Running Shorts: Influencing Strategies

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“If I try to use human influence strategies and tactics of how to get other people to do what I want, to work better, to be more motivated, to like me and each other – while my character is fundamentally flawed, marked by duplicity and insincerity – then, in the long run, I cannot be successful. My duplicity will breed distrust and everything I do – even using so-called good human relations techniques – will be perceived as manipulative.”

In events and races, runners will play their different strategies to provoke an action or response from fellow runners that are nearby. But what things a runner will need to consider, especially in the later part of the event.

How to tackle passing a runner?

Do you say something?

Do you do any gesture?

What to do after I passed?

There is a difference when I slowly pass someone and when a pass with solid faster pace. A response from the runner being passed could be to try to match or exceed my pace (to not let me pass) or let me go by and stay behind. The question is what reaction of the two I want to provoke, one will be I do not want them to follow, so I might pick the option that will increase the chances of that outcome like increasing the pace even more as I pass. That way the runner will probably not pursue and stay behind. In the other hand, if I want to them to break their plan, I might pass them slowly, hang in there tempting them to follow me, perhaps at a pace they might not be able to sustain for the long run or break their current strategy. Either scenario involves strategy thinking something I will probably write about in future posts.

But in regards to this case, if I do not have the capability or the mindset in check, it will be a flawed approach and a runner will be running the chances of failing in the strategy and not being genuine in your approach.

In the other hand, I was once running a half marathon event, it was a very warm and humid day, I knew I was not going to PR the event, so I was running to just finish. In the last few miles, I saw some runners were struggling. As I was passing some of them I was slowing down a bit, running alongside to some of them and tried to encourage them to keep it up since there was not much longer to the finish line. There was one young runner that I saw slowing down almost to a stop. He looked in good shape but seems that he was mentally exhausted. I got close and said to him “Come on, let us tackle this. Just about 600 meters to go. Less than two laps at the track. Come on…” I was so happy that he picked up the pace with me. I stayed with him for the last segment and as we were getting close to the finish line I told him, “Go ahead finish strong” and he did. I did not know his name, but it did make me feel good that I was able to rally some of the runners to the finish. In the finishers area, he was looking for me, fist bumped and said “Thank you” to which I replied, “You did great”