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How to Turn a Friend into a Walking or Running Buddy

Maybe you’re new to fitness and really excited about it. Maybe you’ve been an athlete for your whole life and just want some fresh faces with you while you train. Either way, we all have That One Friend who simply refuses to join you for so much as a stroll around the block, but who we KNOW could be really fun to have along for a race! Here are some fun ways to lure them into fitness and snag yourself a walking or running buddy!

  1. Aesthetic. Next time you hang out, show off your favorite race shirt or wear a particularly flashy workout outfit. Flaunt your style and remind them “this could be you!”
  2. Food. Lots of races offer some kind of delicious incentive at the end! Find one near you that includes a finish line doughnut or pizza slice, and let your friend know about it.
  3. Data. Talk to them about training and show them your spreadsheets, Garmin, Strava, etc data! The RTE tracker also works really well for this! *wink wink*
  4. Coffee. Or tea, or whatever gets you up in the morning. Promise your friend that if they meet you for a morning walk or run, caffeine is on you!
  5. Bling. Invite them over for some snacks and then “accidentally” leave some of your coolest medals in conspicuous places. “Oh, this? I got it after my 18th 5k!”
  6. Nature. Hit them with the prettiest photos from your latest hike, walk in the park, destination race, or vacation miles. Fresh air does everyone good!
  7. Gadgets. If your friend isn’t a complete luddite (and kudos to the old-schoolers who are!), they too can be tempted by the siren call of fitness trackers, high-tech comfy shoes, and all the bells and whistles that accompany a serious hike or longer walk/ run (this includes tasty on-the-go snacks).
  8. Quality time. If they’re your friend, then they’ll want to spend time with you! Lots of people are open to switching things up. Replace your Sunday brunch or Taco Tuesday with a nice walk or short run. Keep the pace slow enough to catch up, and the time will fly!
  9. Clout. We know not EVERYONE is on social media (a lot of you are, we see you, RTE Facebook groups!), but if your friend wants a cool pic to add to their grid or an image to go with their next post, this can be a great way to get it! Offer to take some pictures of them on your first walk or run together, and ask them to snap selfies with your post-miles treat!
  10. Health. This is probably the most important one. Fitness is for everyone, but maybe putting one foot in front of the other isn’t your friend’s cup of tea. Suggest taking a yoga class or joining a gym together to start. Once they feel better about their athletic abilities, signing up for a 5k may seem like a fun new challenge instead of insanity!

These methods really work! Briana has roped in her friends to some awesome races just by showing her sweet medals. Mimi and her friend have a twice-a-week tradition of running near cafés they love. Also, the two biggest Run The Edge challenges, Run The Year and Amerithon, offer the option of forming a team to reach the goal! Take your friendship to the next level... become "running buddies." 

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