The joys or running alone are many. For some, the thought of a lonely trail through the mountains or by a lake is inspiration enough to last a lifetime. But, for others, the thoughts of being worn out and alone are enough to make any scenic trek unbearable to the point of rolling back under the covers and launching the alarm clock against the wall. If you find yourself in this latter portion of the populace, then welcome to running with a group.
Whether your looking for motivation to push harder, trying to find friends, or just plain out need someone to push you out the door, finding a group to run with will help you achieve many of your short and long term running goals.
Running With A Group
1. Accountability: When you work as a team you always get more done. The same is true for you and your new running lifestyle. Every day, be it morning, noon or night, there will be people counting on you to show up. Running in a group only has one requirement: three or more need to show up; do you really want to be the one that lets the others down?
2. Excuses: These are going to go right out the window. It won’t matter whether your tired, hot, cold, or just feeling blah; you can bet someone else in your group feels the same way, and yet, there they are, waiting and ready to support you through your day. You won’t need to complain because you can take solace in the fact that someone or all of your group is feeling the same way and they are managing to push through it, together…
3. Motivation: It’s hard to keep pushing yourself day in and day out, particularly in the beginning stages of your running career. But if your running with a pack of people, you’ll run out of self sympathy pretty quickly. What will count wont be the other things you could be doing, but the run that you are doing.
4. Friendship: You’ll meet like minded people and with the exception of a few hills or harsh weather, there will likely be a few talkers among them. This is a good time to meet new people, and running doesn’t just belong to one particular type, so you’ll likely be spreading your friendship net a little wider than usual.
5. Experience: Running with others is different than running by yourself or with a partner. You will learn a whole new set of skills. You will have to adjust your pace, learn how to run in an undisclosed lane and how to pass appropriately. There will be a whole new world of etiquette that gets opened up to you and you’ll be learning how to live in a runner’s community.
Finding a group to run with brings a whole new perspective to your running experience. It may take a little time to get used to things, but once you do, you will have found a group that shares their love in life with you. They can provide you with friendship, courage, motivation and safety. To not want to be a part of such a thing at some point, would be to miss out on one of running’s greatest gifts.