Week #4 – Join a Running Group
Nothing makes your marathon / half marathon training more enjoyable and easier than joining a running club or group. Sure, we are all busy, but you are about to spend a lot of time on the roads getting ready for your distance race. Joining a running group helps you find others who are at your same training level, and will provide you with like-minded athletes to work out with you as go through the many weeks leading up to race day. It is fun to plan to do build up races and get together for your big runs.
It’s easy to find a group. Ask around! Your local running specialty store, the race director for events in your area and your community recreation department are good places to start. Also, most marathons offer group runs or marathon training programs. This is an excellent way to meet and run with other runners who have the same training schedule as you do. You will find that you will get through those workouts – whether speed workouts on a track or those long 20 milers – with a much better running experience when you run with others. You will be amazed how organized and welcoming these running groups are.
So, don’t be shy or intimidated. These groups have runners of all levels – from first timers who run at a 12 mile pace to speedy veterans who are looking to qualify for Boston. Make time for this, even if you can only go once a week. You’ll improve fast and enjoy the camaraderie of other local athletes! Many runners make lifetime friendships this way.