When your enthusiasm for getting off your comfort zone is not being shared by your family it can be very difficult to achieve your running goals. One of the great things about getting your family involved after all is the ability to spend a little more time together. Of course the opposite can also be true as solitude can also benefit the family. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to get your family out on the running path you may want to try this method: find a new family.
To clarify what we mean, try to find a running club or running organization in your area that you can join. We are not saying that these people can replace your family, what we are saying is that these people can supplement the support and motivation that you may need until your family realizes that your actions are going last longer than a couple of weeks. The best thing about running clubs or organizations is the long runs that they sponsor or put together. These end up being quality runs with great volunteers that usually have adequate water stops and well marked courses. It really ends up turning into a mini-event. It is a lot easier to get your family to start making the transition with you if there is a goal and a place to be with others with similar interests.
Here is the prime example of what may have been said to a family member (or us) to get them out to run: "Let's go running, I think I would like to go ten miles today it should only take about 90 minutes". Now if this is rephrased to be: "There is a new course that this running club has marked out with plenty of water stops that I would like to try and was wodering if you would go with me. Afterward we can grab some food and be back before you know it". Now the second phrase is a lot more appealing to a family member that is just starting to understand the running world. This phrase would work on us right now and we have been around the block a couple of times.
So where do you find a running club or running organization? Better yet, when you find one, when do you start pulling your family into the running fray so they can understand what you may need from them?
Running events and clubs can be found on the Internet, at your local health club, and also you may want to sign up for a local running event where usually there are people that are part of running clubs. Look for more than one running club and try out a few different ones before making your final choice. Different organizations have different fees, different setups for training and running, and different paths. So it will be important that you find one that you feel is well organized and that you feel well received.
After you have found a club that you enjoy, get your family member(s) or support people to join you on a run with the group. Make sure the run at the time is something that has a lot of people and a lot of water stops so that you can be sure the event will be enjoyable for your family. An important item is to have your family or support people run a little with you so that they can understand what it takes to acheive your goal. When? As soon as possible because they will have that much more respect for what kind of commmittment you will need to have to accomplish your goals.
When it is all said and done happy families build successful runners. And if it makes your family happy not to be part of the running scene, everyone will be happy when you find a good running club that will support your goal. A running club or organization is a win-win situation. And is something that you may need to incorporate into your family running experience.
Run The Planet thanks Marathon Family (www.marathonfamily.com) for the permission to reprint the article "Need a new family? (For runners from a runner's perspective)" by Scott Winter. For more information about how to support your runner, in all phases from getting started to training to race day and back again, please visit www.marathonfamily.com. Questions, comments and suggestions can be mailed to info(at)marathonfamily.com. Illustration copyright © by Run The Planet.