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Do you prefer running alone or in a group? While the answer is always dependent upon a certain degree of personal preference, there is no denying that running in a group offers a broad range of interesting benefits, some of which can be rather hard for an individual to achieve. What exactly are these? In this article, we share with you seven wonderful benefits that you can enjoy from running in a team. Read on!
If nothing else, the main draw behind group running is the accountability that it offers to you. On good days, the thought of running in a group and catching up with your running buddies might excite you. On bad and well…lazy days (admit it), avoiding the feeling of guilt that comes with abandoning your fellow runners might just be the ammo you need to get off that bed and get the run over and done with.
2. Improves Your Timing
Another great benefit of running that solo runners are unable to achieve is the value of being able to pace alongside other runners. Is there a specific timing you want to hit? If yes, do you know anyone in the group who averages the timing you want to achieve? Okay, now just shut your brain off, and tail this runner. Viola! And before long, you will find that your timing has improved to the level that you aimed for.
Unless you are the unfortunate head of the pack, chances are that there will at least be a runner in your group who is better than you. Running in a group hence enables you to keep improving your timing. This effect in psychology studies is also known as Social Facilitation.
3. Sharing of Knowledge
Looking for some tips to improve your running? Hanging out and conversing with fellow runners before, during or after a run can be a great opportunity to bounce ideas off each other. Be it running tips, new trails & routes, dieting practices, recovery techniques or even the latest equipment, there is always something new you can find out that can improve your training!
4. Improve Your Teamwork
Running in a group offers plenty of opportunities for teamwork. From supporting and motivating someone to resist the temptation of walking, to aiding with sprains and coordinating schedules, there are plenty of useful lessons in teamwork that you can learn from running in a group. Can you think of how this can apply in other areas of your life as well?
Prefer to run at night or in isolated places? Running in a group might just give you that added sense of security when training in places that are relatively more dangerous. Safety in numbers also means that there is always someone around who’s got your back if you get yourself into any form of injury.
6. Makes You Happier
Research has shown that running in groups enhances the production of endorphins, which creates the effect of feeling happy and good about yourself. While running alone may create that feeling of loneliness at times, running in a team can relieve boredom. Now that is an additional motivator to keep training!
“Running alone may create that feeling of loneliness at times; try running in a team instead.”
7. Discipline and Consistency
Running in a group often requires the coordination of every individual’s schedule, which means that it is likely you will be running with your group mates at a fixed day and timing each week or month.
This preps you up mentally, following the same rules as building a habit. The end result is automation; you will find yourself gradually requiring less and less effort to will yourself into running. When that happens, you know you are one step closer to reaching your desired goals for running.
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