The Newfound Joy of the Group Run

Group runs?  Bleh, who needs them?  I’ll just go out on my own, or maybe with my one and only serious running partner, Kent P.  At least that’s what I thought up until this week.  I’ve been on some group runs before, mainly on business trips, and people are jetlagged and cranky, hungover, and are at such different skill levels that it really wasn’t that much fun for anyone.

Earlier this week, several of my work colleagues suggested we go out for a group run at lunch.  Initially I was skeptical, but the day before, the daily mission on dailymile was to let the crowd vote on your workout the next day, and the crowd voted for the group run.  So I did it.  And I liked it.

We went slower than I normally run, by about 1-2 minutes per mile.  The whole out of the out-n-back, my ego told me to speed up, even through I know I need to make my easy runs easier.  So, at the turnaround point, I just loosened up and relaxed, chatted and enjoyed the experience.  You know what?  Slower is sometimes better, especially if it means building good relationships and remembering that the run is about fun.

We’re going to keep it up, and hopefully the work group run will grow.  We’ve already talked about having different pace groups, and ways to keep it fun for all skill levels, so I think everyone is going to win here…

  1. I’ve only run in a group once in my life, and that was on a trail at a business retreat (GE Crotonville) where the technical nature of it served as an equalizer anyway. I agree that for an easy day when pace doesn’t matter, it can be a great investment in relationships. Even better if there is a split in pace groups. Hope it continues to go well for you.

  2. I usually enjoy running by myself but group runs are great for those easy days and long days. Also, you will form some relationships through running together that will bring you and your coworkers alot closer together. I believe running with friends or in a group makes everyone closer individuals.

  3. Ahh, brings back fond memories of high school and college running when every run was a group run. They can keep you motivated and make you a better runner. Most of my training is now done solo, and it can get boring sometimes. It’s more convenient sure, but sometimes you need some excitement!

    – Fitz.

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