Krissy is mom to Jake and Joe, and is one of our fantastic instructors--you've probably felt encouraged by her positive energy at Stroller Strides or Body Back. Krissy also heads up our Run Club, and has helped lots of our clients (moms, dads, older children, seasoned runners and newbies!) reach their endurance or race-related goals.
I often hear, “I’m not a runner.” Yep, me neither, but it hasn’t stopped me from completing more than a dozen timed running events, from 5K to half marathon, in the last couple of years. I’ve never won or come close, and I’m still waiting to feel the runners’ high so many have told me about.
But I can tell you that running makes me feel accomplished, invigorated and, most importantly, like part of a team. That’s because I prefer to do it with others as part of a training group. You get the benefits of running (improved cardiovascular health and mood, stronger legs and joints, etc.), plus the social aspect of surrounding yourself with like-minded athletes with similar goals.
Below are what I believe are the top three benefits of running with a group, as heard uttered more than once on group training runs:
1) Accountability: If others are expecting you to show up, you’re more likely to be there. When that voice in your head tries to convince you that you have too much to do or you just don’t feel like working out, your running group holds you accountable because it’s a scheduled event on your calendar as motivation.
2) Meet and Learn from New People: Running with a group gives you the chance to challenge yourself to keep up with those who are faster or ease back and run a slower-than-normal pace, particularly if you struggle with consistency or pacing. Plus, you get to learn from and socialize with someone new.
3) The Audience Effect: When others are watching, your performance is likely to improve. When I run alone, I’ll go slower up a hill or walk before I really need to. That’s because of something researchers call social facilitation, which means the presence of an audience is motivation enough to push farther than you would by yourself.
So while we know there are physical and psychological benefits to running with a group, I believe the most important of all is the social benefit, providing motivation and camaraderie. New friends at every level await you in Fit4Mom Severn’s Run Club. We’re starting a new, eight-week training session on Saturday, Oct. 29. Check it out!