9 Ridiculous Things People Say to Runners

Common statements and frequently asked questions heard by runners around the world

Runners tend to live in a bubble. When you’re on the inside of the sport, soaking up the mood-boosting endorphins that come along with that runner’s high, nothing really seems out of the ordinary.

Have to tackle a 15-mile training run in 30-degree winter weather? Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Sacrifice all of your toenails for the glory of earning your first marathon medal? Don’t even have to think twice about it. Wake up before the crack of dawn so you can work out while you have the city streets to yourself? No problem.

But for non-runners, those on the outside of the “bubble,” these things and many other aspects of the sport seem entirely wacky. As a runner myself, it’s a little hard to admit, but I can sort of see where they’re coming from.

When you first start out, running is hard, so it’s understandable that those who aren’t conditioned for the sport might find it hard to believe it can actually be enjoyable. However, if we took a minute to stride a few steps in their shoes, maybe it would be easier to understand why they sometimes say some of the following things, which to a runner, just seem ridiculous.

-9 Ridiculous Things People Say to Runners-

"I hate running.  I can’t run."
For some reason, non-runners love to babble on about how much they hate the sport; about how painful, boring and unbearable it is. Are they waiting for us to agree? “Oh, I know. I just hate it so much. It feels awful the entire time. Why do I even do this to myself?”

Of course you hate running. You also hate every other sport that you’re not aerobically conditioned for. I “hate” basketball because I’m not good at it, but you don’t see me rubbing it in every player’s face like it’s my job.

No offense, but it’s not the sport that sucks. It’s your endurance to withstand it for a prolonged period of time. Unfortunately, the only way to change that is to run, run and then run some more.

When I was a competitive swimmer, I hated running. I used to say all the same things non-runners say to me now all of the time. “I hate it. It makes my lungs hurt. I just can’t do it,” I used to complain to my swimming coach when he’d take us out to the track for cross training.

Little did I know, the only reason that it sucked so much was because, even though I was fit for swimming, I was extremely unfit for most other sports (e.g. anything that involved running). But once I plowed through that plateau and made it over the other side of the hill, running felt great and now I’m totally inside the aforementioned “bubble.”

"Isn’t all that running bad for your knees?"
Might lots of running increase your risk for a knee injury? Sure. But is it “bad” for your knees? No. The benefits of running far outweigh the risks, and it’s about time we put this silly knee nonsense to rest.

See also: 5 Myths About Running That Are Ready to Be Retired

"Running is so boring."
For some, yes, running can be an incredibly boring sport, but this statement is only a matter of opinion, and those who run on the regular would probably beg to differ.

Plus, what many runners don’t realize is that running doesn’t have to be an entirely solitary sport. Take your favorite tunes with you or invite a friend along for the ride and suddenly a forty minute workout feels like it passed by in a matter of a few minutes.

"You’re crazy."
Yes, yes we are. Most runners won’t try to feign sanity. In fact we love it when you say this to us but we still think it’s ridiculous anyway.  

"You have a problem."
Yes, just like Jay-Z I’ve got about 99 problems— Which sneakers should I wear today? What route will I run? How far should I go? What type of workout will I do? Should I eat this banana before I go?— but the actual act of running is definitely not one.

"You ran in the rain?"
Of course I ran in the rain. The race I’m training for isn’t going to run itself. If the workout is scheduled, I will complete it. Runners are kind of like the U.S. Postal Service in a way; “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers runners from the swift completion of their appointed rounds workouts.”

"Will you poop your pants?"
According to the marathon runners that I polled, this is a very common question that gets asked all of the time. Apparently non-runners think you’re absolutely not allowed to stop once you cross the start line of a marathon… Even if you need to use the bathroom.

"How far is a half marathon?"
Apparently this is another FAQ that non-runners love to throw out there. If only the answer were just a bit more obvious!

"You don’t need to lose any more weight."
Of all the answers my social poll received, this was one of the most common phrases runners said they hear on a regular basis. It seems many non-runners are under the impression that the only reason to partake in the sport is for the purpose of burning up extra calories.

For a counter argument to this statement, see:
This Is Why I Run
Everything You Need to Know About Life You Can Learn From Running

What's the most ridiculous thing someone's ever said to you about running? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet us @TheActiveTimes!