How to avoid catcalling runners

Originally published by The Running Bug

Talk to any female runner out there and nine times out of 10, they will have firsthand experience of being catcalled during a run. So how can we put a stop to this public phenomenon…?

When you’re out on a run, driving your white van around town or simply chilling in the park, do you struggle with the overwhelming urge to holler compliments (or obscenities) at women when they run past you? If so our top tips are for you!

Holler at me

When a woman runs past you, if you feel like saying something, instead of commenting on her physical appearance try biting your tongue and saying absolutely nothing at all.

If the urge to vocalise your emotions is altogether too strong, try saying ‘have a nice day!’ instead, or ‘isn’t it a beautiful day today!’ That way the woman will not feel objectified and might even think you are a nice person.

Colour me bad

When a woman runs past you with a particularly striking hair colour, if you are compelled to comment on the hue, instead of reminding her what colour her hair is (because she has had it her entire life and will probably know what colour it is) try singing a song instead.

Choose your favourite song and sing it to the world. Our favourite is Never too much by Luther Vandross. It sounds especially good in the park.

The need for speed

When a woman runs past you in an exceptionally slow fashion, if you are struck with the all-consuming urge to remark on her running form and make negative comments in relation to her pace, stop.

It is highly possible the slow running woman is in ultra-marathon training and deliberately running at that pace because she plans to run a 100-mile race at the weekend. This makes her a million times more hard core than most people you know. Instead, opt for ‘You go girl!’ and (from a safe distance) give her a cracking smile. She is an ultra-warrior and deserves positive recognition for her sterling efforts.

Kit list

When a woman runs past you in revealing or particularly small sportswear, if you are bamboozled with the desire to comment on her chosen attire, consider just not saying anything at all.

If you really can’t contain the urge to vocalise your emotions, try walking into a quiet corner of the park, raising your hand and slapping yourself in the face 10 times until the urge subsides. Running can get quite hot, so it’s best to let runners wear what the hell they feel like and focus on slapping yourself instead.

Long distance romance

When a particularly attractive woman runs past you, if you want her to be your girlfriend, instead of shouting at her or making lewd comments, consider the long game. Take up running, enter a marathon and spend the next six months running around the park honing your fitness.

Once you are at the top of your game and in peak physical perfection, run alongside her at a safe distance and strike up a conversation related to long distance training, interval sessions or heart rate monitors. If she doesn’t want to engage in a conversation with you, simply run away. You will be really fit and have dedicated your life to the wonderful world of long distance running, so you will be winning either way.