I might be biased but I am convinced that running in a pack offers recreational runners many
benefits including enhanced consistency, inspiration and commitment. We are more likely to show
up, stick to the program and reach desired goals faster in the company of others.
1. Keep each other accountable and motivated
Having a cheering squad in a form of our family and friends is great but they might not genuinely
understand why the sport is so important to us or why we adjust our lifestyle to fit our training
schedule. And that is fine. Our teammates on the other hand, understand our struggles both mental
and physical because there is a good chance they’ve experienced it as well. They genuinely cheer us
on and and give high fives on getting out of bed at 6am on Sunday morning to go for a long run. With
joining a group comes the feeling of “obligation” to show up. We develop a sense of accountability
which definitely comes handy on the days when a little doubtful voice inside our head is starting to
take over. We know the team is waiting for us and by not showing up we are not just letting
ourselves down we are letting them down too. Positive peer pressure in this case does wonders!
2. Improve performance by pushing yourself harder
There is something to be said about a friendly competition. Seeing what others are capable of doing
helps us to raise our own bar and push boundaries. Mental alertness, drive and positive outlook of
others rubs off on us. Providing it is not taken to the extreme of course – it is important to still take
into account our own personal capabilities, limitations and fitness level. It is not at all about
comparing ourselves to others but rather enhancing our own journey.
3. Boost your endorphins (and not just through running!)
Sure you might be better off completing some technical runs solo but nothing beats those social
group runs where we get a chance to vent, brag and laugh about life, work and everything in
between. By simple act of smiling we boost our endorphins levels and elevate the mood. Have you
ever notice how happy runners in packs look? It’s amazing!
We lose track of time and mileage and run for pure enjoyment and fun of it. By pushing through runs
together harder bits seem easier and longer distances appear shorter. These conversations are a
form of therapy and help to clear the head, re-focus and re-connect with ourselves and others. At
the end of the workout we feel energized and accomplished. We find ourselves looking forward to
the next group run week after week creating an achievable and sustainable training routine. Bingo!
4. Share a common goal
“For the next 10 weeks we are in this together! “ There is a bond that is created when a group
sweats, struggles and at the end celebrates an achievement together. In addition, if we are training
for a specific distance, there is a good chance our teammates are roughly at the same fitness level.
Common goal doesn’t necessarily have to be a distance. It can be a comeback to running after
having kids or want to connect with others in a new neighbourhood. Whatever it may be – that
common denominator is what unites us and at the same time helps us to reach our individual