Do You Talk While You Race?


No two individuals are alike. Not even twins. Same goes with runners. One is fast, the other is slow. Others are serious. Some not so serious. And the list goes on.

Are you one of those runners who enjoy talking while racing? Well, good for you. I can’t. As simple as that. That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to talk to you. I do! But not during race time. I believe some runners are quiet, others chatty. I am more of the former.

Whooah! Hold on! Before you say something about this let me first tell you my story. As a runner I want to hear the sounds around me. I want to be aware of my surrounding. I want to listen. To be more focused of what’s ahead of me.

If I get to see familiar faces on their way back I try to do a high five, say a few words like “Go, go, go!” and sometimes shout. But I can never engage myself in a conversation while running. Well except when doing a long run. I did try once … twice. But no, I really can’t. I need to concentrate. If I can’t concentrate I don’t think I can finish.

As a runner, there are many thoughts going on in my mind. Some are good. Some are dilemmas. I don’t know about you.

One Sunday, while doing a long slow distance with Maui, a fellow Happy Feet, I allowed her to talk to me. I allowed her to engage me in a conversation. But guess what? All I could say was “yeah” “uhms” “ah”. After the LSD, if Maui asked me to recap the whole thing, I can’t. Because I did not listen! Remember … this happened during a long run. How much more if during a race?

I didn’t intend to be a snob. One time, in the recently held Milo Marathon race, I had to say to a fellow runner, a friend of mine, rather bluntly, “don’t talk to me!” Well, that was really bad. My apologies my friend. But please don’t take that against me. I’m no talker when racing.

I once read from a leading running magazine that if you still have that energy to talk while racing, it means you are not doing much effort with your running. Now, if you are eavesdropping to what runners either ahead of you or behind you are talking you are not racing my dear.

I really, really appreciate you calling my name and saying words of encouragement. I really do. If we get to see each other, do chat with me over a postrun drink. What do you think?

Now, am throwing the ball at you. Is talking during a race rude? Is engaging a fellow runner in a conversation during a race rude? Let me know what you think. Because I wonder …

31 thoughts on “Do You Talk While You Race?

  1. i don't think it's rude. i sometimes talk during a race, but that's on the first few kilometers. hindi pa warmed up eh. but when adrenalin kicks in, pakonti ng pakonti ang talk ko. but when i see someone that i know during a race, i always call their names and say words of encouragement or give them high fives. last Milo mara, timmy and I saw you near the navy (baywalk area, about 2.5Kms to finish line). we called you & you waved at us. =)

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  2. I remember my running clinic instructor telling us that if one can still converse comfortably with a runner beside him during a race, he's not running at race pace. Meaning, he's running too slow. Personally, I can't converse during a race because I go all out to get a good time or even a PR. It's hard to talk when you're trying to get a good rhytmm with your breathing and pace.I love reading your posts by the way. Take care.

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  3. Bong, my sentiments exactly. πŸ˜€ Thank you for reading my post. I do also appreciate you taking time out of your busy sked to drop by my blog. Carry on! πŸ˜‰

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  4. I am normally not chatty during a race, although I sometimes make exceptions for very close friends and if the topic is urgent or interesting. But I do make it a point to greet people I know during races.

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  5. I've been talking a lot in the recent races. One day I will concentrate and run a good race.Tiffin doesn't talk when racing.Mark & Tiffn

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  6. Roselle, you opened my eyes by this revelation! I never thought that some runners (like you) don't like to talk while running. Well, different strokes for different folks as they say. As for me, I enjoy running without talking to anyone in the same manner that I also enjoy talking with the person running with me. In short, I enjoy running with or without the conversation. Thank you for telling me this. I have this habit of talking with anyone I encounter during the race. Maybe I should be more prudent next time.

