2019 Indy Mini Ambassador Guest Blog
By Tori Schuh
“You want me to run…with people? Nope. No way. Not happening!”
That was me over a year ago. Fast forward to today and I can barely get through a solo run. So why the change?
For me, running was never considered a team sport. I just wanted to put my headphones in and struggle through it alone. Then one day I was invited to go for a run with a group. I conveniently had “plans” that day, but ultimately I was just very fearful. What if they are too fast? What if I can’t keep up? How will I talk and run at the same time? What if…? What if…? What if…? All of those misconceptions kept me from experiencing the thing I now crave the most—group runs or runs with a buddy.
So what are the benefits of running with someone or a group?
1) ACCOUNTABILITY: When you make a plan with a group of people and set up a date and time, it makes it much easier to show up. When you make a plan with yourself to “run in the morning,” then the only person you have to answer to is you. Much easier. So get a group text going and tell someone or a group of people that you will be there.
2) CONNECTION: We all crave community and connection, right? It is pretty amazing what happens when miles turn into conversations that connect people to each other. Sometimes, the challenges we face or the issues we deal with — big or small — can feel so isolated. But then we start to connect with others and find that people have been through similar circumstances. Just having a listening ear or someone to bounce things off of (running or non-running related) can be so beneficial and helpful.
3) SUPPORT & ENCOURAGEMENT: Who doesn’t love a high five or congrats every now and then? The support and encouragement of running with a running buddy or running buddies is incredible. It is a community of people who truly want to see one another succeed. Whether it is someone running with you on race day or who has trained with you throughout your program, having someone who is always willing to give you that extra boost of encouragement, or support you when you have had a difficult run, is instrumental to the sport. There are times when “non-runners” just don’t get it, and while the support of your non-running family and friends is great, there is a certain understanding amongst you and a running buddy, or multiple buddies.
The reasons to run with a friend or a group far outweigh the benefits of running alone. My entire running journey changed for me the day I said “YES” to running with the Fishers Running Club. Out of that yes, I have gained a ton of running buddies, an amazing support system and an incredible amount of accountability that has allowed me to increase my distance and my pace. I always have someone who is willing to go for a run at the drop of a text! Just recently, I completed the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World. Each of the four races began in the very early hours. Whether is was pre-race at 4 a.m. or post race, I could always count on a text or Facebook message of encouragement from multiple people in my running group. It truly kept me going!!
Whoever said running isn’t a team sport has never been running! Grab yourself a buddy or find a running club, wipe any preconceived notions out of your head about what you “think” it will be like and hit the pavement together! You will be glad you did!
Grab your running friends and sign up for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon together! Don’t wait, prices increase on March 1.