randomthoughtrunning

Running 13, 13.1's in 2013 and the thoughts along the way!

I tried it Tuesday!

on July 23, 2013

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This is something I tried last year, but still felt it was worthy to share: Running Groups. When I trained for the Chicago Marathon last summer, I decided to join a running group last spring. All 4 marathons prior, I trained by myself and didn’t mind it, but thought it was time to push myself a little more and a running group might just do the trick.

When I started looking into what my options were, I got frustrated. Most running clubs in the area advertised “Interested runners, just drop in!” This intimidated me, would I be the slowest one? Would these runners already be good friends and I was the awkward girl trying to join them? I had a lot of questions and just didn’t feel comfertable dropping into a running group. It is also important to note here, when I see runners that are part of a group at races they are generally in the “Kenyan fast” category or” I have so much gear on and just want to talk about my latest PR” category…so I was just all around skeptical. Then I found Boston Fit, a running group that trains for a fall marathon. The group does not meet year round and while it is more of a training program than a running club, I thought this was just the group to try out!

There was a fee to join, but affordable and after doing my 21 miler with their aid stations along the way rather than my usual hiding water in the bushes, it was well worth it! I loved the fact that while some of the B fitters, as the members refer to themselves, had participated in years past everyone was starting on the same day. There was no intimidation of dropping in and on the first day we ran as a group run to determine which pace group we should be part of.

After determining your group, you are then assigned a coach who is supposed to give you tips and encouragement along the way. I had some great group mates who I actually still run with from time to time. We had great conversations each week and it was a totally different marathon training experience doing it with someone else. I think only ran with music once over the 4 month span. I would say the running friends I made and the support I received from them was the best part of the experience. The actual coaching, training lectures, and communications I was not too impressed with. I will point out this program is very much geared towards first time marathoners, so there were many first time questions and much of the info conveyed seemed pretty basic to me, but I was fine with it, I was there for the running pals, which I had and enjoyed every Saturday.

I will say there were some downsides, including start time. One of the things about running by myself is I get up, throw on my sneakers and I am out the door, no waiting for anyone or hanging around, but with the group I was at the mercy of their start time. Alot of times they started late, which drove me crazy, but again overall it wasn’t horrible.

So here I am done with 11 half marathons and I have not run with a group once…I would say the reason for this is logistics more than anything, I have moved about 45 minutes away from the meeting spot, and that is just too far to drive to go for a run! But more than that, I think am happy running alone. I will plug here, if you are looking to push yourself, try training for your next race with a group, I definitely improved my times when training with Boston Fit.  I haven’t totally given up on the idea on finding a group to run with closer to my house, but it will just need to be the right dynamic of people, so until then… I hit the pavement on my own!

Run On-

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2 responses to “I tried it Tuesday!

  1. runner1313 says:

    So many opportunities to join local groups, but I haven’t. It is difficult to make my time fit into a group time. Maybe I will try it one day. Thanks for the post!

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