by: Mark Lamb
Running alone it is easy-- you just start to walk. No one cares. No one notices. And you aren't embarrassed. That is why I like running alone. When I run alone, I can walk anytime I want. My mind is masterful at talking me into all the reasons why I should walk. I might be the most creative running alone. Everything from loose gravel to humidity can require me to walk.
But the problems begins to get complicated when I run with people. I like to stop for a walk, so I have developed several strategies for walking on a group run.
1. Ask Short Questions- Early in the run, ask a decent runner with you questions like "What's new in life?" or "Tell me about the Presidential Race" or "What's on your weekly grocery list?" Something short for you, but long for them. If they answer the question, it will surely cause a cramp for them-- then they will suggest walking.
2. Get Lost- Ask to be the lead runner and then take people on a new path, that no one knows. Get lost. Get so lost that you have to stop and check the maps on your iPhone. This will go beyond a walk to a full out stop.
3. Fake an Injury- This can be as simple as a leg cramp to a full on fall into someones hedges.
4. Listen- Someone in your group wants to walk too. Listen closely to people breathing. When you find the weak link, run close to them, the loudly proclaim your pity for them and plead with the group to slow down for this poor runner. Then you can be the servant hero that is willing to walk with them.
5. Make it a Game- Call is sprint/walk. Light poles are excellent for this. Find a light pole and ask people to pick it up a little until the next pole, then you will walk the next three. The key to this is to not sprint but maintain your speed. Everyone else will run hard and you can affirm them for their speed as a sprinter while you explain to them that you are "more of a distance guy."
What are your creative walking ideas? Let us know in the comments below!
Mark is a creative, an instigator, and humorist living in Athens, GA. He has served with Connect Ministries as the leader of the WinShape Camps Experience Team for sometime. He is a reluctant runner-- only running with others because he always quits and sides with snacks when fronted with running alone. Mark likes to call himself a "marathoner" since he completed one. Follow Mark on twitter @marktlamb