I was on my way home from work to the train this evening, when I encountered a gentleman out running. He was rounding the corner from Park Road onto the Ormeau Road in Belfast and nearly careened into a mother wheeling a double buggy.
He was forced to react at the last minute and adjust his line. However he made the fatal mistake of checking his watch and with his head down to the ground ran straight into a rubbish bin.
It was fucking hilarious. Top quality comedy. But I felt for him.
It got me to thinking that you can tell new runners easily by how they act when running.
Here are 8 behaviours and traits that are often exhibited by the new runner.
- Running fast past strangers to try to impress them with their athleticism only to stop and wheeze around the corner - They will commonly run very fast past complete strangers and then slow down again once they are around the corner. I used to do this all of the time. To try to impress old grannies.
- The lost runner with new legs - You will find them miles away from their home and original destination after being caught in a massive burst or euphoria that resulted in them running 5 miles extra than they’d planned. The only problem is that they are now out of fuel and have no means of getting home as they’d only planned on running for 20 minutes. They will search through their pockets for spare cash but will invariably walk home in slow agony.
- Running laps of parks - The new runner will typically progress from the treadmill into a pleasant and safe public area like a park. To get familiar with the act of running outdoors they will run laps of the same park and will be close to passing out from dizziness. It’s hard to say whether the new park lappers ever actually stop running around the park even at night. I wouldn’t be surprised if they utilised the GPS on their watches like moths use the Moon to flit their way through the night, only stopping momentarily to refuel on precious nectar.
- Being really accident prone - If you watch a runner for long enough and see them trip up on the ground, shake their fist at imaginary enemies, narrowly avoid running into pedestrians or just generally run awkwardly then the chances are that they’re a new runner (or just really fucking clumsy. )
- Indecisiveness when crossing the road – “Oh god, oh god, oh god! Should I cross now? No! Oh shit! Fuck!” - Roads are a nuisance when you’re new to running. Do you stop or do you storm across the road and hope for the best? You can spot new runners as they will stop by the road and then try to cross only to stop again. It’s a bad deal as I used to have terrible anxiety crossing roads. Most of the time I’d just close my eyes, sprint and hope for the best. Terrifying in retrospect. I never ever stopped when crossing the road. It seemed like cheating at the time.
- Constantly checking phone or watch whilst running - And thinking ‘What? I’ve only been running for 6 minutes? It feels like I’ve been running for fucking hours!’
- Staring into space in a state of shock with their arms on their hips - Like a child lost in a supermarket, you will often walk past this runner after they’ve exhausted any remaining energy and are burning up inside mentally too. It’s best not to approach the runner as they will be cranky and not appreciate your goodwill. Instead just nod at them sombrely as if they are an ancient ghost standing on a pavement of pain.
- Pure bright red runners - Most new runners burn red with a mixture of self hatred, embarrassment and wheezing. In my case my wheezing would trigger feelings of humiliation. Then the self hatred would naturally follow for allowing myself to get this out of shape in the first place.
I’d like to thank the gentleman tonight for running into the bin. Without your act of selflessness I would not have had any material for a post.
by Matt the Angry Jogger
Angry Jogger loves running to lose and maintain his weight. He started running as an obese man and is now only overweight at 200lbs. He started off at 280lbs.