In 2007, I resolved to run my very first 10k. I timidly signed up for a clinic at the Running Room to help me achieve my goal. I thought that I couldn’t possibly do it on my own and having structure and support would get me through.
Well, I got a lot more than I bargained for.
Fast forward to 2011 and I’ve gone from participating in clinics to leading them.
Who woulda thunk it?
But group runs have become the norm for me. If I don’t have a gaggle of people I run with, things just don’t seem right and a long run gets cut horribly short.
So what’s so great about group running and run clubs?
- Accountability – There is nothing that gets me out of bed faster on a Sunday morning than knowing I have to go on a long run with my group. Although I’ve been slacking in the last month (it’s nice not having something to train for right now), they keep me honest about running.
- Motivation – I run with a wide range of abilities and speeds. Spending time with Boston Qualifiers and people who are just content to cross a finish line is both inspiring and humbling.
- Self-improvement – Although I seem to get slower as each year passes, it’s amazing to watch other people progress. Pace groups, whether they’re created or happen naturally, in addition to a training schedule that incorporates different run workouts has helped so many transform into more efficient runners right before my very eyes. Nothing makes me prouder.
- Friendships – I only joined to reach a goal. I stay because of the people I’ve met. We run together, we race together, we eat and drink together, we laugh together and we cheer together. If you had told me when I signed up in 2007 that I’d meet some of the most important people in my life running, I would have laughed at you. Now, I can’t imagine how it would have been if I had done it all on my own.
I know that group running isn’t for everyone, but it’s for me and you can’t knock it until you try it.
Do you run in a group?
What makes you lace em up with friends vs. running solo?
Images stolen from my amazing running friends