Benefits of group running
A cheap 12-day trial of a private gym, a month of illness, Christmas and new year celebrations etc meant that I didn’t attend the Glasgow Triathlon Club Thursday evening running session for a while. Sadly, I was then I was left with the thought that I might get left behind in a session that I hadn’t been to for a while. But yesterday I manned up and headed along to the group run. And that’s when I suddenly remembered all the benefits of group running.
Benefits of running in a coached group
Friendship: I have lots of friends in the triathlon club and I might not see them from one club session to the next. Catching up on chat and gossip while warming up and then running reminded me that running is so much easier and more fun when it’s with friends.
Direction: If I run on my own I am most likely to follow one of my favourite routes (oh, I can be so boring!) and well within my comfort zone. I rarely warm up. Running in a coached group offers tuition and direction. The club has a host of great coaches (all volunteers) and last night I was introduced to Clever Jo’s warm up drills, aimed at improving our position while running. The way that you run can have a major impact on how you perform, how fast you go and your energy levels.
Major Tommy then took over the coaching of the rest of the session. If someone was to write down the running reps (repetitions) that we were going to do we might cheat… but when part of a group most people follow the session and find it easier to remain disciplined and motivated.
Performance: Running in a group helps to push you on. I always have someone I am aiming to catch or stay ahead of in each session so that motivates me to keep pushing on. Reps help to improve running speed and if you regularly attend a running session that is progressively tougher you’ll find that your running ability benefits.
A place for everyone: A good group session can accommodate all levels of runners. The tri club sessions can be enjoyed by people of all fitness levels and I had forgotten how all-inclusive our running sessions can be.
Self-esteem and confidence: I can be prone to being a bit blue, especially in the winter, but running outdoors helps to keep me smiling. At last night’s session a couple of the women told me that my running style was good. They even suggested that I run in the same style as The Mighty Vickster, who is a very good tri club athlete indeed. I felt my self-esteem and confidence hugely boosted!
Feeling part of something: Running on your own can be uplifting. I really enjoy heading out for a solo run. But I also love running in a group because you feel part of something bigger. The tri club is more than just exercise and sport. It is a sociable, giving and caring club, and the only club I have remained a member of for so many years!