For a while, we were running alone… and not socializing.
Now it seems than more and more runners are racing and running with other runners.
Please do not take anything I say below personal.
It’s just my opinion. We all interact with others differently. And than includes virtually.
Here are a few suggestions on How to Be a Better Running Friend:
1. Give a Smile, Hug or High Five.
Sounds so simple.
It is especially welcomed when you haven’t seen a friend in a while.
Or you are passing them on a run.
Or before or after a race.
Yes, I forget sometimes because I am thinking about myself… my problems, my run…
2. Be flexible.
Obviously, you can’t always be. Some of us work full-time and others have childcare needs…
But try to coordinate runs to meet each other’s schedules. IOW, sometimes you have to run at a time that you do not prefer.
I work until 4 pm but sometimes I have to wait until a friend gets out of work or get up early and run before work (which is hard for me).
And when running with a friend, if they ask for company, you may have to be flexible on how you run… Intervals, run slower, etc.
It’s easy for me to change to anyone’s pace. (I’m pretty loosey goosey)
Of course if you seriously training for a PR, you may only want to run with a slower friend occasionally.
3. Listen (and don’t always offer advice)
Another no brainer but we often tend to talk about ourselves… our injuries, our pace, our last race. (or is it just me?)
IOW, ask your friend after a run how it went. Ask them if they raced recently and how they did. If you know that they are not running due to an injury, ask they how they are feeling…
Even if you a a certified coach, not everyone wants advice and to hear everything you know on the subject.
Of course, if they ask, you should offer advice. If you’ve had a similar injury, if they ask, you can tell them what you did and if it worked.
4. Communicate and Be Dependable
You can choose whatever method method works for you – text, FB, phone call.
Call a friend to plan a meet-up or see what’s new with them.
Ask what races, they are planning to sign up for. Share the races that you may be doing (so they can decide whether or not to join you.)
Obviously, respond promptly to calls, texts or invitations. And if you have to skip a run or meet-up, always offer a reason. (Friends will understand.)
By being dependable, I mean if you say you are going run or race, show up or contact someone to tell them that you are unable (Things happen.) And be punctual.
5. Provide Support.
This may be the most important.
There are so many ways to support your friends. All of the above are examples.
Also, go to a race that you are not running and cheer your friend on. Or if you are running the race and you finish first, stay and cheer at the finish line.
Try not to complain about your pace and say that you are “slow” or a “BOTP” runner. We are all aware that pace is so individual. So many variables play a part… How long have you been running? How old are you? Are you recovering from an injury? Have you been training for longer races? Etc.
Happy Running? Any other tips? What is the most important to you when it comes to being a good running friend? Please share.
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