Running: not enough camaraderie?

On my run today I was thinking of this forum (for lack of a better term) and how nice it is to communicate with people that are, are due to, or have been what you've gone through on the C25k course.

I did however notice how much this contrasted with the general reality of running. Many would agree it is a selfish activity unless running with others. I imagine that due to having to listen and run in time to Laura's commands, it would make this difficult anyway before graduating and running the set 5k?

On my run today (w4r1) I ran past a good 5 - 7 people doing the same activity going in the opposite direction and they didn't even glance at me. Fair enough we might be 'in the zone' when running, but I am maybe expecting a bit much to have a smile from others in the same situation.

It's just a bit of a shame, in my opinion, that the lovely (I'm perhaps using that word too often) shared experience on this website is such a contrast to the physical activity of running in a park.

Anyone agree/ disagree?


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

39 Replies

oldest β€’ newest
  • Completely agree; there are some miserable b#gg#rs out there. A bit of politeness and shared acknowledgement of effort doesn't cost anything but it does seem to be beyond some folk. If I'm honest I think it's simple bad manners. I always make an effort to smile, say good morning or something but it's frequently not reciprocated. I said good morning to one miserable bugger not so long ago as he overtook me. Later, I came to the same person running towards me so this time I shouted Good Morning at him; he at least had the good grace to look a bit embarrassed!

  • I'm glad he managed to look a tad embarrassed, I might manufacture cards to hand to people I find running when I do saying 'smiling won't slow you down or tire you out any more, you know.' Or perhaps I'll personalise a t-shirt stating something similar.

    Perhaps if I made a top that had 'Couch to 5k' written on it I might meet someone on the programme who would more than likely at least wave. Ah well, at least we have kind mannered and encouraging Laura, eh.

    Thanks for the comment OldNed, I hope life as a graduate is as rewarding as I anticipate it will be.


  • "A smile won't slow you down" that's a good one. Isn't there c25k t shirts for graduation? Sure I've seen a post about those.


    Not sure if I'd rather draw the logo on myself with a sharpie :/

  • Oh fair enough.

  • Ooh, they're not bad, thanks for the link Liz fish 😊

  • Yep, there are some ill-mannered folk out there, I've found that too. A post on here a week or so ago raised exactly the same point. Clearly, we're all fab on here and courteous to our fellow runners ... Let's make ourselves responsible for chivvying out the politeness with the others out there! Keep on waving, smiling, and hello'ing ... We're all happy to be alive and fit, eh? Main thing is, keep enjoying ourselves :) Cheers, Linda

  • I'll never stop smiling or waving at others, regardless of their reciprocation or lack of. Hopefully this will inspire others to do the same. I'll let you know if this works.

    I'm sure I'll always be enjoying myself whilst on this programme, so I'm not too worried about that, I can only hope others enjoy it so much.

    Mike x

  • Totally agree with you Mike. I've passed a few and some will say hi or smile, others just whizz past me without looking. At least we can look like happy joggers, lol 😊

  • I too find that, in general, runners are a miserable shower. On the other hand, when I'm on a trail and pass walkers, they have yet to fail to respond to a cheery "Morning".

    In fact, they often ask where I'm going and I end up stopping to chat - but only for a minute. Got to keep running, you know!

  • Hey Malcy, thanks for the comment.

    I too have noticed that now I think about it - when I pass people walking they more often than not at least smile at me. Whilst I'm on the programme I'm sticking to it to such an extent that I couldn't allow myself to stop running or walking briskly to say more than 'morning!' to a passer by. Gotta keep running. Though I think I might be in such shock if a runner responded politely that I might either fall over or start to walk a bit slower which would allow such an interaction with those moving slower.

    Perhaps walkers might say hi more readily because they appreciate (as I would and do when I walk and see runners) that running takes a lot more effort than walking, and so should be at least met with some subtle form of admiration in the way of a greeting?

  • I have to admit that I quite like running alone. I love the chance to just think and be quiet but then I have two little children at home who love to talk non-stop!

    I am very shy and find it very hard to smile at other runners. I do try but usually end up just doing a sort of scary grin or studying my watch intently or stopping to tie a shoelace :-(

    So if you see a beetroot faced lady running past and grinning in a slightly odd way I'm not being rude just shy. Sorry.

  • Hi Skendras, thank you for the comment.

    I can see clear reasons why you prefer to run alone, and I'm confident I might be the same were in your position!

    If I thought that those denying my existence, to dramatise it a bit, were doing so out of shyness then as far as I'm concerned fair enough. A 'slightly odd' grin or clear sign of shyness such as looking in another direction or distracting oneself with a shoelace or watch is much better than doing so out of ignorance.

    It'd be a pleasure to pass you, however unlikely that may be my being nowhere near Epsom. I'm glad to hear you had a nice run today, and that the weather with you has been as nice at is has with me.

    Mike x

  • *perhaps glad to 'read' would make more sense, no-one has 'told' me anything. Ha.

  • Aww bless you Skendras. That's true though, I guess some are unsure whether to smile or just look ahead. A smile costs nothing though. I found it harder to do my first 5k a couple of weeks ago on a park run with other people. I'm not used to talking and running and I can talk for Wales, lol, but I guess it's something to get used to and it must be quite nice to run with some new friends too though.

  • I'm quite reserved about smiling or nodding at other runners, but that's partially because I feel a bit sheepish thinking they're 'proper' runners and I'm not. I do smile at pedestrians quite a lot though, especially if they've got a wee kiddie with them or a dog. I will resolve to smile/nod/wave at more fellow runners. It does leave the tricky question of laps though? What does one do on the second or third time of meeting?! ;-)

  • Hey Lizfish, ironically I feel like others don't smile often because they consider themselves to be 'proper' or 'elite' runners. I struggle a bit with this because if a year from now I'm training for a marathon I canny imagine not smiling at someone else, particularly if I had the impression they were struggling or new to the sport.

