Although running is an independent sport, when done in a social environment, whether with your buddy or a group, it can be highly beneficial. Here are five reasons to grab a buddy or join a group on your next run.
Have you ever set your alarm for 5am with the best intentions of getting in your run before work and then snooze right through it to wake up with runner’s guilt? We’ve all been there. When we set a meet up with people to run we are much more likely to show up and get in the miles. Accountability is a great force of action when it comes to getting in your runs, and it makes for a much more pleasurable experience. Find a friend, a spouse, a group or create one yourself and set a regular meet up date. Soon it will be a regular habit like brushing your teeth and you won’t know what you did without them!
Research has shown that when we run with others, we can run farther and faster more easily. One reason is because we are motivated by the social connection. We are bonded by the conversations that run through the miles and distract us from thinking “how many more miles?” Social running can pull you out of a running funk or low mood, inspire you to try new events and build confidence by helping others. Fitness is contagious and when we run socially, we gain an instant source of motivation to keep us running through life.
Learn and Grow
Whether it’s a new recipe or sharing a running tip, we can all learn from others that have run before us. Most running groups are led by coaches or leaders that are seasoned runners who can answer your questions or give advice along the way. Sometimes it’s the smallest of tips that propel you the farthest towards improvement. Running socially can help you improve more readily as you learn from other’s mistakes and avoid making them yourself. And when you have enough time in the bank, you can learn by helping others with their questions.
Have you ever gotten lost in a running rut and had no idea how to get out of it? Running socially also expands your horizons by running on new terrain. It’s amazing how inspired you can be by switching up your route. Whether you join a trail running group or a track workout, running in different terrains can open up a whole new world of running adventures.
I saved the best for last. My closest of friends are the ones that I share life with on the run. We share stories of our week, the good, the bad and the stressful. We’ve run through celebrations, weddings, and funerals. It’s amazing the bond that builds when we move with like-minded people. We’re all on the same path moving forward through the high’s and low’s of life. Social running builds friendships that last a lifetime.
Whether you’re new to running or a seasoned veteran, everyone can benefit by running socially.