Last year I wrote a post entitled Power of the Group here. Imagine my surprise when I received an email last week with our Galloway Blogger tips and the title was the very same as my post from last year. Joining a group was one of the hardest things I have done as a runner, but without a doubt the best thing I have done to improve and enhance my running. There are so many things that happen when you join a group but for me, there were three key things.
1. Accountability: There are expectations to sign up and show up for a weekly practice (s) and once you have done that, you don't want to miss out. When you know your running friends are pounding out 800's at the track, why should you be home in bed?
2. Improvement: With the challenge of running with others, your inner strength comes out and you manage to complete runs and races that you never thought possible. For example, never in my wildest imagination did I expect to PR at the Tinkerbell 10k earlier this month, but the encouragement from coach Sami helped me believe that it was possible.
3. Friendships: This is a stretch as far as the "Power of a group", but when there is a long run planned for Sunday morning for 16 miles, knowing you have a friend waiting to run those miles makes it actually seem like fun. Training for my first marathon as part of Goofy Challenge totally solo was hard, especially the back to back runs. I followed Jeff Galloway's plan, and honestly there were days that I really could have skipped. Now, my long runs are so much fun and I hate to miss out on the weekends when I have to run solo. This fall while training for the NYC Marathon I will have plenty of company and look forward to those tough long runs when my group will keep me company and we will solve world problems!
|My first travel race with my group and we had a blast!|
Now for some tips from Jeff Galloway. Be sure to check out his website to see if any of his groups are in cities near you. His free clinics are available in many states across the country and would be a wonderful way to get started with a group.
1. Great friendships
2. The miles go by quicker—telling stories, sharing life experiences
3. Guidance in running with the right group for you, with the appropriate run walk run strategy
4. Because the group is waiting for you, you will stay motivated and get out there more often
5. You’ll learn about some interesting races, places to run, fun running experiences
6. On the really tough workouts and races, the group will pull you through
7. Access to tools for management of nutrition, fluids, motivation, aches/pains
8. The right group leadership can fine-tune the pace of each workout, avoiding injury/exhaustion
9. Helping others who are struggling bestows an amazing sense of achievement
10. Sharing the empowerment of finishing a long run can change your life
Have you tried out a group? Has it impacted your running?