Friend, parent, sibling, co-worker, coach… Who introduced you to running? Were you apprehensive? Or did you dive right in? Take a moment to remember how your journey began and who brought you into the sport. Though sometimes difficult, introducing a person to running is a special gift. As runners, we should each take time to not only focus on our own journey, but also help someone begin theirs.
Remember, the journey can start at any age and any level. So, thank the person that introduced you to running, and pass on the gift they gave you. Grab a friend, a family member old or young, or someone at work and welcome them to the Run Louisiana community. It might even improve your running experience too!
Here are some helpful hints:
Go for a run together.
Everything is better when you have a friend beside you. Make them feel comfortable by being there for support and encouragement.
Encourage the positive, healthy reasons to run.
Running should not be a chore! Running is a stress-reliever, confidence booster, health enhancer, and so much more. Exercising for positive, healthy reasons leads to greater success.
Promote necessity for quality running shoes.
Remind your new runner to invest in a pair of quality running shoes. The purchase will be motivating, but also beneficial to their success.
Focus on the path, not the pace.
Most likely, this new runner will not automatically be trying to qualify for Boston. Teach them to focus first on running consistently; if speed is desired, it will come later.
Sign up for a race together.
Set a goal. The commitment will make anyone work a little harder, but more than that it will give a new runner a sense of achievement. For apprehensive new runners find a fun, casual race around town to ease them into the race scene.
Walk when you need to.
No one ever said you have to run the whole way! Encourage new runners to listen to their body, and walk when they feel they need to.
Visit running groups around town.
Show your new runner around the running community. Walking into an established social running group as a new person can be intimidating, so offer to go together.
Celebrate every single success and milestone.
As a friend and mentor, celebrate each mile your new runner advances, provide encouragement after each bad run, and support each new goal.