly lean muscle we've built up from strength training and regular runs, thank you very much. Runners don't have to be skinny, just so you know. Oh, and you don't need to be skinny to do pilates or yoga either, for the record!
#5. "How long is your marathon?"
Say what? Usually asked by a well-meaning-but-misinformed friend or relative who is faking an interest in your 'hobby', this is one question that's guaranteed to piss us off. If you don't know anything about running, don't pretend you do. Ask us, "So how long is a marathon, isn't is about 26 miles?" Don't act as if you know it all and fake an interest when you're genuinely not in the slightest bit interested in hearing about our epic training sessions. If a friend is genuinely unaware of how long marathons are, that's fine. But anyone else better watch out!
#6. "So, how many races have you won?"
Just because treadmill training or running solo after work is your thing, doesn't mean you're going to sign up for a 5K or a marathon. Runners don't have to win races to love running. There are other things we get out of going for a run rather than just the competition and the joy of winning! Increased self confidence, an endorphin boost and improved health and fitness, for a start.
#7. "You know running doesn't burn many calories, right?"
We don't run just to burn calories - and actually running is a great workout that can help you to lose weight and tone up. So next time we're chowing down on a hearty protein-packed post-run meal or snack, we'd thank you to keep those thoughts to yourself. Sitting on your bum at home doesn't burn many calories either, but we're not bringing that up and embarassing you!
#8. "So, why do you run?"
This probably won't piss us off, but we're including this more as a warning for anyone who's genuinely not interested in hearing the ins and outs of our running training. Get us started talking about our favourite subject and you'll be lucky to escape after an hour - maybe even several hours!
#9. "You know you're going to ruin your knees."
Actually, provided you train sensibly, wear the right shoes and warmup and stretch before running, it doesn't have to be that hard on your knees. Sure, your knees are going to take more impact than at, say, a yoga class. But hey, they're your knees, which makes it your decision. If running is your thing, take steps to protect your knees and get on with it!