Feeling Self Conscious

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10/11/2012 at 18:55

Hi everyone.  I only started running back in February of this year and that was on a treadmill.  I didn't venture outside until a couple of months later and then it wasn't very often.

Now I do all my runs outside and love it but I have to go to places where it's very quiet or else I get up at 5.30 and run then when there are no people around because I just feel really self conscious about the way I look.  I am female, 5'11 and am basically all legs.  I look like a struggling giraffe when I run.

I have only just purchased myself a pair of 3/4 running tights and have worn them twice because I just feel that I look so lanky and skinny in them and that people are laughing at me.

I tend to just wear tracksuit bottoms all the time and still wont run around the streets in daylight hours because of how I feel.  I would love to just not care what people think and I haven't been heckled...yet, but I know that if I went to more public places I would be.

Any advice on how to get over this?  Apologies if this has been asked before but I just wanted to to put my feelings out there too.

seren nos    pirate
10/11/2012 at 19:26

Hi.you haven't been heckled yet...you are lucky..virtually all runners are heckled at sometime or another.doesn't matter what size or speed you are..someone somewhere will heckle you.........I'm sure all the pros get it as well......

think what you would do if heckled.....like most of us you would just ignore them......and carry o with your run.......

when you walk down the street normally do you get a lot of heckling because of your long slim legs.....I expect that you would not get anything more whilst running.the odd stupid comment we all get....

why not start off finding where your local park run is.these are free to all every saturday morning around the country..........run these and you will see there are all shapes.....

and then just go out and run and enjoy yourself......

10/11/2012 at 19:27

why not try running with someone else you know that runs or a club? No-one else that runs is going to comment on what you look like, and a whole club running round the streets is very unilkely to get heckled.

I agree with kk though - it is more of a self-confidence problem than a running problem. I never get heckled when I run in public.

10/11/2012 at 19:35

I have just started to go to my local Parkrun and I do really enjoy that and you are right I don't feel self conscious when running in a group of people. 

You are all right, it is a self confidence/psychological thing about the way I look, but it's more the running kit that makes me feel a little more so than just my every day wear. 

I would love to join a club, but there again I have a confidence problem about doing that too because I feel that I am not fast enough yet!

I really need to learn to just not care what people think when I am out running.

PSC    pirate
10/11/2012 at 19:43
Turn up at a park run and you will see people of all shapes and sizes. You will also see that it doesn't matter what shape and size you are. People seriously don't care....

Be bold.
10/11/2012 at 19:51

I was worried about not being fast enough for a club, so I carefuly chose a club that said they welcome beginners. I am one of the slowest there, but no-one minds and it is helping me to speed up

seren nos    pirate
10/11/2012 at 20:11

talk to teh people at the park run..........you should be able to find a local club with people of your standard.take the plunge.nothing to lose


good luck

10/11/2012 at 20:15
Thanks for the advice everyone. Will definitely ask at the parkrun.
10/11/2012 at 20:33
Embrace your height and slim figure - most people probably look at you in envy - that's if they look at you at all. Save your energy for running and enjoy it, don't waste time worrying about what other people think, you don't know them and you don't know what they're thinking anyway. If you want to run get out and run, life's too short to be worrying about what you look like, after all you don't have to look at yourself!!

I am also tall and lanky, deathly pale (Irish), pushing 50, two kids and a job, recent life threatening illness, and I seriously don't give a f*ck what I look like, I mean one red faced sweaty runner looks much the same as another

Never been heckled in 8 years of running.
10/11/2012 at 20:42
Thanks Katrina. I really admire you for being like that. It's the best way to be. And to come through a life threatening illness just really puts things into perspective.

