Top 10 Ways to Annoy a Runner

It ain’t easy being a runner. Besides tackling the long, hard miles, we have to put up with some really “interesting” commentary on the sport we love. Endorphins generally protect us from sour moods, but dealing with certain remarks can test even the power of the runner’s high. (Feel free to share this with your friends and family so they know what NOT to say!)

1. “How was your jog?”

I don’t jog, I run. Whether I am channeling my inner-Olympian or schlepping along sucking wind, if I am giving it my all, I am running.


2. “Oh, I wish I had time to exercise, but I am so busy!”

Oh really, you don’t have time to exercise? Are you implying that I have tons of spare time on my hands? Well, I don’t. I have as many hours in the day as you do; we just have different priorities.

3. “Did you win your race?”

No, I didn’t “win” my race. Do you have any idea how many runners are at these events? And how many are younger/taller/better/stronger? They are not all recreational runners like me either, but thanks for asking the question and making me feel like a loser. Guess what? FINISHING = WINNING.

4. “I don’t run because it is so bad for the knees.”

Well, that’s fine if it’s what keeps you cozy on the couch, but running is proven to have countless health benefits – including reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease. If you want to roll the dice with those things, be my guest. But me and my knees will be pounding the pavement while you are coming up with other lame excuses not to work out.

5. “So are you running a marathon?”

No, I am not training for a marathon and no, I don’t have any aspirations to do so. Thanks for implying that running 21.1K/13.1 miles in the half-marathon isn’t quite good enough. When is the last time you ran for more than 2 hours? Yep, thought so.

6. “Wow, you seem to run a lot. Don’t you think that’s a bit excessive?”

No, actually I don’t think that running regularly is obsessive – it’s called a healthy, active lifestyle. Try it sometime.


7. “You run all the time so you can eat whatever you want!”

Running regularly means I can partake in the occasional treat, but it doesn’t give me license to eat crap every day. Besides, I don’t like the way I feel when I eat that way. So I don’t need “the look” or the snide comments about my “diet” if I pass on the chocolate cake or French fries. You try running with those stuck to your ass and see how much fun it is.

8. “You ran in that weather?” (said with incredulous, judgemental look)

Running in the snow or sleet or rain does not make me crazy…just dedicated. If I waited for the perfect running conditions, I might run 5 days per year.

9. “There’s no way I could run that far.”

Well, it’s not easy for me either. Not any part of it. I couldn’t run this far the first time I laced up; it takes training. I don’t do it because it is easy, I do it because it is challenging. And even when I hate it, I still love it.

10. “You run for fun? That’s weird.”

You don’t need to understand why I run. I don’t need to understand why you don’t. But if you don’t have anything nice to say, you know how the saying goes…go for a run!


Tell us: What annoying things have you heard? How do you handle them?

~Princess Jodi

13 thoughts on “Top 10 Ways to Annoy a Runner

  1. I loved this.I agree with all of them, especially the one about time and the one about knees.
    But, I’d have to add a couple
    1. You don’t look like a runner – nope. I’m not tiny. However I do have runner’s calves 😉
    2. Don’t your kids miss you when you go for a run or do you feel bad leaving your kids when you run? Umm. no and no.

  2. My coworker asked me my 5k time, I replied 26:44. He said, really? I thought 15mins was the average…I replied only elite runners can do it in 15. He said, I bet if I ran I could do it in 15 mins. =P Go ahead and try then!

  3. Loved it! My favorite is still, “You don’t look like a runner.” What exactly does a “runner” look like? No, I don’t have the body of Kara Goucher, but to be honest I don’t want to work as hard at it as she does. I like being a recreational runner.

  4. Hahaha, I think you covered it! Honestly, I especially hate #3…”did you win?” Yes, out of the thousands upon thousands of other runners, I was the ONE PERSON who crossed the finish line first. Go me. Haha. ;-D

  5. When other moms make comments about “All the running must take so much time away from your kids. I would just feel too guilty” Um, ok so you throw the I’m a bad mom punch at the same time as making your excuse. Actually I am typically done with my runs before the kids get up or when they are at school or after they are in bed…. Grrr.

  6. Sorry, but #4 is true. Except running can be bad for the feet and ankles as well as the knees. I know dozens of people 40+ that have had severe long term damage to their legs, knees, feet etc. from “healthy” running. I ride a bike on paved trails. This has less impact on the lower body and no cars can hit me. I also do cross-training in a boxing gym which keeps my heart rate elevated. It’s a better full body workout than running and creates muscle. I can walk 36 holes of golf carrying my bag while former “runner” playing partners ride in a cart for 18 holes and hobble back and forth from the cart to the ball.

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