11/10/11

Why Group Running Works for Me

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 Part of my amazing summer clinic at CCRRrunning.
  • 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.
  • TEAM COWBELL! The CCRR gang cheering at the Hamilton Road2Hope MarathonFriendships – 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

6 comments:

krissie said...

You know, other than when we've been out of town, I don't think I've ran alone in the past few weeks. And that is so bizarre because until the past few weeks, I ran alone 99% of the time.

And it is completely different. Yes, I have podcasts piling up in iTunes because I usually run to them, but the benefits have been insane. I am faster. I don't walk as often (if at all). I'm learning about people. I'm talking through my process. Running with a group has changed how I run. It is crazy. I don't know how to explain it, but this isn't what I expected. I have always ran for me. If someone would have asked me 6 months ago, I would have said that I didn't want to run with anyone else. That I enjoyed my alone time.

But I think that was because I was scared. Because I had only ran with groups who were faster than me. Because I didn't know that 11:30min/mile groups existed. Because my experience with groups were male-dominated and fast (and incredibly freaking early).

There is so much about you that inspires me, Mouse. I read what you do, what motivates you, and then try to figure out how I can incorporate that into my life. It was you pimping out your group and Nashville Sarah and her East Nasty group that made me determined to create one for myself and other ladies like me.

I know this sounds hokey, but I feel like we have a virtual group too. I know when you are running. And Angie. And you know when I am running. And even though you're not beside me, you're in my pocket.

marie said...

We TOTALLY have a virtual group. It's funny, I have been able to forge friendships both here in TO, across the country and even south of the border because of running. As much as I hate it sometimes, it's been nothing but positive for me :)

PunkRockMom said...

You've inspired me (again). After a bit of searching I found a running clinic in our wee town and signed up for the newsletter. I am keeping my eyes peeled for a learn to run clinic and I WILL join:-)

H-woman said...

I run by myself, at first because of my crazy schedule and then because it became 'my' time and almost a form of meditation for me.

I know that running in a group would push me more, but I'm so not an evening runner. I like to get up in the morning and run.

Speaking of which, I should probably find my runners...I think they're around here somewhere...

=)

Laura said...

No way would I be without my run group..who have now turned into my spin group, cross training group, nutrition group and functional training group.
I give them lots o credit for keeping me sane and getting me to the point where I think I am a runner.

Izz said...

Thanks for sharing this, M. It's really inspiring as I start my own running "journey".

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