True that one runner just looks like every other really too. You have really made me feel a lot better.
10/11/2012 at 20:56
I can't see that you would get heckled, it's not that common but when I first started running I got a few... "fatty" and shit like that. I'm not fat anymore. Anyway, if someone did heckle you then I seriously wouldn't let it bother you. Why would a moron's opinion have an impact? If they don't matter then why worry? to be honest most people who are runners that I know generally want others to do well so park run is ideal. Only worry about the opinions of those that matter, friends and supportive influences. Any negative people can jog on.
11/11/2012 at 00:20

Good advice given so far..  I expect that someone will should a heckling remark to you at some stage... and when they do, you've got to remember the comments here - that everyone gets a heckle from time to time.

Of course, other people will not be viewing you as critcally as you're viewing yourself, but if you're worried about your legs, one thing I don't understand.  You say you've just bought 3/4 tights.  What did you wear before that?

If it's a big issue, then why don't you wear baggier light training leggings/joggers?  Not a bad thing for these winter months - and by the spring, hopefully you'll have picked up increased confidence by then.


11/11/2012 at 12:55

I've just started and felt similar to you, but I got used to it. I run alone a lot of the time and pass people on the pavement, I've had nothing untoward happen but I'm sure from having read around the forums on here, someone will shout something.

But whatever they shout, remember you're running and they aren't - that's my thought process that gets me through anyway!

Edited: 11/11/2012 at 12:56
11/11/2012 at 13:31

I know how you feel i have lost 11 stone in weight and still feel like i dont feel part of a runner i have competed in my first ever half marathon after 13 weeks of training and come in under 2 hrs i have flabby bits round my midrift most runners look fab and lean and this make me nervous to join a running club in which my one of my friends is part of its a confidence thing and its holding me back from coming a semi good runner

11/11/2012 at 17:45

I find you just get used to it over time. Men can get heckled just as much as women, sometimes more! I used to live near a girls school and had to endure all kinds of stuff from 'hairy legs' to 'hey I can see you underwear' etc.

11/11/2012 at 21:18
I'm 5ft 10, 16.5 stone and had same problem. I didn't run for years and started running with a friend who already runs 30+ miles a week. I was paranoid about how I looked too start with so we stayed in parks and canals. Now I run 16.5 miles at weekend through streets. Most times we having a chat as running anyway so find not take notice of anyone else around. When I go on own then i put music on! Take no notice of what anyone shouts or says. I not had anyone shout anything yet and tbh most people really don't care.
12/11/2012 at 00:12

I remember once going for a run and I forgot my headphones, along the way a couple of kids thought it would be hilarious to run along side me. They had a shock when I told them there was only another 5 miles to go as I sped up and left them behind. Of course I did have to stop round the corner and catch my breath as I ran off too quick thinking I was Mr Bolt for a second or two.

12/11/2012 at 09:31

I was quite self conscious when I started (although unfortunately not because I'm tall and lanky), but you just have to ignore people. I've had a few beeps from drivers (I curse my Sunday runs if I time it with the end of the football!) but nothing worse. I've never really had any comments from children, except for once when they shouted at me if I was cold (it was sub zero), and I just shouted back that it made me run faster to keep warm! But in the end I don't really care if some anonymous lorry driver wants to beep- he probably does that to every female runner he sees. I've had more grief off my neighbours!

12/11/2012 at 10:00

when I started running I was self conscious, not about my body but about my ability.

I thought people would think what a crap runner I was and take the p1ss

I would run in jeans and a t-shirt, so when I when I had to walk it didn't look like I was a failed runner walking, just a sweaty person in jeans

By the time I got up to a continuous mile (1 lap of the block)  I lost interest in what people thought,

I've been heckled loads of time, nothing personal just the usual run forrest run, get those knees up, etc etc.

I see all sizes, shapes and abilities running and only admire them for having a go.

12/11/2012 at 17:06

Thanks everyone.    I feel a bit better now reading all your posts.  I enjoy running so much and it makes me feel really good so I am going to force myself to just not care what I look like and get out there and do it.

Am really enjoying the Parkruns so that's a start for me with regard to running in front of others.

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