Families are a great form of support. They are free, caring and hopefully willing. But before you decide to pull your family into your running routine, be it a parent, child or sibling, there are things that you should consider.
Is There a Shared interest?
Hopefully, your family is great at giving you a pat on the back. But remember, running is a tough sport. Maybe you’re just getting started, or maybe you’ve been lacing up for a while, but just because you’re siblings or parents sound enthused doesn’t mean they want to start hitting the pavement.
Remember, it’s always easier to express interest in something than it is to get into it. Football stadiums around the country are full of people who enjoy watching the sport, but that doesn’t mean they actually want to take it up. Be sure to find out how much real interest someone has before pushing them to join you, lest you find yourself with a vengeful relative.
Do You Have the Same Goals?
Even if you’re new to running, odds are, you will share different goals than your family members do. Maybe you’re looking to get in shape and run a marathon, but your prospective family members are only looking to drop a few pounds. Your routines will be off from each other, as will your motivation. Keep in mind that you should be running towards your goal, and you want someone to share that goal and experience with. If your goals don’t match, your running relationship won’t last.
Have You Eliminated the Pressure?
It’s easy to push people into things they may not want to do when it’s family that’s doing the asking. Maybe you’re concerned for a family member’s health and know that running would help them out, or perhaps you simply want to share a physical challenge, but understand that you’re reasons may present pressure to that family member, and in doing so you could jeperdize more than just a morning run.
Can They Physically Handle the Run?
No matter how well intentioned we are, it’s easy to overestimate people’s physical abilities, especially family members. No one likes to admit they are out of shape, and unlike some of the people running around the track, it could be that your family isn’t ready to make the physical jump into running. Be sure to understand that older family members may not be in the same place you are physically, so you’ll have to adapt your routine to fit multiple needs.
Your family may present you a great opportunity to find a running partner or group. But you’ll want to be sure that family is who you want to run with. You may have to do a little more give and take when running with relatives, but if you choose wisely and find someone with the same goals and physical abilities, you can take your running and family game to a whole new level.