8 Ridiculous Things People Say to Runners

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8 Ridiculous Things People Say to Runners

One of the best things about being a runner is having like-minded runner friends. You know, those people who just get it and totally understand why you don’t want to go out at 11 PM on Friday when you have a long run on deck the next morning.

But there’s always going to be a few friends, coworkers, or second cousins who don’t quite understand it, and simply can’t fathom why you keep trying to convince them to join that annual Turkey Trot or Fourth of July Fireworks 5K.

If you’re like me and run on the reg, these are the eight things you’re probably sick of hearing.

1. “How did your race go this weekend? Did you win?!”

LOL. No. But out of 8,381 finishers, I was 5,285th. Plus, as many runners know, it’s not necessarily about winning—it’s running about a personal best, setting a new distance record, accomplishing a goal, or just having fun.

2. “Ugh, I hate running. It’s so boring.”

Here’s a list of things you can do on the run: listen to music, tune into a podcast, get lost in your thoughts, work through your latest relationship woe, chat with friends, push your pace, watch for cute fellow runners, fantasize about your post-run meal, count your steps, do mental karaoke, offer high fives to strangers, and keep your puppy watch on high alert. Boring? More like fun, entertaining, and productive.

3. “That race cost how much?!”

We know how much it cost. (Too much.) We don’t want to talk about it. But check out this really sweet cotton T-shirt I got for running!

4. “Running is bad for your knees.”

We get this one a lot. And yeah, sometimes our knees do hurt! From runner’s knee to IT band syndrome to general overuse from literally pounding the pavement, sure, we get achy from time to time. But stretching and foam rolling helps. Is it all worth it? Oh yeah.


5. “What do you mean you can’t go out Friday night?”

I mean I have to go straight home after work to slip [er, struggle] into a pair of compression socks, eat a bowl of pasta, charge my watch, curate my playlist, and get to bed around 8 PM so I can wake up at 6 AM tomorrow for my long run.

6. “But wouldn’t you rather sleep in?”

Some days, oh hell yes. But have you ever seen the sunrise as the world comes to life during a morning run? It’s pretty unbeatable—and very Instagrammable! #seenonmyrun #morningmiles #runhappy

7. “Do you have to run today?”

No. But I want to.

8. And, “How many marathons have you done?”

Maybe a dozen. Maybe one. Maybe none. Running a marathon doesn’t make you a runner. Running makes you a runner.

—By Alison Feller


  • “Get those legs up!” is the one I only ever hear.

  • How about, “How far did you run?” (I’m a sprinter and a hurdler. Jogging is not running. 😉

    • wade matsuda

      jogging is easy. nobody jogs a marathon. its either walk or run. nothing easy about a marathon.

  • Dottie

    Add: ‘You are too fat to run’ and ‘Why are you running, you look good?’

  • Chris Hamilton

    I also love “How long was your marathon?”

    • thohan

      Author take note. This is both ridiculous and funny, ergo worth reading.

  • Kyla James

    Being sedentary is bad for your knees 🙂

    • James Baldwin

      Well stated!!

  • Guy Chavez

    “You can eat whatever you want, you just ran 6 miles”

  • Brad Neaderhiser

    “How do you run that far?” — My answer: I pick up my right foot, move it forward, and set it down. Then I do that with the left. Then repeat until I have moved them # miles.

  • Dale McDaniel

    When non-runners ask “Why only a half-marathon???”

  • Francesca Etheart

    Good to know! <3 🙂

  • Emily Davis Hall

    My favorite is, “You don’t need to lose any more weight!”

  • thohan

    Those aren’t ridiculous things. Those are fully legitimate things. But you got my click so who cares.

  • Penelope Wincett

    The answer to #2 makes the point of the question: It’s a list of non-boring things you can do WHILE runnning. The running itself, still boring.

    • David Tittle

      I didn’t think it was a brilliant answer. The answer is: “enjoy looking at the city/country/beach and other people”. It’s like a good walk but you cover more ground so see more stuff.

  • John Pritchett

    My wife always call my 5-K races “a marathon.” I love her.

  • Marc Goldin

    ‘8 ridiculous things runners complain about other people saying’ should really be it! I get it, I’ve run, can’t do it now because of lower back & knee issues from doing it earlier on. So as to stay active, I do a vigorous 2-3 mile walk daily. Many people I know run & I’ve never said any of these idiotic things to them, nor do I know anyone else (who doesn’t run) who has. C’mon, get over yourselves — if there’s anything that non-runners might be reacting to, it’s the subtle sense of smugness & superiority that I personally have picked up from some runners.

  • Aaron Dennis

    I’m paraphrasing Kyle Eschen when I say….

    I tell people I run 5K and 10K races. They tell me if I get really good at them I might be able to work my way up to running marathons. To me that’s like telling a violinist that if they practice very hard someday they might be able to play the cello. :/

  • Marcus Colonna

    Sorry, you lost me at #1. I run to win. No other reason.

  • Kevin O’Dea

    Love it! Have experienced every single example here! Thanks for the smile!

  • Patricio Grego

    The classical question:
    Why do you run and push yourself so hard?
    Answer: because I can…

    • Darren Barratt

      “Because one day, I may not be able to”

  • Lucy Redmond

    I get ‘sooo you’ve run a half marathon, when are you running a full one?’ Uurrgghh never! You run a half then tell me when you are running one!! They are tough, the sense of achievement is amazing but a half is enough for me. (Total respect for anyone who completes a full or more 😁)

  • John McGowan

    ‘re No 2, get those ear pieces out! Safety! If you must have one ear out!,😃 Use your senses, ears, eyes, smell while you run take every thing in don’t get self absorbed!😃😀

  • thohan

    Just checked back on this article. I would like to suggest an adjustment to the title:

    “8 things people say to runners”

    Probably won’t get as many clicks, but at least you’ll avoid someone else’s “17 times people misused the word ‘ridiculous'” listicle.

  • Enda Rochford

    Did you win? Sure I’m running in a field of people but I’m only racing myself, my times, my PB. I’m also my own worst critic, thats how it goes

  • Scott

    While ridding my recumbent trike, I often yell at runners who pass me: “Slow down! You’re making me look bad”.

  • Joe Arico

    Do you know how OLD you are, you shouldn’t be running?
    I’m 69, no hip, knee or foot issues so why should I stop ?