Friday, March 22, 2013

Intel: I Don't Want To Slow You Down

. Hey, do you want to go for a run sometime?
.., thanks. You're fast and I don't want to slow you down.

This might be one of the more frustrating conversations I have with new runners. They're just starting out, think that running is all about how fast or how far one goes, and completely lose sight of the fact that it can be a fun, social activity.

I think one of the main reasons people don't stick with running is because they isolate themselves and think of it as a solitary endeavor. This is unfortunate, because running is one of those sports best shared, where accountability can make or break your sticktoitiveness. Don't feel like getting out of bed for your run? Odds are you will if you know someone else is standing around waiting for you.

This is not to say that you have to run with others all the time. Me personally, I run alone most weekdays and meet up with a group on the weekend. Some of my workouts are best completed alone so I can focus, while others, like longer runs, are far more enjoyable shared.

Here are a couple of points that will hopefully change your mind about running with others.

Number 1: If a person you perceive to be a seasoned runner asks you to join them, odds are they already know you're not at their skill or endurance level. They're asking because they want to spend time with you and help you enjoy something they're passionate about. They know you may need to run slower, and they're also aware you might need to - *gasp* - stop and walk for a bit. It's ok. It really is. They wouldn't ask you if they didn't want to do this.

Number 2: You're not as slow as you think you are. Yes, you. You the walker, wogger or jogger. There are tons of people out there that you're very compatible with when it comes to speed and distance. In fact, the vast majority of runners are probably not as fast as you think they are. That person you think is too good for you to run with might fall into the same category as you.

Keep these things in mind the next time someone asks you to go running with them. It's ok if you've tried running with others and just prefer to go it alone. But don't dismiss an offer for company out of hand just because you think you're too slow. That's just selling yourself short and possibly depriving yourself of the one thing that makes running something you love.

This post is one in series that addresses comments and questions I routinely hear from both new and non-runners. This series - posts will be tagged with the "Intel" label - is not intended to delve deep into running subjects, but simply to provide informative, concise responses that sometimes entertain. I am not an anatomy professorparticularly accomplished runner or legend of the sport. I'm just a guy that runs often, races frequently and enjoys sharing what he's learned. You can contribute topics by emailing me using the link on my Google+ Profile or by posting in the comments below.

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