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Coaches Blog

Running with Friends

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

by April Corey

Running is pretty awesome. Running with friends is even more AWESOME! In coaching both Couch to 5k and the Half Marathon group training programs, I have found that my athletes do better when they find their group of running friends. They tend to stay consistent but also enjoy the companionship.

Most people are really quiet when they start a program. They don’t want anyone to know what they are doing because they think that they will get made fun of or they don’t think that they are “real” runners. Once they get more comfortable and know that they are in fact “real” runners (usually that finally settles in at the graduation race) then they tell everyone who will listen.

My favorite is always when they post something on social media after their first race and you see the pure joy and excitement on their faces. Friends and family see the joy and excitement and want to join in and will start asking questions. I have had significant others of my athletes from one group join the next group.

  • One wife saw her husband race for the first time in a long time and loved the race atmosphere so she signed up for one of my groups after her husband's graduation race.

  • Another athlete ran in one group and decided to join the second group to strengthen his run but then also brought his better half.

  • Another runner was doing her homework run early in the program, brought her sister along and the sister decided to join our group the following week.

  • A wife signed up for one of the programs and before they left the parking lot, the husband came and signed up so that he could run with his wife.

  • I have an athlete that completed the Couch to 5k program and signed up for the half marathon program and her husband decided to join in on the fun.

  • One of my athletes was conversing with someone that she had just met at work, and our running program came up, and the new friend called me and wanted to join.

When friends see the glow, increased energy and sometimes weight loss, they want to know what you are doing and how they can do the same. My athletes always have a homework run, and while most of the athletes don’t know each other at the beginning of the program, I will hear them set up a meeting time and place amongst each other to get that run done. And by the end of the program, they are friends.

You may hear “The only time you will see me running is if a bear is chasing me” type quips, but secretly they may not know how or where to begin their running love. I love hearing that comment and then break it down. Watching athletes who have never run before in their life cross the finish line in first 5k race always puts a huge smile on my face.

Run happy my friends!

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