If you’re a runner, you’ve inevitably heard someone say this. After that they look at you like you have nine heads. After they’re done with their facial expression, they may say something like “But I do wish I were in better shape,” or “I think that it would be cool to run a 5K.” And poof, you now have an aspiring runner standing in front of you. So what do you, the experienced runner, do? You ask a few follow up questions, offer encouragement, and you help them.
Helping others. It’s important and what gives you good juju in this world. Personally, I think helping others to become healthier and fitter earns you extra good juju.
It’s usually comforting to an aspiring runner to hear that no one expects them to be able to run a 17 minute 5K. And that in fact, no one even expects them to be able to run 3 miles consistently, so they shouldn’t either. I always tell people that runners come in all shapes, sizes, and speeds. Running makes you a runner, not the ability to run a certain distance, or the ability to run a certain pace. Simply running does the trick – and getting out the door is three quarters of the battle.
From there, I like to recommend one of the many couch to 5K programs out there. I think Runner’s World has a great one. You can find it here: Runner’s World Couch to 5K. In fact, Runner’s World is a wealth of information and I usually point new runners there to learn about gear, ramping mileage, stretching, injury prevention, you name it, they have it.
New runners also generally like the idea of others to run with. They like the idea of meeting other new runners and finding a community. I know that even as an experienced runner, I am completely in love with my running community and freely tell everyone I know how much of a difference it has made in my life. If you’re a new runner and you’d like to find a runner group, click here. It really is a great thing – there are lessons and techniques to be learned, encouragement to be found, and friendships to be made. Oh, and accountability. You’re much more likely to lace up and go for your run when there are twenty other people expecting to run with you. Also, if you’re having a slumpy day, like everyone does every now and then, your running mates will pull you along and help get you through the workout. Running groups are always a good thing. Always.
So the next time you find an aspiring runner in your midst, help them out. Heck, direct them to HillaryFitness if you want. Encourage their aspirations, give them a vote of confidence, and let them know that you look forward to running with them sometime soon. 🙂