I've recently joined a new company and I want to make the best impression with my new colleagues. About a month ago a new member of staff joined our team.

Occasionally at lunchtimes I like to go running, to clear my head and get out of the office. The new member of staff has asked to join me on my runs. I prefer to spend this time alone as it gives me time to think uninterrupted thoughts (sometimes work related, sometimes not).

Am I being unreasonable by not taking him up on his offer? Are lunch breaks really work time, not personal time? If so, does that mean I should include him in my activity?

  • 2
    While a different topic, this answer could also be applicable to you.
    – David K
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 15:59
  • @crh225 You think that he should let the coworker join, whereas I think he has every right to say no. The fact that we disagree shows that the answer is not trivial.
    – David K
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


It's not being unreasonable to want to run alone and there's nothing wrong with continuing the practice. Some people like to socialize while they exercise and others don't. A simple way to respond:

I appreciate your interest in joining me however I prefer to run alone because I like to think and work stuff out in my head while I run. It's private time for me.

If you felt inclined you could offer alternative methods of socializing with the individual, such as talking during a coffee break, a drink after work, having lunch together on those days you don't go running, etc. This strategy makes is clear that it's not that you don't want to socialize with the person, it's just this particular activity that you want to keep for yourself.

  • 8
    It might also be kind to offer to run with the new colleague a couple of times to show them good running routes near the office. Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 17:39

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