How to Get a Friend or Relative Started With Running
If you're a coach potato turned runner, chances are you know some unconverted coach potatoes. Think you can get them moving? Introducing a friend or relative to running will obviously benefit them, and you might even get a new running partner out of it. Here's how to get them started and keep it enjoyable for both of you.
Share resources. Point them to books or Websites that helped you when you were a running newbie. If you found a beginner training program, such as a run/walk schedule, to be very effective, give him or her a copy.
Sign up for the same race. Nothing lights a fire under someone’s butt like a race deadline. Find a short race, like a 5K, that your newbie runner could be ready for. Promise him or her that you'll stay together to the finish, if your friend wants that kind of support.
Shop together. New runners may feel a little overwhelmed when picking out running shoes or gear. Take them to your favorite running shops and help them navigate the choices. Make sure they get a gait analysis done to determine the right running shoes for their foot type and running style.
Run with them. You don’t have to do every run together, but try to buddy up occasionally. If he or she is huffing and puffing, slow it down. And whatever you do, don't show off. This isn't the time to flaunt your running superiority.
Use rewards. Once your friend reaches a big milestone, such as running a mile without stopping or completing that first 5K, surprise him or her with an inexpensive reward, like a new pair of running socks.
Confess your struggles. Sharing stories about your difficult runs will help your friend relax and feel less self-conscious about running. The realization that even the best runners were beginners once themselves can be both empowering and comforting.
Ever help someone get started with running? Share your tips.