Today I popped my runversation cherry. For those unfamiliar with the phrase it’s simply a run whilst having a conversation.
As we can’t meet to run in person, our running group and lots of others around the UK I’m sure, are finding innovative ways to keep in touch whilst out and about running.
Clearly there are some safety points to be made at the start so I’ll get those out the way first. If you’re using headphones make sure you’re aware of your surroundings, both in terms of other people around you but also traffic, so you’re not putting yourself and others at risk. I know that’s obvious but it would be remiss not to point it out.
I was quite nervous about my first runversation. Not because of who I was having it with (Gruby is lovely) but more the logistics. My ears don’t seem to like ear buds, they never stay in for long when I’m still let alone moving. Plus I was worried I’d sound like I was heavy breathing down the phone and no one wants that!
I sorted myself out with a very fetching set up. Ear buds in ears held down tight by a buff so they couldn’t move. I tested it out on a walk with another friend, Ann, on Friday and it seemed to do the trick.
After my first runversation I can honestly say I’m a convert. It was so nice to get to know Gruby a little better and chat to someone whilst I was running. I hadn’t realised that I’d missed the company of running with others as I’m quite happy in my own little world when I run.
What’s great about having a runversation is that you can run your own route at your own pace and still feel like you’re running with company. Gruby and I ran in totally different directions and at totally different paces but it made no difference to feeling connected.
That feeling of being connected is so important right now. It doesn’t matter if you’re chatting about the weather, family life, home schooling or politics, it’s whatever works for that moment in time. We’re often, for good reason and the right reasons given the current covid climate, stuck in our little bubbles not seeing people socially. Today has shown me we can still be connected with others in a way that I wouldn’t have thought of before. Clearly I speak to people on the phone and via video chats, I’d have just never done it whilst out running.
Also if you’re worried about the heavy breathing issue or random pauses and that’s what’s putting you off trying to have a runversation it’s not something I even thought about whilst I was out. Pauses naturally happen in conversations or when one of you is crossing the road and they didn’t make it awkward at all. Neither does saying hello to others who aren’t part of the conversation as you pass.
It turns out the whether you’re running physically together or connected on the phone that feeling of going for a run with someone is still the same when you’re having a runversation.