Fitness / Running Info

Tips for Supporting a Runner

Do you have a runner in your life? Do you have friends that want to support you but are not sure where to start? Here’s a quick article you can read or send to someone as a hint!  (Ahem, my awesome boyfriend… if you’re reading this then hint hint hint haha)

Tips on Support a Runner


  • Be understanding of that sometimes a runner would rather head home for an early night so they can wake up early for a morning run.
  • Be understanding of the fact that I may be hangry and I may say things that I do not mean.

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  • Live with one?  Get some coffee brewing or if you’re feeling generous, some food ready for when they get home.
  • Sometimes we just need to rant or rave about a run – even when you have nothing to contribute, it means a lot if you’re just there listening 🙂  Especially post race! There’s just so much to process so having someone listen to us go on about our PRs, the splits, what went wrong, etc is awesome!
  • Text messages can be amazing! I’ve broken down on a long run before and just sat down and cried.  Having my friends text me during that moment to motivate me was amazing.  When my friends tell me they’re going on a run, I make sure to send a “have fun!” text too.
  • Massages. Massages, massages, massages!
  • Gift cards to running stores because do you really know how many pairs of shoes runners go through?  I loved receiving gift cards for running stores since that meant my shoes wouldn’t be full price!
  • If you bike, offering to bike alongside me on my long runs = you’re the best person everrrrrrr.  I had a friend do this once and carried my water for me and it was one of my favourite/best runs EVER.
  • Up for waking up early? Make a cute race sign for their race!  I was over the moon when I heard my friend screaming my name in the last 300m of my half marathon.  I wanted to give up but knowing that they were there got me to suck it up and finish strong.


  • Bring an extra sweater with you if you’re at a race watching your friend: Never under estimate how cold runners can get post race (at least here in Toronto!) I always have the foil wrap, a sweater, sweatpants, and a jacket and I’m still shivering!
  • Did I mention massages?
  • Are you at a destination race?  Scope out potential restaurants! I’m always so focused on the race, I always forget to plan out where we would eat afterwards (or before).  I’m much rather someone do the planning so I can spend every waking hour on obsessing over my race!
  • Record everything! Training takes a LOT of work and race photographers aren’t always able to get a good shot. Going at different points of the race to snap some pictures or videos for a runner to show your support is amazing! Great memories were recorded for me when my friends got some pics of me at a race because I was mid sneeze in the photo the race got of me!

In addition, here’s some ways my blogging/running friends suggest to support your fellow runner:

  • The biggest way my hubby supports me is by watching the kids for me while I do my Saturday long runs. He also never complains about the mess in the house or how many of his sports socks disappear into my drawers – Janice via Fitness Cheerleader
  • Embrace their “crazy” just let them go do their thing. Don’t question. – Deborah via Confessions of a Mother Runner 
  • I support my runner wife by doing the running laundry and helping pace her in tough workouts and races. – Marc via Train with Marc
  • Even if you aren’t a runner yourself, support your runner by going to races when you can. It’s always great to see a loved ones face while you’re running…and knowing they’ll be at the finish line! – Patty via Reach Your Peak 
  • Pay for a race entry fee – make their day – Diatta via Femme Fitale Fitclub
  • By cheering your runner on during their race. Nothing is better than seeing a loved ones face when you are struggling. – Toni via Running Loving Living
  • My hubby will take time off from work to come and support me at a race. Also watching the toddler so I can train and race – Gina via Mirror Watching
  • My husband & kids come to every single one of my races. They like to make signs or meet me at the end with a rose. Just having them there at the end means a lot! – Amber via Nutri Fit Mama

So do you have any tips to help support the runner in your life?

<3 Carmy

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28 thoughts on “Tips for Supporting a Runner

  1. All great tips…I supported my husband who is a runner (while I wasn’t running) by getting his race packet for him. I had to fight DC traffic during rush hour so he owes me big time:) Just kidding, he has also done a lot to support me and my running over the years. Foot rubs are the best!

  2. Love this post. My boyfriend has been my biggest supporter. Even if I can only see him at the start and finish, knowing that he woke up at the butt crack of dawn and is waiting to take a you-did-it photo means the world to me. When my parents can’t come to a race, they always text me to wish me good luck, track me as I’m running, and text/call me after the race to say congrats.

  3. great post. My non-runner husband is pretty good. He initially was feeling left out by my time away and then me being too tired to interact much after a long workout. I think we have a healthy understanding of each other’s needs now and he usually joins for a destination race or two as a spectator/cheerleader

  4. These are all so great! Love the massages and the tips about bringing signs and cheering people on. My best friend made sure she had a cowbell and screamed her heart out for me at my last race – it made every step worth it!

  5. My husband is a cyclist, so I support him by making sure to get all of the maintenance done on his bike.

    He supports me by agreeing to travel wherever and whenever I want to race LOL.

  6. Begin rant. I will never understand when a mother says her husband will babysit/watch/care for the kids so they can get a run in. It’s called being a father, it’s just as much their job to spend time with their children as much as it is yours. Makes me cringe every time. This is your husband, not a 16 year old neighbor. Does your boss tell you how wonderful you are when you clock in on time every day…. No, because it’s your responsibility to be there on time, not something to be rewarded. I feel sorry for women who think this is a behavior that deserves to be saluted, it doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned. Thankful for my husband who is my partner in all things. End rant.

  7. Great tips! I personally am digging the “massage” suggestion. My husband is my big running rock too, and the best way he supports me is by listing to me when I tell him what I need and pushing me gently to keep on going when I think I can’t go anymore… If only because he doesn’t want to have to run ahead to go get the car and come pick me up. 😉

  8. Cheer. Cheer loudly. Bring Signs or Pompoms! One marathon a group of gals set up a Freezee Station – THE BEST!!! The ran to runners and gave em out! AWESOmE!! Also i love volunteering and cheering on runners — it is inspiring and a whole lotta fun.

      • Let’s see last year’s Calgary mara — freezees…one family had a sprinkler set up – we all ran thru it! Lots o cheering – even someone with a running hose a few stopped to rehydrate! I love stuff like that! Oh and once during a winter santa run — some fella had baileys out. That was fun…but I can’t really drink and run.

          • you would love runng in Calgary – great pathways all along the river…so many great spots that sometimes you forget you are even in a city! Our mara is awesome going thru so many great neighbourhoods. They have a competition for the best cheer stations.

  9. This is a great post. My favorite ways would be Massage, waiting at the finish line (my son and husband do this and I love it) and for my husband to watch my son while I run on weekends is very appreciated too.

  10. Lovely tips and yes, I resorted to texting during a race where I felt I couldn’t go one more step. I texted my buddy I was done and she said, this too will pass. Keep moving. 🙂

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