Couch to 5K
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Am I being unreasonable?

Ok the title is very mums net when they post silly questions. I have been doing some recovery runs as I twinged my Achilles and took time out, my stupid fault, I did a 14 km run in new shoes. Dumb! Anyhoo, getting back into it, going nice and slow listening for any pain. I run in my local park, the Thames path is asphalt, about 3 m wide and 1.5 km long. I am just easing into it, many people pass. A mum and her son who had passed me earlier stop up ahead, I carry on working away, and when I draw level they start running with me, right next to me. I sped up, they gave up. Now I gave up smoking last year and I run to manage anxiety. I felt pretty annoyed by this. Am I being unreasonable as I tend to give other runners a lot of space, for example I don't run side by side with someone I don't know, I go somewhere else. If it had been me, I would have waited a few seconds then set off.

3 Replies

Personal space is a different concept for different people, dependant on so many things such as culture, upbringing and location. Other folks may not have the same sensibilities as you and may not even be aware that they are invading what you perceive as your own inviolable space.

As a country dweller, I am always amazed at the extremes that city dwellers go to in an effort to avoid eye contact or even acknowledgement of the existence of someone who is only a matter of feet from them. Us yokels tend to say hello to everyone we meet, but then, for the most part, we do not live lives in such close proximity to our neighbours, so maybe we are more friendly when we do meet.

I know this is not quite the same as having someone physically crowding you, but life is short, you parted in your own directions, probably never to meet again, so I would recommend that next time this happens you strike up a conversation with your temporary running partner. You have running in common, so why not.

Keep running, keep smiling.


No, this would annoy me too because I'm naturally a very suspicious person and hate it when people I don't know and trust invade my space. Not quite the same but I always ask why some drivers, rather than wait a few measly seconds before the road is completely clear, venture out from a side road right in front of me. Grrrrrr.

But the good thing is you ran faster and escaped 😊

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I understand the concept of space and get your feelings, but also agree with Ianno about cultural things. I once stayed in a much more rural location for a few months (tho only 10 miles away). My son went out for a run from there and a man said " should have brought your dog, lad". Point was, he just assumed there would be a dog of the house. There was, but no one would just assume that in the town- and that's just a ten mile difference in England!


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