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
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.
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!
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.
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?