When you absolutely have to tell other runners how to run better,
which just happens to mean running more like you.
So, you’re just chatting with a friend in a group of runners when you say something innocent like, “I can’t seem to figure out my hydration on hot runs,” and suddenly everyone around you has a damn opinion about what your problem is — even if they know nothing about you. Let the runsplaining begin!
“Oh, you’re just not using electrolytes in your drink mix.”
“Why haven’t you tried salt pills?” (dumb ass)
“Salty snacks, like pretzels. And salt packs.”
“No, pickle brine and shoulder bacon!”
“You’re just not heat trained.”
It doesn’t matter if you’ve already tried all of that. Everyone thinks their solution is the one that amazingly works for everyone else, even if they don’t even know your name let alone how much you sweat.
What’s Wrong with Runsplaining?
Maybe nothing. But all too often, we assume that what works our diet, training, injuries, weight loss, equipment and so on, will magically work for everyone else. This is not only conceited, it’s often wildly inaccurate and even dangerous.
Telling someone to take less water, for instance, could result in serious dehydration for heavier sweaters. We are all different people with different abilities and bodies. We just need to consider that in giving advice to others.
Does that Mean We Shouldn’t Give Advice?
Of course not, but maybe we should wait for someone to ask, unless they’re clearly in dire need of assistance or about to do something dangerous, and in either case try to couch our suggestions as just that — not the only way to do something, not wisdom from on high, but just suggestions that we’ve found work for us.
Don’t Take Runsplaining Too Seriously
It’s just a meme. You see someone wearing white running socks after Labor Day? Let them know. Idiots.
Comments or Examples?
Have any great / funny / awful examples of runsplaining? Let me know in the comments below. BTW, I just made runsplaining up and I doubt I’m the first. For words I didn’t make up, check out the Ultra Running Glossary.