So you excitedly signed up for a race and realized that you have no one to go with? Fear not! I have some tips on how to get your friends to join in on the fun.
1. Choose an interesting or easy to access race
Driveable, or right in town, will squash the excuse that it’s too far or too expensive to travel. If you think you and your friends want to get away be sure to choose a race that is in an interesting place and be ready to provide ideas of other activities to do before and after the race.
2. Give them enough time to plan it out and train.
If you want friends to join, you need to give them enough notice and enough time to train. Even if it’s a 5k you want your friend to warm up to the idea and feel prepared to go the chosen distance. Plus, races often have early bird discounts so it pays to sign up sooner rather than later.
3. Help them with race day/weekend logistics
If your race day routine is second nature, you may forget about how intimidating it can be for first timers to toe the start line. You’ll want to help your friend know what’s going on ahead of time. Help them with logistics like parking (carpooling is always a good idea), or if traveling, book a hotel and have them chip in. Also knowing the best places to eat before a race is a stress relief as well. Get this in line for yourself and your friends and you could end up making a relaxing weekend getaway out of racing each year.
4. Find or provide a training plan that will help them
Most nerves about racing comes from feeling like you won’t be able to finish. But every goal can be broken down into bite size pieces, which is what training plans are all about. I’m big on making excel sheets and sharing them out and checking in with my friends on how they’re doing. You can also create a group on motion.social and share training plans and create group runs right there. Which leads me to my next suggestion:
5. Train together
By getting the miles in together you stay accountable to one another. It can also be a lot more fun to run with others than to go solo. Having a shared goal (the race that you’ve chosen) it will bond you and you can talk about the ups and downs of training while you do it together. You can invite your friends to join you via motion.social and make all the logistics happen in one place.
6. Tell more friends/partners/spouses about the race and get them involved
Whether it’s cheering or participating, you can make a chosen race a getaway that happens to include a race. Family members can come and cheer and also help with logistics. A big group running together is so motivating, I appreciated my friends from the Seattle Green Lake Running Group at the Boston Marathon more than I could have imagined. Having the support is important.
7. Make it about a bigger cause
Another way to convince a friend to join a race you want to run is to sign up to raise money for a cause that you both care for. You can raise money for a charity connected to the race or do it all on your own. This is especially common for first time racers and helps give further purpose to a race.
With these tips, you can convince just about anyone to join you for a race that you want to run. You’ll never have to show up solo to the start line again!