Running with Rob (Week 6) - Utilising your family on race day

This week we look at how to make your family part of your race day team

You might have heard of the movie ‘The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner’. The road is indeed a lonely place at times but nobody really succeeds in long-distance running without a strong team of family and friends behind them.

Your family are a huge support unit and they are vital to your goals, whether you realise it or not.

Runners make incredible sacrifices.

They abstain from alcohol at family functions, they give up their weekends in the pursuit of getting miles in their legs, they spend the winter months out in the cold, rain and wind in order to get a piece of metal to wear around their necks at the finish line on race day.

It’s hard for the runner, but it’s even harder for their families who watch their loved ones spend so much time out on the road when they could be at home.

A lot of family members might even be a little bemused as to why you feel the need to punish yourself repeatedly.

The best way to help them understand is to get them involved.

Make them feel part of your team on race day and let them share in your glory by involving them in the actual race.

We all need sustenance to keep us going in the hardest of circumstances. If you need a particular snack or electrolytes, a family member can be there for you to hand it over as you pass a particular marker.

They can also have a supply of plasters, dry clothes, a hat, sunglasses or any other accessories that you might need but don’t want to carry the whole way round.

Run with your phone and call them to let them know how you’re progressing, how you’re feeling and if you need anything. They might even be able to give you a pep talk if you’re suffering and in a negative mindset.

It’s also great to see loved ones along the route. It provides such a boost to tired minds and bodies when you have support and encouragement.

You’re the one actually running the marathon but your family are with you throughout the training process, putting up with your mood swings, nursing your injuries and motivating you.

The best part of a marathon is seeing the people you care about at the finish line and sharing the glory of your achievement with them.

No one does a marathon totally alone, so cherish and appreciate your supporters and make them feel part of your team.

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