Running with a guide

Tips if you have sight loss and are looking for someone to run with:


Think 'running' means fast? WRONG. Running is essentially any pace that raises your heart and breathing rates. Everyone runs at a different pace.

Running is what YOU make it - it is as fast or as slow as YOU want it to be. The distance you run is entirely your choice.

Brand new to running? Worried that you will not be able to do it, or unsure in any way? We have a large number of trained, empathetic guide runners who are very willing to support you on your journey. There is no pressure, no expectation. We want you to enjoy the journey, and the benefits associated - physically, mentally, socially.

For blind runners with little or no useful vision, the motion of running might initially make you feel nervous - this will disappear as your body and brain get used to running and your fitness level increases.


Be clear with new guide runners about the information you require while running - keep it straightforward and consistent.


Always be honest with your guide runner if the pace is too fast or too slow, or if you feel unwell or uncomfortable.


If you run regularly with the same key guides you'll easily become comfortable running together.


Always take an accessible mobile phone with you.


Listening to music or podcasts aren't always great running aids for people with sight loss, but be aware that other people use them and might not be as aware of you as you are of them.


When entering events, ask organisers for a discount for your guide runner, especially if they do not want a medal or T-shirt. Most races accommodate this request (charity events, understandably, can't always offer discounted places).

Arrive at events with plenty of time spare to get your numbers and your bearings. Also, make other sighted runners aware of your presence.


Try to be understanding of other runners, especially at events with sighted runners if they don't anticipate the participation of someone who is blind. By taking part you also raise the profile of blind people’s participation in sport (it’s a learning curve for everyone involved).


Remember to encourage each other! You're a team after all.

NOW AVAILABLE: vests, t-shirts and bibs, all in bright hi-vis colours (yellow, pink, green, or orange) for adults and children including 'Visually Impaired', 'Blind' and 'Guide'. 

High quality garments at low prices, made in the UK to order and sent direct to you. 



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All external material © original owner, reproduced with permission.

VI Runners and Guide Runners NI is very kindly supported by

EK Eyewear Opticians, Belfast

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