I met Tam at IDEA World BlogFest. Her spirit impressed me but I didn’t get to hang with her as much as I would have liked. That’s why I made sure to check out her blog when I got home. I was impressed and intrigued with her running journey. I tip my hat to anyone who does an ULTRA Marathon. Enjoy this post on how running with a group might be the trick that helps you become a runner too. – Pamela
Running is a tough sport. It’s hard on the body, it can hurt and you can always find a reason not to run. When you’re part of a group, you can find inspiration from your fellow runners. You can find company when you need it and most importantly, you can have post-run coffee and talk about running some more!
I decided to run my first marathon in the fall of 2002 after I ran my first 10k with a friend. I knew I couldn’t do it alone and searched for a group to join right away. Thanks to my running club, I ran my first marathon in 2003 and have been running ever since! I still run with my club and joined an ultra running team, too. My running friends are some of my closest friends and I know that I’m a better runner because of them.
Here are 5 reasons to run with a group.
It’s easy to sleep in and say you’ll run later. You can easily talk yourself out of a run and promise to run the next day. Life gets in the way and before you know it, you haven’t run. When you’re part of a group, you have people to help keep you accountable. If you’re part of a club, you know when the runs are and can plan for them. There have been many times when I have thought about skipping a Wednesday night run with my club but I know there’s a friend waiting to run with me. And once I’m there and start running, I feel great!
#2: Improved Performance
I am a better runner because I run with others. When you run with runners who are faster than you, you can push yourself a little. They can carry you along and you may find that the faster pace isn’t so bad after all. One of my teammates encouraged me to run hill repeats with her. I hadn’t done these workouts before and I wasn’t varying the types of running I was doing. I started doing hill repeats with her and felt stronger. I improved my 50k time by 1 hour and 20 minutes and more importantly, she helped me set up the foundation for doing hill repeats on my own and getting other teammates to join in.
You can learn from other runners. Runners love to talk about running! You can learn about how to fuel during a run, what gear works, what to do in tough situations—anything you’re having trouble with or need advice on, someone in the group will have experience to guide you. When I want to know about a race that I haven’t done, I talk to people about it and get tips for that race. When I wanted to start trail running, I started running with trail runners and soaked up as much information as I could.
“Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious.” (Rachel Wolchin) Running with others is a huge motivator. No matter how fast or slow someone goes, I have always admired that they are out there giving it all they’ve got. I love talking to runners who are running their first marathon or who are working hard to PR in a distance. When others are working hard to achieve a goal, it’ll make you think about your own goals. My big dream was to become an ultra runner but I was scared to run trails and I wasn’t sure I could do it. My teammate planted a seed and I kept thinking about running my first 50k. We kept talking about it and finally I said “I’m going to do this!” I was motivated by my friends who were going to run their first 50k, too. We trained together and supported one another through the journey to the finish line!
The best part about being part of a running group is the community of runners. Runners are some of the best people around. Runners are typically hard working, goal-oriented and super tough. They run through pain, suffering and adversity. Runners will “get you” and know what you’re going through. It’s great to be part of a team to help support one another as you train, grow and work to improve. My running friends have been my biggest cheerleaders. They celebrate your success with you, encourage you and wait for you at finish lines. Best of all, your running friends become your friends and you hang out socially outside of running. Your running friends will lift you up when you’re down and be there for you.
Running with others will only help you improve, feel motivated and make running fun, too! Thank you, Pamela, for inviting me to share about the fun I’ve had running with groups. Keep pushing forward!
Your path, your pace, Tam