Running outside and being resented - Bridge to 10K

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Running outside and being resented


Hi all, it's ages since I last posted here but I have still been lurking quietly. At the moment I'm running around 5k three times a week, cycling on the other days (sometimes to the local food shops), and my Zumba and yoga classes are just restarting via Zoom. My husband is disabled and over 70 and hasn't been out at all since the lockdown started.

Looking at social media, I'm starting to notice a general grumpiness about runners. A lot of people clearly think that *everyone* should stay at home, and that running is just indulgent, or rude. I hasten to add that I run in a friendly rural area, and when I do see anyone on a run - quite often i see no-one - they usually respond to my cheery greetings as I pass by several metres away.

My question is, should I be thinking about running (and cycling) shorter distances? Or doing shorter laps so I don't go so far from home? (I'm rubbish at laps, once I pass my front gate that's it, generally). I'm slow, so a 5k run with a bit of walking is taking me at least 40 minutes.

I thought this would already have been discussed but couldn't find it - apologies if it's a well-worn topic.

14 Replies

My advice would be stay away from any social media with that kind of vibe on it. There does seem to be a lot of resentment in certain quarters, but are you referring to the echo chamber of people you don’t know (eg the soft of stuff posted in droves BTL on the Daily Mail), or to stuff posted by actual friends?

The government is clear that running is allowed, so to me the question is whether you can continue to do it safely. If you are not experiencing difficulties in maintaining social distancing on your routes and are not receiving aggravation from any people you pass, then the only issue is whether you take notice of social media.


Just do exactly as you are. You are not doing any harm . Running on your own , cycling on your own that's fine.

You'll probably find its people that don't run or are just jealous that they've never even tried. Be happy , keep running / cycling 😊🏃‍♀️🚴‍♂️


Well, as someone who doesn't really 'do' social media, I wasn't aware of this with regards to runners. The media in general seems more focused on those who are bending or breaking the rules with regards to social distancing guidelines as they stand - and running or excercising is allowed as long as we are able to do it safely.

I am only going out for 5-6k runs at the moment and am doing my best to seek out the quietest routes I can. On this morning's run, for example, I think I saw about 4 dog walkers and one other runner. We were all able to keep our required distance from each other, although with some paths being narrower than others, this can sometimes mean someone stopping and stepping to the side a little, to let the other through. It's a small adjustment to make isn't it?

I think ultimately, we have to do what we feel comfortable with (within the guidelines). If I genuinely felt I could not run safely away from others then I would probably not go out 🙁 and just exercise at home instead (that would definately mean no running, as my garden is too small!)

At the moment we are allowed that exercise and all the physical and mental wellbeing that come with it - so I fully intend to keep running while I can! Sounds like you should too!

Take care and stay safe.🙂🌈


Just do your thing. You are doing nothing wrong. Blotting out the background noise is a key skill!! 😊


My first piece of advice would be to give up social media, especially in times like this. Social media is unreal. The very people who are pontificating from a height were the very same people who were on beaches 2 weeks ago with their families and friends. So pay no attention to them. I left Facebook over 5 years ago and I’m all the better for it. I’m not on any other platforms either except here and I follow parkrun on Twitter for cancellations etc. But I only follow parkrun on Twitter.

If you can Maintain safe social distancing then run away. I get out everyday for a 5K run on my own. I’m using a route which has wide paths and a cycle path so I can stay more than 2 meters away from anyone that I pass. I’m only going out to do the big shop once every 10 days or so. Otherwise we are staying in our house and our back garden. My daily 30 minute 5K is no one else’s business but mine and I’m not apologising for it. Especially not to morons on Facebook.



I agree with Codfish, just stay away from negative social media.

There's no difference as far as I can see between running for your exercise, and walking, except that you're probably keeping your lung function in better health.

Try to run at less popular times of the day. Obviously, you're going to be practicing social distancing. I haven't experienced any direct negativity, but I did cut a 10k run short the other day because it's difficult to run anywhere, except around my estate at the moment and I felt uncomfortably visible.

Best wishes

Lots of great advice given! Keep running & stay healthy!

