David Freeze: Gotta Run

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 10, 2018

Things to ask a runner, but beware what you might get

There are certain things that runners like to talk about. In fact, if you ask a runner any of these questions, you might hear them talk way more than usual. Often the quietest person, who just happens to be a runner, will open up and chatter non-stop. Normally introverted runners will become extroverted right before your eyes. Two comfortable chairs under a shade tree, the tailgate on a pickup truck or just about any place comfortable could definitely both enhance and extend the conversation.

  1. How did you get started running? First run, first time you didn’t hate running, first blister, first 5K (or race of any distance).
  2. What pace do you run? This is a huge ice breaker, and often full of best case scenarios. An old adage is “A seven minute pace is worth seven years of talk”. Pace is how runners size each other up.
  3. What is your weekly mileage? Or how far did you run this weekend? What was your long run this week? You will be starting to get into serious specifics here, but the window opens even more questions.
  4. What do you eat before you run? Or what do you eat before your long run? Runners love to talk about what they eat, almost as much as they love to eat.
  5. This is an extension of #4. So, what do you eat after a run? What is your favorite post run snack? Or get more specific and ask about water and other hydration choices and any kind of vitamins or supplements taken.
  6. What time do you get up to run? This is only important to morning runners but it is also the one that might be my own favorite topic. I currently get up about 4:45, which has consistently become earlier over the years. Imagine doing this after a midnight World Series or basketball playoff game. Getting up really early is a badge that often is a seen as a sign of commitment.
  7. Oh, do you have a running injury? OK, but once you finish describing it, I might tell you about every running injury I have ever had that might be similar. Or might not be similar. Some runners seem to keep a running injury around just for a conversation starter.
  8. What is your favorite distance? Has it always been your favorite? Do you get to race much at that distance?
  9. What is your favorite race? What makes it special? Was it because of a really cool medal or commemorative t-shirt or the medal or trophy that you got for just finishing? Did you finish in a personal record time or was it the bridge that you ran over just before the midway point?
  10. Got any good races coming up? Do you have a fall marathon or half marathon planned?
  11. What is your favorite brand and model of shoes? How much cushioning do they have? What is the best deal you got on those shoes lately? When did you last change brands?
  12. Where is your favorite place to train? Trails, roads and do you mix in some cross training? Do you spend time on the bike or swimming? How about weights?
  13. What are your goals?

As you see, this could go on and on. Runners just love to talk about running! And if you are not a runner, you will have a friend for life when you ask a runner these questions.

The next race is the Shiloh Missions 5K in Faith on June 30th. Looks for more information on it and other events at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org