The Benefits of a Virtual Training Group

First, be sure to check out my guest post at Runladylike on Letting Go of Goals. I’m honored to be guest posting while Jesica is rafting, hiking, and camping her way through the Grand Canyon (how awesome does that adventure sound?!?). 

Running with a training group offers numerous benefits: accountability, encouragement, and guidance in your workouts. But most of us are on a busy schedule of family, work, and training – you can’t easily drop everything to join up on an hour group run on every Tuesday night.

Over the past year in particular, community of runners I have met and befriended throughout the running blog realm has provided me with endless support, encouragement, and inspiration. The idea of the virtual Marathon Training Group emerged from my desire to provide community and connection to runners pursuing a similar goal – for this Fall, a marathon, and hopefully a group for the half marathon in the spring. The journey matters, both because of what you learn about yourself and because of the invaluable connections you make with others.

Why a virtual Marathon Training Group? The answer is quite simple: to offer runners across the nation a chance to build that community, regardless of location or schedule. While you do sacrifice the in-person community and encouragement on your run that comes with a traditional training group, there are many benefits for runners of all levels in a virtual training group.

The Benefits of a Virtual Training Group: Sign up today for the Fall 2016 Virtual Marathon Training Group!

The Benefits of a Virtual Training Group  

Your Follow Your Own Training and Schedule

Training multiple runners at once can be tricky, especially when each individual runner has unique goals, strengths, and weaknesses. Runners may push too fast to keep up with the group, or the group’s workout may not be the most welcoming for novice or returning-from-injury runners.

And that’s not to mention schedule! Some runners, such as myself, prefer to run early in the day before work and eating a full meal, while others opt for afternoon workouts. There’s no right or wrong time of day to run, but a training group can meet at the wrong time of day for your schedule and preferences.

A virtual training group offers the best of both worlds: the support and accountability of a training group, but the individualized workouts and freedom to run at your preferred time of day for running. No need to commute, carefully plan your meals for a happy stomach on your afternoon run, or worry about hitting the right paces for you! 

Solo Runners Can Still Benefit

Aside from running with Ryan once a week, I am a solo runner. As an introvert, I crave quiet time to rejuvenate. I like the time alone with my own thoughts in nature. Solo running offers numerous benefits including training at the appropriate level for you and having some quiet time, but even the most introverted of runners craves community and connection.

A virtual training group fosters that community while still letting solo runners log their miles in the peace of the sound of merely their own footsteps and nature.

Accountability & Encouragement

While there may not be people there to meet you for a run, a virtual training group still offers accountability. Your training group will still know if you skipped a bunch of your training runs. While a virtual training group such as my Fall 2016 Marathon Training Group will foster a supportive and positive community, even the knowledge of reporting back that you skipped run will motivate you to head out the door.

Thanks to the wonderful technology of social media, you’ll have a whole group of runners encouraging you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram throughout your entire journey to 26.2. Plus, with the Marathon Training Group private Facebook group, you can share your accomplishments, ask for advice, and seek motivation whenever you need it. 

[Tweet “From new friends to training no matter where you are, learn the benefits of a virtual #marathon training group! #runchat via @thisrunrecipes”]

Accessible No Matter Where You Are

When I lived in northwest Indiana, there was a small training group for beginners at the local running store, and that was it. Even though I was training for my first half marathon, I had been running for 6 years at that point and had surpassed the novice stage. Had I desired a running group, it would not have easily been available to me locally.

I know many runners throughout the country are in the same situation! Whether you are in Alaska or Louisiana, finding compatible running buddies or a training group can provide difficult. Thanks to modern technology, you can enjoy the support, encouragement, and guidance of a training group – even if there’s not one within miles of where you live.

New Running Friends

Being a member of the running blogger community has produced friendships with many runners whom I would have never met otherwise, but developed friendships with based off of our mutual love of running. A virtual training group offers you the chance to connect with runners whom you likely have never met before – but who will soon become your friends. Who knows – you may even meet someone training for the same race as you!

[Tweet “Best of both worlds with individual coaching and group support in @thisrunrecipes virtual Marathon Training Group! Save your spot today! “]

There’s still time to pre-register for the virtual Fall 2016 Marathon Training Group! You will receive individualized coaching, group support, access to exclusive monthly webinars and weekly training tips, and a comprehensive e-course on fueling and hydration, with prices from $40 to $140 per month (depending on what level of coaching you select). Spots are filling up quickly, so save your place today! To pre-register, simply fill out the form below. If you’ve already pre-registered, be sure to keep a look out for the pre-training emails to set up your first consultation soon. 
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Linking up with Coaches’ Corner!

Do you prefer running solo or with a group?
What does your summer and fall racing schedule look like right now?


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16 Responses

  1. I like this idea- still getting to run alone and on your own schedule but also having those important connections and support. I still have no idea what my fall schedule is. I can’t even decide on what I’m doing this weekend yet!:)

    1. Thank you! It’s hard to plan out that far in advance to sign up for a fall race – especially when weekends are fun and full of good travel and friend time like yours have been! 🙂

  2. During my little time with Love to Run, I saw just how much people love a virtual training group. Anywhere in the world, you have people to help and support you! Such a great idea!

  3. Love all of this! Like you, I am a solo runner through and through. I have tried to get involved with in-person running groups and haven’t been successful, both for the practical reasons you list – scheduling issues, they meet on the other side of town and I don’t have a car – and personality reasons: I too am a major introvert, and I just haven’t felt like I fit in or could connect with big, super-social running clubs. Running will just never be a social thing for me, but like you said, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to connect with other runners! Great idea, I hope your group finds lots of success this fall

    1. Thank you! It is really hard to find an in-person running group to match an intovert’s personality. Big super social groups are usually into costumes, matching shirts, and lots of talking, while us introverts just want to run and enjoy the quiet time. But like you said, just because we like to run by ourselves doesn’t mean we don’t desire the community and friendships of other runners!

  4. I love this idea! I’m a solo runner mostly because of convenience. I want to run when I want to, not rely on schedules or have to drive somewhere to meet people. But the idea of the support sounds amazing. I just wish I was running a fall marathon so I could join!

    1. Yes! Especially in bigger cities, traffic can take so much time that you lose valuable time spent running, working, or relaxing to drive to meet a club. And there’s still time for you to sign up! 😉 Congrats on your recent marathon PR!!!

  5. This is perfect for people like me whose lives are SO INSANE that we never know when we are able to get out the door for a run. I can hardly ever make commitments to anything just because of the unpredictable nature of Andrew’s job and all the goings on with our kids. I am self-motivated and disciplined to get a run done on my own although having Allison to text before my strength track workouts has helped me get through them. I’m 99% sure I wouldn’t have been able to nail those workouts without her.

    1. Yes! Not everyone can run at the same time every single day. Life happens! That’s awesome how helpful Allison has been. She crushed it with Hansons (what an awesome race she just had!) and I know you will too!

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