11 Questions runners hate answering

Yes I can run longer than 5K, no I'm not interested in running a marathon right now and my running has nothing to do with my body image.


Explaining your passion for running to the non-runner can be… frustrating. Sometimes it feels as though others don’t quite understand why on earth a person would enjoy logging long distances day after day. Where many people would see running as a sort of punishment (hey, the high school gym coach’s penchant for giving everyone penalty laps didn’t exactly help your case…), you actually run for fun. When trying to understand this hobby, others unknowingly ask fairly irritating questions. If you’re a runner, you’ve likely had to answer at least one of these questions.

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1. What’s the farthest you’ve ever run?

If it’s less than the marathon, you feel you’ve disappointed this person. You know that your training is about the cumulative kilometres you’ve tallied this season, along with the strength work and speed sessions but you sense going into these details will bore whoever just asked you this. 

2. Oh, you just did the 10K? Why not the marathon?

Because not everyone is focused on the marathon. 10K is a respectable goal race and you hate having to defend it. 

3. Are you trying to lose weight?

Again, it’s not about being thin. I actually like to run. Oh, and I’m happy with my body as is. It’s not about that. 

4. Do you get bored?

Of these questions? Yes. 

5. Are you training for Boston?

No, I didn’t qualify. Do you want to hear about this other really cool Canadian race I signed up for? …No, it’s not a Boston Qualifier, I just want to run it. 

6. Did you know running isn’t the best way to get fit?

It’s a great way to get fit, get outdoors, blow of steam and socialize. 

7. Do you run through winter?

Yes, that’s what I meant by “year-round.” And no, it’s not that bad. No, I’m not crazy either. 

8. What kind of shoes should I buy?

How much time do you have? 

9. How far was last weekend’s marathon?

It’s always the same distance: 42.2K .

10. Aren’t you always getting injured?

Sadly, yes. 

11. Why just the 5K?

I wanted to test my speed. I trained hard on the track all winter to run a sub-20. For the record, the speed workouts for “just” the 5K were harder than the CrossFit, yoga, or spin workouts I sampled and I also run 80K weeks.