Running isn’t always easy, but that’s the point, isn’t it? Sure, it’s great exercise and a fun way to spend some time outside after being cooped up all day long. But it’s the challenge that makes it so worthwhile. Can you push yourself a little farther today? And can you one day reach the level where you take on a marathon?
Personal willpower ebbs and flows, which is why running with a group of friends can make a difference. While some people prefer working out alone in a home gym, having a running group makes training more fun and social, helps you stay safer, and gives you the motivation you sometimes need to get that extra mile under your feet.
The Joys of Training Together
When no one is watching, it can be hard to fight temptation. At work, that can mean slacking off. When it comes to training, that can mean running less or not reaching your potential. That’s where a running group can really help. By running with friends, you’re held accountable, and you’re more likely to run your entire route.
Running with a group can also help you stay consistent with your training, which helps you develop endurance and run farther. And of course, it’s a great way to socialize and meet new people.
Another option is to have a much smaller group and get help from a running coach. Having coaches who really know what they’re doing can help you improve your speed, endurance, and even your health.
Staying Safe While Running
When you run, traffic becomes a major safety consideration. This includes other runners, cyclists, pedestrians, and cars. It’s important to continuously monitor traffic, and part of that means staying visible. Run in well-lit areas, and make sure you follow traffic rules. Matching T-shirts can actually help your group stay safe as well, especially if they are bright or even reflective.
It’s also important to protect your group runners individually. Have everyone leave word with someone they trust as to where the group will be running. Carry your cell phone if you can, but don’t use it for listening to music. Headphones can block out the noise of traffic or someone coming up behind the group. You might also want to vary your route and running times, and if you’re ever confronted by an angry motorist or cyclist, ignore them and keep running.
Finding Races and Training Opportunities
One of the fun parts of running is participating in races. A 5K, 10K, or even a marathon can be a great goal to keep you training and motivated with your group. But how do you find these races and opportunities?
That’s where the internet comes in. There are sites available that let you find races by state, and even internationally. One avenue to consider is taking your group to the next level and joining a formal running club. These clubs offer different challenges and opportunities depending on your group’s level. You can also find lots of training options through a running club, as well.
Getting Better as a Group
Running is a great way to burn calories, improve your fitness, and build your self-esteem. By running with a group this year, you can also benefit from the social aspect of running. Practice smart running safety, find a club or race to join, and maximize your group’s running potential.
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