homer_runningYou’re an idiot.  There, I said it.

Go ahead and curse me if you want, but I’m calling you out for what you are. An idiot.

Alright fine, it’s possible you aren’t as dumb as I think you are, but there’s a high probability that if you aren’t acting like an idiot now, you have the past or you will start acting like one in the near future.

Kind of depressing, right?  It’s tough being an idiot.

I know I run like an idiot all the time.  I’ll go through months of acting exactly how I shouldn’t.  Blaming injuries on the wrong cause (me), avoiding workouts when I need them most, and pretending I’m a better runner than I am at that moment.

It’s easy to do because it feels terrible looking at yourself critically.

That’s why we quit, and that’s why we are totally dumbfounded when we don’t reach our goals.

Now, I hope you understand I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just trying to help you out.  You’re welcome.  I’m also trying to help myself out.

It’s time we quit running like idiots.

4 Idiot Moves and How to Correct Them

The first step to idiot runner recovery is admitting you have a problem.  The second step is figuring out what you can do to fix that problem.

Let’s get right to it.  Stop doing these 4 things, and you’ll run a lot less like an idiot:

1) Stop trying to do it on your own. For the most part running is a solo sport, but trying to train and get stronger on your own is one of the biggest mistakes a runner can make.  Whether you’re training for a 5k or a 50k, working with others is one of the best ways to keep you motivated and get stronger.

  • Social pressure is a must for many runners.  Find a local running group, like the Rock Creek Runners, that meets regularly for group runs.
  • Take advantage of training groups for upcoming local races, and utilize pace groups if the race offers them.
  • Find a coach.  They aren’t just for the pros anymore.  If one-on-one is too expensive, find online coaching groups, like the steller Run Your BQ which I use myself.
  • Find an online community forum or podcast that fits your needs, and stalk the numerous running blogs providing a web-based community full of free and powerful training advice.

2) Stop injuring yourself. Seems like a no brainer, but chances are that injury didn’t come from the new shoes or tough workout with the running club.  You almost certainly injured yourself, so quit being an idiot and start making a few simple adjustments.

3) Stop making excuses. Enough already!  We get it.  You’re busy, tired, and don’t always find running fun.  Stop with the excuses and get out there!

4) Stop avoiding tough workouts.  Sometimes you love them, most of the time you hate them.  Like it or not, tough workouts are key for any successful runner.  It’s time to quit logging only idiot junk miles and tackle those tough workouts full steam.

The light at the End of the Idiot Tunnel

See, I told you it wasn’t too bad.

Dropping the idiot habits and raising your runner IQ doesn’t have to be hard.

I’m willing to be that for most of your biggest blunders, you already know how to correct.  So the next time you lace up those shoes, use your head and stop making the mistakes that make you run like an idiot.

The tunnel is shorter than you think, now go run after that light.

Author Doug Hay is the founder of Rock Creek Runner, host of the Trail Talk podcast, and fanatical about everything trail running -- beards, plaid shirts, bruised toenails, and all. He and his wife live and run in beautiful Black Mountain, NC.

Support Rock Creek Runner by shopping at:


2 thoughts on “Stop Running Like An Idiot

  1. Based on the title of this post, I expected to read advice that includes: Don’t run with headphones that keep you oblivious to your surroundings. Don’t make sudden lateral moves or quick u-turns on heavily used multi-use paths without looking around you. Don’t dash across crosswalks and other intersections when you don’t have the right of way. These things also qualify as running like an idiot.

  2. Thanks for reminding me that I’m an idiot 😉

    One of the things I that I’m guilty of on your list is going it alone. I keep telling myself that I’m going to join a running group, but to date I haven’t done so. For the most part, I haven’t found one that fits my schedule, but that’s not really a great excuse. Thanks for the kick in the pants.

Leave a Reply