The Right And Wrong Way To Convince Loved Ones To Run

Hoping to convince your loved ones to run? Our Marathon Maniac shares some tactics that work—and some that definitely don't.

danielle fiance

As much as I’d like to consider myself a trendsetter, I started running around the same time as everyone else seemed to—the late 2000s. Well, everyone else started running except people I knew. As luck would have it, I was the only one of my family or friends (until I made running friends, of course) who was even remotely interested in running. You know those people who say things like, “I only run when someone’s chasing me!” I’m probably related to all of them. Over time, as my love for running grew, I wanted to share the source of my newfound joy with the people around me.

My tactics included the following:

  • Obsessively talking about which races I was doing, when they were, and why I picked them
  • Refusing to make plans on the weekends because you guys, I have a long run in the morning.
  • Demonstrating the health benefits of running by constantly limping from soreness

Okay, so maybe I didn’t have the best strategy at first. I switched up my tactics, and recently, my fiancé has started running after years of me begging him to start! He’s up to about 3 miles right now. The miles I spend running with him are my favorite of the week.

If you’re hoping to get a family member or friend to run with you, the following strategies are a good bet:

  • Emphasize that running (or walking) is a low-cost, healthy way to spend time together.
  • Take some of the pressure off by agreeing to do a run/walk program, and let them set the pace.
  • Set a great example! If they always see you happy and relaxed after a run (instead of upset about your speed or mileage), it will seem like more fun.
  • Be motivational and positive even if they struggle early on, and remind them that it wasn’t easy when you started, either.
  • Take them to a running store to get them fitted with the proper shoes and gear! Not only will it help make running more enjoyable, it also makes the process exciting.

Remember, running is really hard at first, so your new converts might not share your enthusiasm right away. Stay positive about the benefits of running in your own life, and count every mile with the ones you love as a blessing. There’s always room for more on the roads!