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  7. Interesting topic here. I don't know if there is an entry on the etiquette book about talking during races. I normally don't talk during a race but during the Mizuno 15k, I found out that I can. One old timer struck a conversation with me at the Kalayaan flyover, i welcomed it and we were chatting until we got separated at the turnaround – he slowed down for a drink while i went after Tessa Prieto who overtook me at that mark. Up until that point, I think we were doing a 6:30. I guess for short distances, we need all the focus we can muster… but for longer distances, chatting can be a way take our minds off the pain and pressure and allow the legs to go on autopilot. But still, different strokes for different folks. I think the chatty ones need to be sensitive. If you want to chat during a race, make sure that the other person is on the same page. Back off at the slightest sign of disapproval and move on. For the laser focused, be direct but tactful. Just say \”Sorry, cant talk\”… or you'll be in for the longest 5k race you've ever done. Good post RunningDiva. I've been to your page a few times and this is my first time to post a comment. I guess i'll just have to give you a wave when i get to meet you in one of these races πŸ˜‰

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  8. Hi speedy Mark whether you talk or not you're still fast man! πŸ˜€ One of the reasons why I wanted to pace with Tiffin is she's not a talker just like me. πŸ˜€ That's what we call comfortable silence. Carry on!

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  9. \”Different strokes for different folks\” a line from a popular song Points of View. πŸ˜€ One of my favorites. Hi Ms. Nora the Golden Girl this is one of the reasons I made a post like this because just like you I wanted also to greet friends while running. But in as much as I wanted to chat with them my body and feet are telling me otherwise. A high five will do! See you on Sunday! πŸ˜‰

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  10. Paul my friend Maui told me that. Talking or chatting while running long distances takes off the boredom. But for me I welcome it. That time I am not talking I do reflect on a lot of things. So you've said, \”different strokes for different folks. I couldn't agree more. I do admire people like you or Ms. Nora who can talk while running. I wish I could. May be that's one thing I still have yet to learn. After all running is a great teacher of our strenghts and weaknesses. Please do say \”hi\” or wave when you get to see me along the way. Just shout your name and I'll remember you. Thank you so much for your comment and for visiting this blog. Carry on my friend.

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  11. I do not think it's rude to talk during race particularly if it is greetings, plesantries, or how are you. This will even be an inspiration to the other runner. However, if the talk will be \”complaints\”, \”miseries\”, \”problems\” and the likes, then it becomes a downer and rude to the other runner who has other things at hand than be a counselor or adviser to the talker.

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  12. hi running diva…i also have this dont-talk-to-me attitude, not because i dont wanna listen, but because i cant say anything nor comment, kasi i gasp for air hahahaha,dahil tabachichoy,, so i just listen to what my running buddy is saying and just like you, say uhuh, okay, yeah,, but also another reason is,,, 'cuz i just love my iPod songs,, so, i'd rather listen to music than chat while running.. i think as runners, we should know na if the one beside us wants to be left alone or what… Ciao!!

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  13. Lugs!:D How are you doing out there! Me, too, I gasp for air. I couldn't say or I struggle to say the words. That's it! Thanks for dropping by. When are you coming back? πŸ˜‰

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  14. Sir Amado, I try to run ahead of a runner or fall behind if I hear him/her whining. πŸ˜€ Thanks for visiting. Hats off to you and the takbo.ph team during the Botak Marathon for your support. πŸ˜€

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  15. Hi Argonaut! πŸ˜€ Now you know. hahahaEy, thanks for dropping by. They (your takbo.ph friends) were looking for last night, Thursday. Where were you? πŸ˜€ See you on Sunday for RH. πŸ˜‰

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  16. Hi,Last week I did some easy runs on the treadmill. To test if my pace was easy, I tried talking to my husband, who was on the treadmill beside mine. I found that I could talk, meaning my breathing could take it. But I couldn't reply as I normally could, hehe. It was as if my comprehension was at a lower level. I guess that's because I'd prefer my mind to be focused on my body when I'm running. πŸ™‚ So, me too, I'm not fond of talking while running.

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  17. Just my 2 cents. I think, whether I am breaking a PR or khet World record pa, I will at least say hi when someone took an effort to greet me. Our running friends have an option to ignore us, they dont have to greet us, they are not required to smile at us… but they chose to do it bec they value us and the friendship.I am also not a talker(kya nga lonerunner e) when running, but when someone talks to me I will talk and will listen. I will let my run suffer than lose a friend… which I think is more important than running…. I will always choose a pal over a good run. meron pa naman ibang race eh. Jus my opinion. Ismit H.

