Friday, 14 August 2015

Five tips for getting non-runners to understand (and join!) you

Explaining to non-runners that a freezing Saturday morning run at absurd o'clock is one of the highlights of your weekend can be a challenge...  Even I must admit that it sounds a bit batty.  So how exactly do you get your non-running friends to understand you, or, even better, join in the madness?

1.  Drag them along to a race to support you

The atmosphere, the adrenaline, the boerie rolls...  What's not to love?  They'll be inspired to put on their running shoes and get in on the action before the morning is over.

What's not to love?

2.  Introduce them to parkrun

It's the coolest concept on the planet and everyone needs to know about it.  parkrun is a fun, safe, family-friendly timed 5 km run/walk every single Saturday of the year at specific venues around the world - and it caters for just about everybody.  New to running?  Run/walk to your heart's content.  Racing snake?  Chase those PBs like a boss.  Love walking?  Stroll your heart out.  Just move.  And spend time with friends and family and collect a whole bunch of awesome rewards and incentives while you're at it!


Naval Hill parkrun, Bloemfontein.

3.  Show them the fun side of running

'Fun' means different things to different people, but there are a whole lot of events out there that focus solely on the fun side of running.  Whether your buddy's idea of fun involves mud, coloured powder, foam, neon lights, fairy wings or obstacles, there's an event that fits the bill.  Do it as a team and have a blast!    


4.  Be a living example 

Being fit and healthy feels fantastic.  Live that.  Show your loved ones that there is an alternative to feeling fat, frustrated and unhealthy - you don't even have to say a single word.  

Lovin' it!

5.  Surrender

...but keep running anyway.  The truth is that not everybody will understand your love for running or be keen to share it with you.  And that's okay.  That's what makes bumping into a fellow runnerd so darn exciting!

Thanks to the lovely ladies from Eat Pray Run DCYou Signed up for What? and Mar on the Run for the opportunity to share these tips as part of their Friday Five link-up.  Happy weekend, everyone!


24 comments:

  1. This is a great post. Love your take on it. However, I don't think they'll ever truly get it. Just today was talking to my mom and I got emotional telling a story of a race and she looked at me like i had two heads. I had to laugh.

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    1. Oy - it's awful when that happens. Luckily us runnerds understand each other, right? x

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  2. Love the family pic! I went to visit my best friend in Nashville and ran a half marathon down there and she didn't come to see me finish. It just wasn't her thing. Oh well! You can't make people, but like you said you can set a good example. Since then she hasn't become a runner but she lost 20 lbs thru diet and exercise.

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    1. I guess we can't ALL love running right? But at least your example has motivated your friend to make positive changes - and that's awesome!

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  3. Be a living example is the best way indeed. I have found showing how healthy you are and how much energy you have goes a lot further than explaining....

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    1. That's my experience too, Karen. And first prize is if they can start experiencing the benefits (and joys!) of running for themselves!

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  4. It's true that not everyone will understand running and that is okay. It's important to have a hobby that you enjoy whether that is running or not.

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    1. And it's important to move - whether it's running, walking, cycling, swimming, dancing or whatever else... Moving is so important...! And fun! :)

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  5. These are great tips! Running can be so intimidating from the outside, but new running buddies make it the best!

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    1. Thanks, Shay! So interesting that you mention running's intimidating side - I used to avoid joining a local running club simply because I was really intimidated by the thought. But once I got over it, I made some of the most amazing running friends ever! I guess it's up to us runners to show non-runners that there's nothing to be intimidated about - running is for EVERYONE! :)

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  6. These are great tips!! I'm pretty sure most of my friends/family just think I'm insane haha

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    1. Thanks, Amy! I'm fortunate to have a whole bunch of non-running friends and family who support my craziness - so grateful!

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  7. Good tips! I just want to share my joy for running whenever I can! I think going to a race helps make it real for the nonbelievers!

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    1. Me too, Janelle - I can talk about running all day long, haha! But I know it gets on some people's nerves, so I try my best to hold it in... ;)

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  8. Great list. Good to use the fun side of running. Also love to use the "live by example".

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  9. dragging to them a race is a great idea!

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    1. There's something magical about that race-day atmosphere, isn't there? Very contagious!

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  10. I feel like this is a never ending campaign. I love the idea of bringing people to a race to cheer for you - the energy and crowd support is contagious!

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    1. Especially bigger races with large fields. Apart from the contagious atmosphere, I think they also show non-runners that running is for everyone - not just the elite.

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  11. I brought a team of 45 high school students to the Ottawa marathon to run a water station - they loved it and wanted to know more about running/volunteering. Some were hoping to do the "double" that many of us already do - run the 5/10K on the Saturday and volunteer for the marathon on the Sunday!

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    1. That's so awesome, Rebecca! And I know that many of those 45 students will be hooked for life!

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  12. Dragging them to a race is always a great idea, lots of people see that no they aren't the slowest runner and have lots of fun. Great list!

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