July 29, 2014

The power of the group

It took me two years to have the courage to attend a Without Limits practice.  In that time period, I logged many miles, ran many races and did so with the help of a book and my best running buddy, Christine.  Reading as much as possible, I would write a training plan for my upcoming races and do my best to adhere to the plan.  What I did not realize until last October was the power of a group.  There are all kinds of running groups, from those organized by runners to get in your miles, to those run by a coach or group of coaches who train you from your diet, to training plan, rest periods etc.  I found two groups in Wilmington and the one that I ended up joining is coached by not one, but a group of coaches.  There are several groups within the unit, including one for beginning runners, a mid pack group, up to the superior runners who can place overall in large races. The options for practice with the group vary depending on your ability.  But more than anything, what I want to share in this post is the phenomenal power that joining a running group has done for me.

Some of the group at the Divas Half in April

Being out of your comfort zone is not an easy thing to do.  But it seems that most every week, we are given a new workout that takes us to a new level. Not only do we have interesting sets that are not always logical on a track, such as 500's or 700's, we sometimes leave the track to run around the college or on the nearby trails.  All of this, and the encouragement from other runners has made me a better runner.  And when you are struggling, there is always someone to pick you up, take you along and keep you going.  I have been positively inspired by this group of fabulous athletes, many who take on challenges such as triathlons, duathons, racing up a mountain, and of course marathoners and ultra racers.  It is hard to express in words the lessons and confidence you can get from joining a group.  Every one of us suffers through the highs and lows of a training cycle, but having camaraderie has made the workouts and especially weekend long runs so much more fun.

If you are scared and don't want to join because you do not think you are fast enough, are too old, too young, too fat, too skinny, do not worry.  Everyone has a fear of something new and believe me when I say that you will not regret it.  The power of a group is amazing and I wish every runner had the opportunity to be part of a group like mine.
(Pam)

7 comments:

  1. I absolutely LOVE my running group..Sole2Soul Sisters! I wouldn't have come as far as I have with my running without them! So glad you have a great one too Pam!

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  2. I completely agree with this post! Although I haven't joined an official "running group" before, I ran with a lot of my runner friends from Team RWB when I was training for the marathon and really loved it!

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  3. I wish I had a running group like yours near me. I would LOVE to join one, I think it's a great way to stay motivated, but the groups in NYC just seem so intimidating because everyone is SO FAST! I'm glad you were able to find Without Limits! I'm uber jealous! :)

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  4. Great post! I've considered joining a running group. Maybe I should check that out. :)

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  5. So glad you are enjoying your running group! I love mine, too!! The support and encouragement is unlike any other!

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  6. Looks like a great time. I miss my running group down in Virginia. I need to look into some up in Philadelphia now that are close to my area. -L

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  7. I am still hoping to find a running group as fabulous as yours.

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