Can You Tell A Running Buddy To Ditch Her Headphones?

Our etiquette expert answers all of your questions.

etiquette july 2015

Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, knows a thing or two about the rules of the road—and the descendant of the famous decorum diva is a runner too! 

Q: When I run with friends, I want to chat and catch up. What’s the best way to tell my buddy to ditch her headphones?

It’s great that you want to catch up with your friend while you run. But rather than assume that chatting is what’s best for her too, ask. Your friend might not be able to run without a beat to keep her going. Instead of demanding that she take her headphones off, ask her if she’d be open to running together and talking during the run. (Maybe she can keep one earbud in to hear the music and one out to hear you?)

If she says, “Yes,” great. If she explains that running with music is really important to her, then you know what to expect when you run together. And you can choose to either keep running with her or to find a running buddy who’ll go unplugged.

Q: Stretching in public: okay or not okay?

Stretching is a vital part of any runner’s life. It is perfectly appropriate to stretch in public, but just keep the comfort of others in mind. If you’re on a trail or sidewalk, step to the side, rather than standing right in the middle. And hmmm, how to put this next one…? If you need to bend over for a stretch, it’s best to turn so that you are facing any potential passersby rather than having your rear toward them—especially key in short shorts or sheer running tights. You never know if there will be children present!

Have a question for Lizzie? Email or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #ProperForm.