Running has lots of advantages; you can do it anywhere, there's tons of free running help available online (and running clubs everywhere), and it's cheap. Even really good running shoes won't set you back too much more than $100, and while race fees add up, you don't have to be competing to get a great workout and have fun running.
In the tough economy, more and more people are turning to running as a way to work out without racking up gym fees. It's truly the most democratic activity out there; anyone who wants to log the miles will see improvement fast, and running is addictive. But as a super-lame runner myself ... my best race pace ever was a blazing (not) 12-minute mile ... I still think there are six types of people who just shouldn't be running.
The Sisyphus: They're working so hard, but just don't seem to be getting anywhere. They barely lift their feet off the ground and shuffle along so very slowly. I say, stick to walking until you can step it up a bit and save the pounding on your joints.
The douchebag: Dude, I know I'm fat and slow and you have 5 percent body fat and can run a 5K in the time it takes me to chug along one mile. No need to be a jerk ... just call out "On your left" and GO AROUND ME. I'm never going to take your spot at Boston so settle down, okay?
The groaner: This is the same guy that can't lift so much as a towel at the gym without unleashing a cascade of grunts and yells. It's annoying at the gym and just plain alarming to hear it while running. Shut. It.
Mr. "Training? What Training?": They throw on whatever old workout shoes they have (often a relic from college) and go hard for five miles after not exercising for six months ... and then can't walk for three days because they're so sore. Starting slow might not be as much fun, but you'll be able to actually go out running the next day, and the next.
The gym bunny: One of the nice things about running is it tends to draw the people who are serious about exercise, versus the swinging singles there to make a love connection. But every now and then one of them finds her way out to the roads, and inevitably runs the whole width of the path three or four abreast with her girlfriends and/or drooling guys checking out the supportiveness of her sports bra, chatting away and completely oblivious to the infuriated pack behind her needing to get around.
The high-maintenance: These people don't just have their family or friends with them to do a race: They bring their running coach, and their personal trainer, and their life coach, and their nutritionist, and their hydration coach, and their musical advisor ... and we're not talking Olympic-level elites here, we're talking people who might just expect to place in their age group, maybe, if they have a great running day.
Are you a runner? What are your pet peeves?
Image via lululemon athletica/Flickr