At a local race last Sunday a woman ahead of me all of a sudden stopped running in order to walk up the steep hill we were on. I run the race course nearly every week, and I know that hill well, so I went full steam and plowed ahead. As I passed the woman she turned to me and said, “You shouldn’t breathe with an open mouth.”
I was shocked that she had the audacity to say something like that to me. I wanted to say something snarky back but I didn’t have time because I was the one actually running in the situation, and she had to stop running to walk in the middle of a race. Uh … hey lady, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m the one with the experience to pace myself correctly to run throughout the race. But it’s cool, you just go ahead and tell me how you do it, because clearly that’s better. Obviously I need your help here.
I fumed. Who in the world races with a closed mouth? I need OXYGEN when I race. Plus, who the hell does she think she is just walking around road races chiding strangers about their running technique?
Granted, there are situations where it might be appropriate to give unsolicited advice, but there aren’t many of them. Nonetheless, the know-it-alls persist.
I know it would never be you, dear reader. But if you know someone who regularly offers unsolicited advice, here’s a handy dandy flowchart to follow:
Unless the runner explicitly asks for it, maybe you shouldn’t give advice with an open mouth.
Have you been offered unsolicited running advice?