    As for a second or third time, I would likely say something like 'I know you're following me' (and smile), or 'isn't it nice how the weather's kept up since we last passed!', or of course 'much longer to go?', etc.

    Mike x

  • I fear perhaps I am just a miserable sod. But will try and do better!

  • Well you don't sound like one so you're at least half way there ;) x

  • First passing is 'hello'.

    Second: hello again.

    Third: still going.

    Fourth: almost there.

    Fifth: are the zombies still chasing me?

    Sixth: we've got to stop meeting like this.....


  • Ha! At the moment I'm only running for 5 mins tops so I've little chance of passing someone six times unless I run around them, but love the idea ^. I'm a bit worried my keeping a straight face when saying 'are the zombies still chasing me' might cause more harm than good mentally?

  • He he he zombies! Although there is an app for that isn't there? Might try that for the speed training post 5k.

  • If you've got big headphones you can always point at them and say the voices are pushing you on, to run faster and further! I wouldn't if you've got tiny in the ear jobbies, people might send the men with the white coats after you!

    Though they'd have to catch you first......

  • I like your style Beads, lol

  • I totally agree, there are some miserable people about. I smile at everyone whether they like it or not. It makes me so cross when you see another runner approaching and when you get level they either blank you or look away. I have been known to mutter the words 'miserable sod' under my breathe which probably comes out much louder than I think when I'm plugged into my ear phones!! Oops. Claire. X

  • Hi Claire, thanks for the comment.

    :) I often say think out loud something like 'it must suck to be you' probably a bit too loud too trying to speak over Laura saying 'you're half way there' whilst thinking 'ONLY HALF WAY?'.

    I am yet to meet a runner that does smile back, and it seems unfortunately unlikely I will pass you in the West Midlands :(. I'll be sure to write a separate blog on the day I do pass someone that reciprocates good manners and I'm sure I'll be a changed runner. Ha.

    Mike x

  • Have to say its not just other runners that ignore you.The track I jog on is also used by cyclists and they always seem to expect that you should make way for them or risk being mowed down. Never does a thank you pass from their lips. Needless to say I frequently respond loudly with"Thats Ok dont bother to thank me".

    However today two lovely ladies who ran passed me (not difficult to do as I am sooo slow) called out "Keep going you are doing really well " So there is hope out there .

    Keep smiling :-)

  • :) they sound lovely. I've never understood that about cyclists.

  • When I cycle I always thank anyone who moves out of my way.

    And cyclists always nod to each other when they pass. Even lycra clad yellow-jersey-wannabee's nod at me plodding along slowly on my bike.

  • I say hi to everyone. . Get a reply from most people locally in north essex but nada from peeps in putney when I went for Sunday am run there! running in docklands this Saturday so ill let you know if east londoners are a bit more cheery!

  • reporting from harrow tonight no hellos said. .. but was in gym so doesn't count. ...

  • thanks for the update, I guess the gym doesn't count. Looking forward to finding out what east londoners are like :)

  • I'm very shy, clearly overweight, run at the pace of a snail and my face turn into beetroot as soon as I start running, so I feel very uncomfortable passing "proper" runners, even if I now feel like a runner myself. I used to smile and say hello but either never got hardly any response, or got snirky looks and smiles on how I look when working out (I wear old gear that I used to paint my appartment in which got stained with it. Yes, not the glamorous type of outfit I admit). I still say hello to old people who walk with their dogs but not to the other runners anymore. I don't want to get discouraged from all the efforts and sweat I've put on challenging myself and building up my confidence. I probably sound miserable, and I wish it was different but at least I get all the support I need with this wonderful community and hopefully people find me supportive as well here. I wish it was the same where I train... Maybe should I try again? :-)

  • I've been running now since 5th Jan and never had an acknowledgement from a single runner until Monday. It was an older gent and we crossed paths just by the reservoir. I always try to make eye contact and smile and this time he smiled back and said hello, I nearly changed direction to catch him up and hug him! I see so many runners with earphones in and always wonder if they are C25Kers. I can't imagine any of us being as surly as most runners seem to be :O

  • From Scotland this evening, number of hello's = 4,

    number of nodding acknowledged heads =3.

    So getting friendly up here.

  • I live in central London no one ever smiles back at me, so I stopped smiling too :(

  • Interesting point. I give everyone a bit of a wave and a breathless wheeze of "morning" when I pass ..... except the other runners. I really don't know why, but I find them a bit intimidating.

    Well I suppose I'm a runner too now and guilty of being just as standoffish. From now on they will get the same greeting as the walkers (and we'll see how many at least nod their heads in passing).

  • I was out yesterday doing my usual plod when on the other side of the road going in the same direction whizzed past a younger, slimmer runner. Granted we didnt pass each other but if that was me, I would have looked back and given a polite little hand wave. I find most other runners don't give eye contact to save them having to say a hello. Yes, we sometimes are in 'the zone' but how can the rude ones be oblivious of other things around them. If that was the case, they would get knocked over by a car!

  • Here in Italy it's ingrained in everyone to say "buongiorno" or "buonasera" on entering a shop/passing acquaintances on the street/walking in the countryside, even if you don't know the person. I always greet people I meet when out and about (walking, cycling or running). Stems from walking in the mountains: self-preservation, just in case I/they get lost or have a mishap. Such a simple exchange jogs the brain into remembering who, when and where. ;-)

    Anyway, have yet NOT to get any recognition from those I meet, though have had a few strange looks as I wave and blurt out "Morning" while running instead of something in Italian (Laura's fault).

You may also like...