Getting past the first 30 seconds

I follow a few thousand people on twitter, many of whom are runners of some description and I often see statements which make me raise an eyebrow, or wind me up slightly but I accept that this is part and parcel of this particular social media channel, so on the whole if someone really irritates me I simple unfollow them and don’t pay them any more attention. But there is one person in particular that I can’t seem to unfollow, despite the fact his updates really get under my skin. His twitter tagline is – whether you run XC, Track, or just for fun, we’ve all got #RunnerProbs

His update yesterday read…

@TheRunnerProbs: Can’t stand when people FBook their runs. Congrats on your JOG. Come to one of my practices, see how happy your status sounds.

Where do I start?

This is exactly the kind of attitude that makes new runners feel inadequate and the kind of behaviour that tarnishes what is otherwise a really inclusive sport. This kind of online bullying really saddens me, especially seeing as many beginners get support from the internet, and generally speaking the online running community that I am part of I have found to be supportive, and generous.

This guy has 67.9K followers so he is clearly someone with great influence in this world and sometimes I wonder if his tweets are meant to provoke this kind of response, there to cause devision….but on the other hand maybe he is just a twat.

Not everyone who runs does so to run marathons, not everyone who runs wants to be able to run an 8 minute mile or to brag about their bodies being in optimal peak condition. Some of us do it to help maintain a healthier lifestyle, or to relive stress, or to enjoy the environment they live, or to make friends, or, or, or…there are many reasons.

…And for thousands of us it is a bloody difficult thing to do. As I have documented many times on this blog I have often struggled to even run for 30 seconds without stopping. It’s not something I am proud of but it is a fact of life for many overweight and generally unfit people across the globe. The important thing is that people never give up trying, and that they feel confident and supported enough to give running a go.

30seconds1This is why I wrote my ebook, “Getting past the first 30 seconds” because although there are a lot of beginners books and running programmes, I know it is getting past this milestone which is the biggest challenge for many of us. The book is selling really well on Amazon, which might have something to do with the New Years Resolution effect, but this morning I received the following message from someone who has recently purchased it.

FINALLY read your book. Its brilliant. Went straight out for a run afterwards and actually thought about my breathing and my speed and i ran 2 miles without stopping. Which is HUGE for me. Thanks so much. Am going to do my three runs a week for three weeks now. Last night was number 1. Its so nice to read something and hear from someone who isn’t a stereotypical, gazelle like, skinny-minnie going on about their 8 minute miles! Thank you so much.

How would you respond to this Mr RunnerProbs?

I myself have not run today because I am looking after my poorly daughter…running is a huge part of my life…but there are more important things going on today that need my attention. So for Janathon I am logging the following activity,

  1. An hour of power walking (to the shops and back earlier)
  2. Half an hour of core exercises (planks, leg raises, Russian twists and crunches)
  3. 10 minutes of ferocious typing (Blog writing can really give your fingers a workout)


16 Responses to “Getting past the first 30 seconds”
  1. Jillian (New Hampshire) says:

    Personally I find motivation in posting about my runs and looking at how others are doing. Some of us run for fun we aren’t on a team competing and having the pressure to reach whatever times this guy has accomplished. I don’t care if I run slower. This guy is a small percentage of runners, many of the runners I have meet or come in contact with would roll there eyes at this guy. If you have ever run a half marathon or in any race for that matter the faster runners are much more supportive than this guy and would never think of this.

    Glad to see your daily blogs 🙂 keep it up!

  2. Lisa says:

    I belong to a running club which, until a year ago, I believed to be populated by those gazelle like, judgemental skinny minnie marathon runners. It’s really not. I’ve come to the conclusion that @TheRunnerProbs is the exception, not the rule.

    Keep on running!

  3. webbwebbwebb says:

    yeah i think you nailed it with the word “twat” I really enjoy seeing friends runs on facebook or twitter and in janathon i love reading everyone’s blogs.

  4. winsometahn says:

    Well said. I’m thinking he’s a twat.

  5. Jeff Weigh says:

    At Ukrunchat we love to interact and hear stories from all types of people who enjoy running. Great post. We’d love you to write a blog for ukrunchat in the future. Regards jeff

  6. Reading my friends’ running updates on Facebook was one of the things that made me think about taking up running/jogging in the first place. As for posting about my own running, I do it because I enjoy the feedback and encouragement from the online community, as well as reading about how other people in the same position are getting on. If people don’t like it, they can unfollow me. As for Mr RunnerProbs… He may be ‘influential’ in terms of social media, but I’d probably just unfollow him.

  7. shazruns says:

    Well said or well written

  8. mariekeates says:

    Methinks he is just a twat! Posting on FB about runs is way better than posting about just having made a cup of coffee 🙂

  9. gloryhornetboy says:

    I agree with you, I often post on FB or Twitter what my training session of the days was and I also write a blog ( and on here I use this to express in more detail how I feel about exercise. If one runner writing on social media inspires one non-runner to run then that is a good think. I have met many more runners who are encouraging and offer advice than I have ones who are so far up themselves its untrue. Keep doing what you do and I know you will inspire many more people

  10. megan says:

    the line that always gets me is “no matter how slow you go you’re lapping every body on the couch” or “if you look like you’re running, you’re running”. nothing matters but the fact that you go and even try! I had joined a couch to 5k class and I ended up hating it bc it was filled with people trying to just better their 5k times after mostly doing marathons. it was hard being passed up by old ladies and barely able to breathe. I now go on my own and I count it as a win to just go! I do try to read stuff online to motivate me though.

  11. Les says:

    Yeah, he sounds like a twat. I cried on my parkrun on Saturday because, despite it being my 44th one, I’ve never gone faster than just under 38 mins and at the moment I’m averaging 42 mins and it feels SO DAMN HARD. None of my fellow parkrunners, be they club runners, ultra marathon runners, sub-20 min runners or just plain joggers like me would ever post anything so demotivational

    • fattymustrun says:

      Turning up every week shows real determination. Have you tried some interval training to improve speed? I have something downloaded on my phone which tells me ever 60 seconds to up my game, this has helped me go from 48 minutes to just under 34. Keep at it xx

      • mommyancn says:

        Don’t know if you’ll see this as your post is half a year back, but I’d love the name of your app. I hate having to try and look at my phone to know when to pick up the pace and drop back, and I’d love an app that just told me or alerted me when to do that. Thanks!

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