How to Talk to Non-Runners

I got in my night run right before I went to Massage Envy for my wonderful “flush” massage. I had my gal work on the hamstrings really, really hard last week and I just was not excited about feeling like someone had repeatedly punched me in the back of my legs last night. The 4.0 mile run was exquisite and felt like I was floating. But here is my ride from this morning:

Distance: 20.2 miles
Time: 1:00:37
Average Watts: 171 watts
Normative Power: 179 watts
Average Heart Rate: 145 bpm
Total Work: 602 kJ
Average Speed: 20.1 mph

I think my heart rate monitor strap is jacked. My heart rate on an easier ride was higher today than it was yesterday. It is a Polar brand, which means I can’t access the battery (I checked). I will need to pick a new one up. It really drives me crazy when things do not work.

Today at midnight MST is the deadline to enter the Tanita BC-1000 people (here are the rules). Please remember you have to be a Follower to win this, so if you have been entering through the other categories, please, please, please make sure you are a Follower too. No Follower = No Winner. I don’t want to say if you aren’t a Follower of 26.2ismycooldown that makes you a loser, but you get the idea.

How to Talk to Non-Runners

I know you have those people in your life who haven’t ever run a step except when the microwave bell goes off signalling that their queso is done. While we all make our own lifestyle choices, it is funny to me that the non-endurance athletes in my life will sometimes make fun of me for what I do. I don’t mind ignorance as much as I do when they cross the line and try and make me look silly.

My favorite conversation is the one about how they have a brother/sister/cousin who ran a “marathon” last weekend. When you ask which one, they will tell you the town the race was held in and generally follow it up with something like, “I think it was about 3 miles or so, which I guess makes it a mini marathon”. Your guess is incorrect.

Then there is the Ironman version of this conversation which typically ends in “I think it was a mini-Ironman”. I think that means that a sprint triathlon is as long as an Ironman. If only it were true. I would save a ton of time in training.

There are usually excuses of why someone doesn’t swim, bike or run. Their knees hurt. They are built like a linebacker. The only time they run is to the refrigerator during half-time. The have flat feet. They don’t want to spend time away from their family. They have too much going on right now with work. It is too cold (Shay I am talking to you). It is too hot. Biggest Loser is on…

I am not going to disparage that group of people because we have all found ourselves in that group from time to time. So here is my suggestion to you when you find yourself talking to someone who doesn’t understand the choices that you make every day to achieve and maintain a health enhancing level of fitness: Just smile and wave, smile and wave. I used to try and explain to people why I love getting out and cycling or running so much, but I quit a couple of years ago. My answer now is simple: it is something I enjoy. No additional explaination necessary.

Now if you find yourself in that same conversation with someone you care about, you should spend a little more time explaining your choices to them.  Then I want you to show them this video that I have featured up here before when talking about excuses:

Everyone can take that first step. If you are walking, then you are burning calories. If you are walking fast, you are burning more calories. If you are run/walking, you are burning even more. Finally, if you are running you are burning calories in a very efficient way. We all are at some point in this journey, so do not fall into the trap of comparing your performance with anyone else.

So when your non-runner friends start in on you, take the opportunity to invite them out on your next run. You could get lucky and have a new running partner. If nothing else, you will have one less person who will be making fun of you and your choices!

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...