There is a bit of anti going out and doing anything on social media, in spite of official encouragement. Because being fit and active gives us a better chance of resisting infection, the govt wants us to keep going out, but some people insist on shouting at everyone to STAY INSIDE. Ignore them, carry on doing what you're doing. It's good for you, it's harming nobody else, as long as you keep your distance 👍


Thank you all for the great encouragement which is the best part of this forum.

I appreciate the point about social media, and I have cut right down on my use of Twitter after a burst of use a few weeks ago, but I am reluctant to give up Facebook as there is lots of good stuff on it for me at the moment. The main comments which bothered me were on a post from a former colleague whom I would normally regard as very balanced and sensible, and I was quite taken aback by his views and those of his Facebook friends.

Only last night however I had a similar discussion on a very supportive WhatsApp group where I know most of the members personally. One member has a neighbour who is showing symptoms of Covid-19, and met her teenage children out walking their dogs in a narrow lane. She quite bravely, I thought, phoned her friend to tell her that her children's actions were putting others at risk. TBH the kids were pretty silly, if they were desperate to walk themselves or the dog there are times of day when you meet almost no-one. And the other key point is that with no tests for Covid-19 the mother *might* just have been suffering from a cold, although even then the guidance is very clear, that you must stay at home for 14 days.

But in the subsequent WhatsApp discussion, once again, the view was "If we had real lockdown like Spain, Italy, even Dubai no-one would dare go out. What's a bit of exercise compared to saving lives?"

I suspect we will all feel increasing pressure to stay at home in the coming days and weeks, thanks to the behaviour of a very small number of idiots who drive to Wales to go kitesurfing, or light BBQs on Brighton beach :( and in the meantime, I'm off out for a run...

Runnf in reply to Kalessin

FWIW, I live in Brighton & it's very quiet here. Beaches empty except for press photographers- all media lies.

Separately, I know what you mean about running, & I'm glad you've posted this.

I find it easiest to go out early & pick routes with wide or quiet streets. Not really because of people judging, but because there are loads of new runners around on my normally quiet routes, for a start, & because I don't want to worry anyone by making them think I might pass them too closely. It's just easiest for lots of reasons. (Sadly I live a bit too far from the beach to run there, or I could experience it without tourists for once - and get my red face in the papers😂)

Happy running to you ☺️

I hadn’t really picked anything up until I watched the main BBC news last night and there was a couple interviewed who were complaining about runners coming too near and ‘breathing too hard’ in their space so I think there probably is a bit of antipathy to us out there. Like others who have posted I’m deliberately avoiding popular running areas like our local reservoir and walkway, which is too narrow being a disused railway line. I find the local streets are totally deserted apart from dog walkers. Maybe they will be next in the firing line! Keep on running people.

I joined yesterday to try and connect with my neighbours and see if anyone needed help and the only post on there since the lockdown began was someone asking if they should call the police on their neighbour for going out for a jog twice in one day! Immediately deleted the app and my account. I have noticed though that I've gone out at the same time on the same days for nearly a year now and I have never seen so many people on my route than the last few weeks. I thought maybe I just noticed people more now that I'm stepping off the curb or crossing the road to avoid them but no, there's definitely more people outside than normal. All keeping 2m apart so I'm not overly concerned or saying they shouldn't be out, but I'm also not going to apologise for doing the one thing that's keeping me sane right now when I passed 2 families of 5 out for a leisurely stroll on my way!

There was a letter in our local paper the other day from a walker complaining that runners didn’t move out of the way, so it’s not just on social media. I couldn’t be bothered to respond to say that in my experience it tends to be the other way round, the walkers seem to be set on their path and expect everyone to avoid them! So I suspect that everyone’s at fault - or none! I would say carry on with what you’re doing and give a cheery hello as you pass, most will respond and those grumpy so-and-sos who don’t probably aren’t worth worrying about!


I think you are doing fine.

I'm doing 5 or 6K every other day and either go out early or choose less popular routes. Its such a joy still. yesterday as I was running I ran past an older lady walking her dog. I called out " Good morning, are you well?" " yes thanks and you?" came the cheery reply. "All good " I replied. " Let's keep it that way" She smiled, I waved, and we went our separate ways.

For me that's how we get through this! KEEP RUNNING!

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