As the weather gets warmer, more and more runners can be seen outside at all hours of the day. Some may have been inside on the treadmill all winter, others haven’t run since last fall. Then there are some that have decided to take up the sport for the first time.
Outside of my blogging/coaching life I’ve come across many people who try to take up running but just can’t stick with it. As a running community I think it is our job to support them and help them to find ways to overcome obstacles. I think there is a fine line between providing support and guidance, and being a “know it all” (or at least seeming that way). I think if we are too pushy, it can be intimidating, so it’s important to understand where this new runner is and what they need at the time. I’m sure we do these things all the time, but a little reminder never hurts, right?
Remember what it was like when you were a new runner
We all had to start somewhere! Most of us will remember feeling insecure, unsure of ourselves, and maybe even embarrassed. I also remember feeling really lost and frustrated at times. Show a little empathy by letting a new runner know that it’s totally normal to feel that way and give an example of how it was tough for you in the beginning too!
Remind them of the basics
Some new runners may not know to get fitted for running shoes, or to ease into it slowly, or some basic injury prevention strategies. Try not to overwhelm them, but remember that these little things could make all the difference!
Help them to problem-solve
Many new runners struggle with finding the time to fit it in their run. Rather than allowing that to prevent them from running, try to help them find a time that they will be able to fit it in. Remind them that even if they miss a few days, it’s better to just pick up where they left off rather than give up altogether! Many runners train well off just 3 days a week of running.
Point them in the direction of credible resources
This could be a reputable running coach, a local running store, running group, blogs, or other websites. It can be really overwhelming to google something about running if you don’t know where to look for answers!
Offer to help
Maybe you could go for a run with them once a week or sign up for the same race. Even before I was a certified coach I made training plans for friends and family who wanted to run a race. I’m sure most seasoned runners could come up with a basic training plan- if not, you could always send them a link to a free online plan. Even just checking in every few weeks to see how their running is progressing can go a long way.
What do you think was the hardest part about being a new runner?
Did you have someone to help you out when you started running?
What else would you add to this?