I ran (pardon the pun) into a problem last night, and maybe it is just me and I am over sensitive to these things. I was doing my 8 x 800m at 5KM pace repeats with a couple of minutes of walking in between. The first 4 were fine, then I turned to come back, just as I turned somebody was running up the other way on the road. This meant for the next 2.5M I would go blazing past him and then during the recovery period he would come ambling past at his 9ish min/mile pace.
He was certainly giving me strange looks and seemed to be a bit confused as to why some bloke in his glow in the dark shoes kept sprinting past him and then stopping and walking. This happened for all of the 4 remaining repeats.
I have had this problem with doing tempo and fartlek runs in the past too where it is all too easy to look like a jerk; imagine being overtaken just at the end of the warm-up phase and you start to accelerate you will then come back past the person who overtook you and it will look to all the world like you didn’t want to be overtaken!
As I said maybe it is my “Englishness” that makes me feel uncomfortable in situations like this, but sometimes I just want to point out that I am not being stupid and I am doing a specific workout. Maybe I need a sign, perhaps a big yellow arrow pointing to myself that says “Doing Speedwork” on it just so everyone is aware!