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: I’m on Strava, and one of my friends is constantly micromanaging my workouts. I think she might be jealous that I’m able to prepare for a race not stressing about it as much as she does, but she’s constantly asking why I didn’t do more here or more there. How do I make her get off my back and focus on her own training?
My first thought is to ignore your thought that she might be jealous. Since we don’t actually know what’s going on, assuming the worst doesn’t help solve the problem. The issue is that you’re on a social site and want to limit who sees (and remarks about) your activity. Strava is like Facebook for athletes so you’ll have to look into your options for privacy and sharing. You can always set your account to private so peeping eyes don’t express loud opinions.
If this person is someone you see in real life you can explain that you needed to limit your Strava network to keep focused. It’s very normal for people to periodically cull their list of followers as well as to change back and forth between private posting and public posting.
Another option is to speak to your friend. But before you do, remember that you’ve chosen to put your training online publicly. In some cases, this means friends and possibly strangers can question, encourage or challenge what you put out there. If the purpose of this site is to share and compare training, then she’s in good territory to be paying attention to what you and others post.
You might start the conversation by saying, “I’m happy to talk about my training but I admit that when there’s a lot of questions about it I [get uncomfortable, become overwhelmed…you fill in the blank here].” My final thought for you is if your friend still ventures down this hyper-aware path, remind her that your trainings are specific to you and your body.
Have a question for Lizzie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @WomensRunning with the hashtag #ProperForm.