Convince Your Friend to Train for a Half Marathon with You

5 ways to convince your friend to train for a half marathon with you

Maybe you have a race coming up and you don’t want to train alone. Perhaps you need some motivation to get your running groove back. Or you could have a friend who’s talked about running a half marathon, but has yet to commit. Regardless of the reason, it is time to convince your friend to train for a half marathon with you. Training with a buddy is not only fun, but inspiring as well. You can encourage each other while training for the upcoming 13.1-miler. If they’re still on the fence, convince your friend to train for a half marathon with you using the 5 tips below. Remember, running is contagious!

Incorporate a stretch routine before all runs and workouts.

Pro tip: it’s important to remember that life happens. Share how you balance life and training with your friend. That and these 5 helpful tips will give them what they need to train successfully.

1. Describe the race-day experience

Sometimes not knowing what to expect on race day can be detrimental. Take this opportunity to let your friend know what happens during race weekend. From packet pickup to the finish line festival, explain the process and what happens along the way. Provide details about the vendor-filled expo, what to expect on race morning, and the party at the finish line. Build this 4-stretch routine into your training plan and make it part of your race morning.

2. Share training information

Share information, like your favorite GPS watch, with your friend.

Share tips about how to train for the upcoming half. Provide guidance for essential items like running shoes, GPS watches, nutrition, training plans, stretching exercises, etc. Communicate what works and didn’t work for you. This is also a chance for you to determine what might be holding them back. Your friend will have lots of questions. You want to make the entire experience as enjoyable as possible for them. Think back to training for your first 13.1-miler and try to anticipate what they might need. Chances are there are a few things that’ll help them that they’re not aware of, like side stitches. Share these side-stitch prevention methods with them.

3. Provide support and encouragement

Keep in mind, running can seem daunting for a first-timer. Offer support and inspiration that’ll help them continue, even during the tough times. Take small steps and set smaller, weekly goals. Incorporate the ABCs of goal setting and they will help you both build-up to the main goal: crossing the half marathon finish line. Don’t throw your friend into full-fledged running, especially if they’ve never run before. Recall why you started running in the first place and try to impart that to your friend.

4. Work at their pace

Your insight will help your friend cross the finish line!

Your enthusiasm for the half marathon might discourage your friend who might feel less-than-ready to run. To counteract this, make your training run sessions fun. Include tunes they enjoy or run in an area they’re familiar with. Be sure to not make them burn out. Keep things at their pace, from running to the information you share. Again, revert back to training for your first half and what worked for you. If your runs are at night because of their schedule, follow these safety tips and enjoy the benefits of running at night.

5. Create friendly competition and give rewards

What better way to stimulate the passion for running than some competition. It is a fun way to challenge each other during training. Rewards can be small and inexpensive, like home-baked cookies or a new pair of socks. It shows your friend that you’re thinking of them and will incentivize them to reach their goal. When thinking about competition, it doesn’t have to be between the two of you. Challenge your friend to run half a mile further than before or a few seconds faster during a speed workout. After all, they’re their own competition.

Running is an exciting way to get fit and have fun. What better way to enjoy this sport and train for the next half marathon than with your friend? This advice will help you get them off the fence and in training mode. Establish a routine, set smaller goals, and create friendly competition to help your friend cross their first half marathon finish line!

Setting Running Goals? Incorporate the ABCs of Goal Setting

Setting goals can help you reach things you may think are unachievable

Achievements don’t just pop out of thin air, they are are earned. Highly successful individuals are big on setting goals for themselves. This is why it is important to apply goal setting to things you would like to accomplish in running. Goal setting in running does a few things. They can hold you accountable, be motivating, and build confidence.

Many times we desire something but we get lost on the path and come up empty handed. That is why it is important to follow the ABC’s of goal setting: Accountability, Belief, and Commitment.

By following these you will be able to grow with your goals and achieve all your running dream. 

Choosing Your Running Goals

First, choose a big goal. For beginners this might be to run a 5K while those that have been running for awhile might set a goal to win their age group or maybe even winning a marathon. These are all example of larger scale goals that can take longer to accomplish.

Once you have your big goal you will want to set smaller goals that you can easily cross off and that help you build to your goal. These can be anything from starting walking once a week, transitioning to running for the very first time, or even completing a specific type of run workout.

It’s imperative to have smaller, attainable ones along the way to your large goal. These smaller goals can keep you on track and keep your motivation levels high. Start with 2-3 goals that effect your everyday and then 2-3 goals that you will achieve over time. 


Big Goal – Run a Marathon in 2022

Smaller goals to help you get there: 1) Set a healthy weekly meal plan 2) Wake up 30 minutes earlier to have time to workout 3) Complete a virtual 5K 4) Run a 9:00 mile

Once you have these set, it is time to apply the clue that will hold them all together.

Applying the ABCs of goal setting


Two runners celebrate after crossing the 2019 Austin Half Marathon finish line.

You don’t have to go at this alone, invite in your friends and family. Associating with the right people always has a positive influence on your thoughts and actions. Communicate your goals with those around you and then surround yourself with those who support you.

For example, find a training partner. Training with someone who has similar aspirations will help you stay accountable. If you have plans to run early in the mornings, you’re more likely to get out of bed if you know your friend is out there waiting on you. In addition to holding each other accountable, you and your training partner can compare notes, adjust training as needed, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. 

If you don’t currently have anyone in your community reach out new places, like the Austin Marathon Facebook Group. There are so many amazing online communities, be sure to lean on these and find your people.


Image of a runner posing in front of a 2020 Finisher backdrop after completing the 2020 KXAN Simple Health 5K. First-time runners should set a goal and find a corresponding training plan, like the free 5K training plan in this blog.

Have faith in yourself, you can do this! Maintaining a positive attitude is the crux of achieving what you set out to accomplish. You’ll have bumps and bad weather along the way. Focus on what you can control. Negative emotions affect your health negatively and give you a reason to skip a run or workout.

On the other hand, believing you can achieve your goals will go a long way during your training. Don’t set completely unrealistic goals. You want them to push you, but not so much that it negatively impacts your training. Mental toughness needs to be a part of your belief system. Learn how to build your mental toughness so you can get through the tough times.


Commitment goes in tandem with accountability. You have to fully commit. Sign up for the race that meets your goal. Trust us with money on the line and having those around you to check in and make you accountable – you are so much more likely to get the the finish line.

Commitment is an integral part of goal setting and improves the chances you do what’s needed to reach the smaller ones. If you commit to training for a race, you also have to commit to early mornings, eating healthier, and completing your workouts.

Every commitment you make gets you one step closer to reaching the finish line. Don’t let excuses get in the way of your commitment. Use these excuse busters, they’ll keep you on track.

What To Do When Goals Get Off Tack

When goal-setting, make them attainable. That’s how you improve and set goals that make you a better athlete and person. If you think you can increase your mileage with a few weeks with some hardcore training, you are wrong. In reality, you increase your chances of injury.

If find yourself slipping off and saying “oh I’ll do that tomorrow…next week”, pause reassess your smaller goals and find ways to balance life and training. When thinking about what’s next for you, make sure you begin your foundation with the ABCs of goal setting. They’ll help keep you on track and accomplish your smaller goals along the way.