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  18. Hi Ms. Ria. Thank you so much for dropping by. I really am thinking along that way–test my run on a treadmill if I can talk then eventually test it during road races. I visited your blog and I was humbled to see a notable figure took time out to comment here. BTW, I had the chance of working with Jon Santos for just an hour or two during a launching of a product in 2002 by one of the telecommunication companies in the country. He was a very humble artist. Until now I can still remember him asking me, \”tama na ba ang pagkasabi ko sa cue ko?\” For your talent in music, I salute you. πŸ˜€

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  19. Hello Smith(hy). πŸ˜€ It was nice to bump into you last Milo Marathon run. You really give time to talk with a fellow runner during races. πŸ˜€ To me, I respect that. And I do consider that a unique trait of a runner. Thank you so much Lonerunner for visiting my blog. Greatly, greatly appreciated.But again, if I did not talk to any of my friends while running–instead did raise my hand, salute them, or smile at them–that doesn't make me a lesser friend. πŸ˜€

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  20. when i race. i rarely talk to anyone. i try to concentrate and stay focus. when you race you are aming a PR so full concentration is needed. aftewr the race you can make quento to death after.

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  21. I do when someone says Hi and or when I catch up and pace with someone I dont say anything not until they say hi, then a very short conversation. Although I like listening to conversations while pacing with other runners πŸ˜€

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  22. sometimes, particularly in a race when i pass by someone i know, i wave, smile or i say hi to them or cheer for them. but for me i really, really don't like talking to someone when running. i feel like my energy is being used up to something that can be done after the run. and like you is someone talk to me while running all i can say is \”yes\”, \”aha\”, or \”no\”.even when hubby is pacing me, i tell him before the race that i don't want a chat, i just want to run. πŸ˜‰

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  23. hey roselle! LSD tayo sa Sunday… I have so much kwento for you. haha! ituring mo nalang akong iPod mo. joke lang πŸ˜‰ really enjoy running with you… monologue is my cure for aching calves and burning quads while running. hehe! see you Sunday! πŸ˜€

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  24. Let, how are you? Long time no see, a! Thanks for dropping by and for your comment. Now at least I know that I'm not alone in this. πŸ˜€ Will definitely say \”hi\” to you when I get to see you in one of the races. Carry on!

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  25. Maui, that was a good run yesterday with mostly Happy Feet peeps. I miss that one. To finish it with a good breakfast at the Legaspi market was really awesome! πŸ˜€ I look forward to the next one. I didn't mind of course you being my iPod πŸ˜€ hahaha Just kidding!

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  26. wow ang dami na comment! πŸ™‚ ako i talk, pero during the start lang. usually, mga first 2K siguro i get to chat and get kulit as i'm not yet totally warmed up or into the race itself πŸ™‚ pero once i get \”in the zone\”, i tend to break away from the pack and be a masunget runner that i may seem when running. i do get to initiate the high fives and greetings when passing by fellow runners, pero most of the time when serious mode kicks in, tahimik na ako πŸ™‚ hehehe o ha, the kenkoy runner has his serious running moments too!:)for me din naman, i don't think it's rude not to \”reply\” to other runners, i think ang mas rude pa nga is yung sa ibang runners i see, they tend to overtake people kahit kita na nila na ahead ung ibang tao para lang masabing they \”finished strong\” yun lang πŸ˜‰ see you on the roads running AND singing diva! πŸ™‚

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  27. Ey Kenkoy Timmy nice of you to drop by. Whooa! Long comment din. Woot! Woot! Based on the comments here I can only say that each one of us do respect each other. I'm happy that I'm not alone with my dilemma. I'll try to do my best to talk (if I can and when I can). Just give me enough time to practice. In the mean time, will a high five or salute will do whenever I get to see you? ;)I'll definitely see you at the Starting Line!

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