Running partners can make a big difference, whether starting or being an experienced road runner. While the romance of long-distance runners running alone may sound charming, you will soon find that you are more comfortable having someone to share your journey with.
What exactly is a running group? And why should we want to be a part of one?
The Running Community
This loose term could refer to any time you aren’t running alone. It is about building a relationship with others throughout a single run that will benefit your motivation, goals, as well as your running desires.
What works for you will help you decide what community approach is best. These are just a few examples to help you get started.
Types of Running Clubs
Running clubs that are structured and regularly run are at the top of the list. On the other end, there are more traditional athletics clubs. Running together has been made possible by running groups sponsored by Nike, Lululemon, and others.
This running style makes it possible to connect with a diverse group of people, and they often make room for runners from all backgrounds. Innovative online connections, such as online communities built around technology like MapMyRun or GPS watches and other running technologies, can be found at the other end. These enable you to remotely run with others and create a global community to ‘run’ with.
These are organized and structured approaches. You could also suggest to your friend to run with your dog on your own or take a walk along the hills outside your house window.
Friends of mine who have completed marathons have been encouraged by a playlist that we created for them. It is smart to find a way to support running friends and non-running friends.
Why community matters?
There are many reasons not to go for it alone. Motivation is important. Having someone to encourage you, give advice, and offer perspective.
This can be a part of allowing you to relax and take a break from running.
It can be a great boost to make a commitment and run with someone. This can encourage us to get out on the road when we prefer to stay home. Running buddies can motivate us to get out and keep going. This support is vital in making running what you want it to be. Running with others is a great way to stay focused and believe in steady, incremental progress.
Pacing is much easier when I’m alone. I often feel I am tempted to run fast and not be as efficient, which causes me to get cramps before I have completed half of the distance I set out to cover. Running together can be a great way to keep track of them because you have others to help you monitor your pace, cadence, and breathing. You can also run with your friends, share your progress, and help each other spot signs of slowing down or too hard.
This peer advice is the final perk to running together.
We all know more than we think. Learning to give advice and then learn from others helps us stay grounded. Many people believe that you don’t know anything about a subject until you’ve taught it. Our knowledge can be shared with running partners, who can then receive ours. This creates a pool of knowledge that is mutually beneficial to everyone.
How to build your community?
Whichever group you choose, I encourage you to join other runners. Different communities are suited for different types of people at different times in our lives. Keep going!
We can all smile at one another to support the running community.
One of my pets hates running past another runner and smiling only to meet their stare. No matter how fast or far we run, it doesn’t matter what speed we have. A smile and a bit of generosity can go a long way in building strong communities.
Next time you smile at your running friends. It makes a big difference.