Friday Five: New Employee = New Runner

It’s Friday so I am linking up with three DC area bloggers Mar at Mar On the Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC .  Anyone can join with their own Friday Five post (yes, it must be a Friday Five!!)  They encourage you to visit other blogs on the linkup, comment, share and engage! AND THIS IS THE LAST ONE! So do it today!

You may remember that a few weeks ago, I compared Unemployment to being an Injured Runner.

Today I am posting about the Five Ways that having a New Job is like being a New Runner:

  1. You have NO FRIENDS.

You walk into work and you know no one.  No one greets you.  You have no one to eat lunch with, etc. You feel pretty lonely.

Remember that first race.  Everyone seemed to know people but you knew no one. You just stood on the sidelines and felt isolated.

The good news is that it changes…slowly.

I have one friend now at work. We eat lunch together everyday and we even went to dinner and lecture together last weekend. I am still, however, looking for a fellow runner.

It is rare that when I run a race now that I don’t know a few runners.  We chat and the time before a race passes by very quickly. Some whom I’ve met at races have even become my good friends.


2.  You are unfamiliar with LOGISTICS.

You don’t know where to eat, where to make coffee, where anything is located, who to ask even for the things that you need, etc.  You may wander around aimlessly trying to look like you know where you are going.

A new runner feels the same thing.  You do your best but you often make mistakes because you don’t know the answers to these questions:

What do you wear?  How do you avoid chafing? Where do you shop for running stuff?  How do you fuel for longer races? How early do you arrive for a race?  Where do you park?  Where do pick up your bib?


I used to wear shorts and pin my bib to my shirt  Times have changed.


3. EXPECTATIONS are unclear.

In a new job, you may have no idea which tasks you will be asked to perform.  You will probably be unaware of how well you will be able to perform them and how long it will take to perform them well.  You may compare yourself to other experienced workers and feel inadequate.

As a new runner, you may not know

  • how often to run
  • how long a distance to run
  • the best time of day to run
  • which races to run
  • to run alone or with a partner
  • whether to join a running group
  • what and when to eat

But even more confusing is to know how fast should you be running and how long it will take to get faster.

I remember when I first started running, I instantly wanted to run a sub 30 minute 5k. It didn’t come instantly but it did come.

Fasig Tipton '10

However, after that, it got harder and harder to get faster.  Years later, I sometimes still struggle to run a sub 30 minute 5k.

4. You may feel like QUITTING.

Maybe the job is not what you thought it would be.  You don’t like your boss.  You don’t get along with your co-workers. You are bored or maybe you are over-worked and stressed.

The thought of “take this job and shove it” enters your brain from time to time.

New runners have similar thoughts.

You feel those aches and pains and wonder whether running is destroying your body. Your work or family obligations may interfere with getting in your runs.  The weather may prevent you from running. You work hard and you are not getting any faster.  More importantly, running doesn’t feel enjoyable. It feels like a chore.


5. Things IMPROVE with time.

So you make friends at work. You realize that your boss is not so bad.  You are successful in managing your stress. And you are happy that you have accepted this job.  You look forward to coming to work everyday.

I have to admit that this was the case in my previous jobs.  So far, in my current job, I’m not there yet.  Hopefully it will improve and if not, I’ll look for a new job next summer.

With running, after a few awful runs or races or missed runs, you may consider giving up and maybe even switching to another activity like yoga, biking, swimming, etc.

We’ve all been there.

But then you have a good run or a good race, or a PR, or an age group award and now you love running again.


I’d like to thank our Friday Five hosts (Mar at Mar On the Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC).  I’ve really enjoyed posting to this link-up for the past three years!

I have posted at least 90 times and almost every week since June 2014. (My first:

Happy Running! Any other new runner feelings that you’ve experienced? Will you miss the Friday Five link-up? 


13 thoughts on “Friday Five: New Employee = New Runner

  1. Well like any runner, the longer you do it the more comfortable you are with the activity. That will be true for your job too, the longer you are there, the more familiar you will be with everything. Hope you find a running buddy soon as your new job!


  2. Great post ! Hang in there. A new job is a big adjustment…. look for the positives. Something good can come out of every situation.


  3. Great comparison(s)! I remember showing up to my first “big” race…it was a 5-miler (which seemed like a marathon compared to that comfortable 5K distance I had been doing). I saw so many people who looked like “serious” runners (color-coordinated shoes and clothing, expensive-looking watches, high-tech sunglasses)….and I was almost afraid to even pin on the race bib. But, alas, that was many moons ago, and now I’m good with where I am. 😉


  4. I think it’s hard to change jobs as we get older! I don’t need to make friends at work but I want to be friendly with everyone. At races, there have been plenty of times when I’ve been alone. It’s ok. But I sure like being there with friends!


  5. Great post and you are spot on! New jobs are stressful! I hope it gets better! I don’t care so much about work friends but I do like a friendly atmosphere 🙂


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