/ how do i encourage my 16yr old jogging partner?

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fosnchops - on 28 Jul 2012
I'd like, if possible some suggestions to improve my methods of encouragement to my running partner. I'm 28 and she is 16 and as lovely as she is, I think she suffers from the teenage, slightly apethetic attitude when it comes to pushing herself beyond her comfort zone. The jogging was her idea and she always shows up in the mornings so I know she does want to do it. I currently have us jogging intervals, trying to improve our fitness, with the final goal of jogging a constant 5k. Problem is she always slows to the walking part of the interval much sooner than I like and as her partner I feel obliged to slow down too. So of course I'm not making any improvement myself either. I've tried slowing the pace of the interval but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I've tried setting us goals along our route, eg. Let's try and make it to that stile, gate or tree. Does anyone have any tips? I'm not a personal trainer nor do I have much to do do with teenagers on a daily basis. Infact it was a bit of a "oh my god I'm getting old" moment when I realised I was out of touch with teenage "stuff" when she sent me a text message in a code I couldn't make head nor tail of! Anyway, any ideas please?
dale1968 - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops: why? If you run you run, maybe its not her thing.. there plenty of other activities not everyone is a runner. the apathy could be a big clue.. she ain't that interested
stonemaster - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops: Leave her be. She does what she wants. If you want to improve your own time, sprint to the interval when she walks and sprint back again, repeat until she reaches the interval. Good luck. Understand about problems with txtspk....:)
fosnchops - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to dale1968:

If she isn't that interested why did she ask me to go running with her? If she isn't that interested why does she text me the night before to confirm the time we meet in the morning. I'd understand what you are saying if I felt like I was dragging her out against her will, but I'm not. I'm not a great runner, but I like to push myself. I like to sweat and I like to feel I've put in as much effort as I can muster, so I was wondering how to inspire her. That's all...
tspoon1981 on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops: If I'm out of order you can just ignore this, have you considered that she may not be interested in the running but spending time with you?
wilkie14c - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:
16 is a funny age. I've found teenagers generally unsure of their ability and don't really know when to feel good about themselves. I'd perhaps keep this in mind and make it your focus to be giving huge praise for what may only be small achievements and bring her confidence up so she feel that she can reach bigger and bigger goals. I'm just talking from personal teenager experience not running but it should work with all aspects of their life
Bimbler - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:

It takes time to build fitness and stamina. Unless she has been running a long time then she will take much longer to reach the level of fitness you have.

I'd just bask in the glory of knowing you are kicking the ass of someone half your age! Failing that you could get a new partner. As for her attitude thats fairly typical of a 16yr old!

Having said the above, have you considered her motives for running? Body image is a big thing for people her age and running is currently very in fashion for weight loss. Doing it for fashion is never going to mean you get a great partner, and doing it for weight loss is likely to mean poor 'running diet'.

Just a few thoughts!
existing debt - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops: Its easy to have enthusiasm for a run sat on your sofa the evening before, but getting out of bed with the same motivation is a different thing, I'm no teenager but many times I think , right 6am, up and out!!!! Then come 5.30am , im, feck that...........

BIgYeti86 - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:
In the intervals do individual efforts. e.g. individual effort to that stile, gate or tree. Both set off at your own paces, when you get there first double back to her position and run the last bit in with her.

That way you can run as fast as you want, and you get no extra rest compared to her so you don't feel like you are leaving her behind.

I had to run in groups, and was one of the slower ones. I never minded when this happened and the extra encouragement was always nice. It might even spur her on to run faster.
IMA - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops: may have missed something, but when you are next out why not ask her what shes after from these jogs, fitness, weight loss or maybe just company and something to do? Probably easier to assess from that point. Oh and just make it part of a conversation one run rather than a direct question :).
fosnchops - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to tspoon1981: no you're not out of order. I didn't give you any real background about myself so you might have assumed I am a 28yr old male who is the subject of a 16 yr old girl's crush. That's not the case. I'm a girl and I'm her older brothers girlfriend. So you could be right. I could be the older sister she never had? But I have filled a bit in my profile now so that my sex is no longer in question and so that I don't seem like a guy preying on a 16 yr old girl :s
fosnchops - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to Bimbler and IMA: yes it seems I might have to work on my subtlety (currently at a level similar to that of a sledgehammer) and ensure she's eating properly and reassure her if need be. But we do have a goal - we are doing the race for life, in September. I know there's not hard competition in this sort of event - its the taking part for charity that counts - but it would be good for both of us if it spurred us onto other 5k events.
fosnchops - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to BIgYeti86 and stonemaster: I will run ahead and then back to her and see how she deals with it. Hopefully like you say, it will spur her on to keep up with me :)
Camm on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:
I used to try and run when I was about 16 but never liked to push myself, now I'm 20 and running better than I ever have (though still not great), I realised that generally when running the pain will go quite quick if you carry on, where as before I always thought that the pain would continue untill I stop.
lanky_suction1 - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:

I think it's great that you are taking the time to encourage her!

