How dare you criticize my running pace?


It burns me up when I hear runners criticizing other runners for running too slow or for walking during a run event. Some of my Army buddies can be ruthless when it comes to this and I make sure I correct them every time I hear it. There’s a difference between constructively trying to help a person, and blatantly putting them down. Not everyone has been running for years so not all of us will run a fast pace. Some people may run a 7:00 minute mile and some may run a 15:00 minute mile, at the end of the day, it’s the same mile. I know a 15:00 mile may not be acceptable for most according to Army standards, so I’m mainly referring to those who are just starting out. I recently started a new run group in my area, and not all the participants are strong runners just yet. To me it doesn’t matter how fast or slow a person runs, the fact that they made an effort to run in the first place says a lot about them. It takes a lot of courage to get out there and run with other runners, especially if you’re just starting out or getting back to running after a hiatus.

We want Americans to be healthy and fit, yet some people will stare at and criticize those they see struggling during their workouts. To that person doing the criticizing, how dare you put someone down that’s just starting out? We all started somewhere. Even the fastest runner on the track didn’t start out that way. I don’t care if they’ve been an athlete for most of their lives, they still had to start somewhere, and they gradually got better over time. What makes you think slower runners are any different?

mud runners

I remember when I first started running. I couldn’t run a full mile without stopping if it saved my life. THirty seconds into my run and I was winded, I thought I would never be able to run a mile. Now I can run for miles. It used to take me 17:00 minutes, mostly walking, but now I can run that same mile in 8:00 minutes. I know I’m not the fastest person out there, but I still get out there and give it my all. I may complain while I’m out there, but hell, I’m there! The only way to get better is to set goals and keep striving to improve.

random runner 2

If you see a beginner runner at a run event, don’t stare at them or make rude comments about their pace. Offer a word of encouragement like “Way to go!” or “Looking good out there”. Sometimes those words can boost a person’s self-esteem and make them push even harder. The fact of the matter is, they’re out there trying, which puts them at an advantage over everyone that’s still at home sitting on the couch.

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