Maybe you need to be less subtle and more direct: tell her exactly what you are doing i.e. 'Keep going, it's not time to slow down just yet' and explain a bit about the whys and hows of interval training. At the moment that language you describe makes it a 'maybe' rather than a 'let's do'!

She may just not understand how it all works. As the older and more experienced one, I think you can lead a bit more here.
liz j on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:
Forget the intervals and just get some miles in out in the countryside. If you want to push yourself, add some hills, you can always sheepdog if she can't run up them as fast as you. Running should be fun, maybe she finds interval training boring?
fosnchops - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to liz j: True, maybe I just need to be a little more inventive to keep her interested.
ablackett - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:
>I'm 28 and she is 16 and as lovely as she is

Am I going to be the only one to say that I think you might be being a bit silly going jogging with a 16 year old girl on your own, early in the morning, with nobody else around?

I'm a teacher, so am sensitive about this stuff, I am a 30 year old man and I wouldn't dream of doing such a thing because if she made an allegation it would be the end of my career. I would suggest that you should give it some thought.
liz j on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to ablackett:
I think you need to read the post above that says the OP is the girlfriend of the girls older brother..
fosnchops - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to liz j: is "sheepdog" a term for running ahead and then back? Like what was suggested earlier?
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John W - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:
> (In reply to tspoon1981)

>you might have assumed I am a 28yr old male who is the subject of a 16 yr old girl's crush. That's not the case. I'm a girl

And you may still be the subject of a 16 yr old girl's crush......
davidbeynon - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:

Set the dogs on her. I find that usually speeds people up.
wbo - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops: Have some patience. She may well have a different level of motivation to you, and less tolerance for sore legs. She may well also have a different fitness level to you, and be suffering more. Plus very few people are much good at intervals in the morning, survival is enough for me

This is the problem with running with other people - they may not want the same thing as you.

I would forget all this stuff about doing sprints and coming back to her, and so on and so forth as it would soon kill my motivation level.
yorkshireman - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to ablackett:
> Am I going to be the only one to say that I think you might be being a bit silly going jogging with a 16 year old girl on your own, early in the morning, with nobody else around?

That is one of the most depressing sentiments I've read on here for a while.
Carolyn - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:

Have you tried one of the C25K (Couch to 5km) apps - 16 yo probably has a phone that'll run one (!), and maybe she's respond better to a set programme rather than you setting the targets? I've never used one, but I think they set off very gently, and they seem really popular with loads on people on my Facebook......
puppythedog on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:9 times out of ten (in my experience) motivation is negatively affected by one of two things;
Not wanting to do the thing: this may apply in your case but perhaps she also feels she should do it or that it is a god idea but doesn't enjoy it etc.
Not feeling confident in being able to do the thing: This is really quite common for many things and it may take time for her to resolve this one.

It's worth trying to find out which but gently. regardless of whether you know what is causing her ambivalence genuine praise for successes, listening but not challenging when she talks about bits not being fun or being too difficult. If you try to tell her any positives it is likely to be less effective than if you can illicit them from her. ( hoping not to seem supercillious but skillfully exploring someone's motivation can be a very challneging skill to develope) that said avoid telling her what to do, give genuine praise fro genuine achievements and ask her about the running.

It may be worth using the question "is there anything you're not enjoying/liking about the running?" but you must resist the temptation to explain to her why soe of those things don't matter/will get better/problem solve them.

I hope that helps: if you fancy a book on the subject of motivation: Miller adn Rollnick Motivational interviewing (any of the ones written by them) even the ones that are just about substance missuse are informative and helpful.
Bimbler - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to wbo:
> (In reply to fosnchops)
> I would forget all this stuff about doing sprints and coming back to her, and so on and so forth as it would soon kill my motivation level.

Yep, if someone did this to me I'd soon be taking up boxing instead!
fosnchops - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Carolyn: this does sound like something she would like. I could let her plan things for us on it. That involvement might make all the difference. Thanks!
Carolyn - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:

Of course, the downside might be she can choose some music to go with the run!
fosnchops - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Carolyn: On second thoughts ... :)
Loughan - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops: is there any point to the running? Are you entering a race. Setting goals can be the motivator. Is there a park run near you? An organised event with the goal of running 5K
http://www.parkrun.org.uk/
Ava Adore - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to fosnchops:

I had always understood that intervals and speed training generally was something that you did once you had built up a base level of fitness which probably takes a few months. Perhaps just concentrate on getting to the distance comfortably first.

It may also be that she is not a speed animal. Myself and one of my running partners (Staceyjg) are both naturally slow runners but we do have endurance and it's pushing the distances that we run that motivates us.

I also understand that it's easier to build endurance than it is to increase your speed (it certainly is for me). If you push the distances instead of the speed, visible improvement will come sooner. Getting to milestones like 5k, 5 miles, 10K, 10 miles etc. is a wonderful feeling!

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