Sometimes you’ll be able to’t wait for a date, and other times all of it looks as if loads of effort. There’s the potential for an enormous release of feel-good chemicals. But sometimes, the payoff never comes.
We’re not talking about dating one other person. We’re talking about making a date to go on a run. Running is definitely all about relationships: The relationship you have got with yourself, together with your runs, and the community (virtual or IRL) that supports your striding toward the finish line. And identical to all relationships, how you’re feeling about running can change over time.
“Getting into running for me at first was, How can I stay in shape and keep my body healthy?” says Social Hour Run Club captain Megan Ono. “That relationship has modified over the course of the past five years.” Namely, running has change into about helping her work through difficult life moments, rejoice wins, get to know her community—the place where she runs—by foot, and form connections with people in her run club.
Ono, together with Nike Run Club coach Bec Wilcock, Blacklist LA runner Alejandra Castillo, and Students Run LA director of operations Carla Anguiano, recently sat down for a roundtable discussion with Well+Good Podcast host Taylor Camille, sponsored by Nike on the House of Good in Venice, California. Their discussion on the support systems and motivations that keep runners moving forward are the guts of the most recent episode of the Well+Good Podcast.
The advantages that community can have in your running
Community support makes running—and the rest—more easy
The truth is, running is tough. But having other people be a component of your running relationship—whether or not they’re running alongside you, or are cheering you on during a race or after the actual fact—may also help lighten the load. Ever gone on a protracted run with a bunch and felt the miles tick by a lot faster than once you’re alone? That support can bleed over from running into the remaining of your life.
“[When] it’s getting difficult, it’s getting hard, we have to remind ourselves that we’re not alone,” says Castillo. “There’s people literally on the sidelines, whether it’s at a race or simply in our personal endeavors.”
Community keeps you motivated
Ono points out that being a part of a run club can create accountability in addition to a welcoming, secure space to run. Data backs up the concept that a running community keeps you energetic and positively involved in the game. A 2022 study found that having running partners made people more consistent runners who achieved their goals.
Sometimes all it takes is one other person. When Anguiano began running, that was the “sweeper” behind her club’s runs who stuck together with her through every mile to ensure that she didn’t get left behind. “It was great because I got one-on-one time, however it also motivated me to be consistent with my running,” she says.
For Castillo, she was first inspired to begin running by her dad, a marathoner. Once she began pounding the pavement, she ended up running into people she knew within the neighborhood, who’d invite her out to run clubs. “Just, I desired to run with the group at some point, and now they’re helping me train for the following marathon,” she says.
Community reminds you to enjoy running
That external validation may also help keep the connection with running, and with yourself, strong. Reminding yourself that running is something you do for you—and having gratitude for every mile you trod—can keep you striding forward in a way that adds to your life. That’s why Wilcock has a “smile every mile” policy, of literally taking a moment to smile no less than once during each mile.
“It’s just short and punchy, but I find that it helps once you’re returning to running, especially if you happen to’ve taken a protracted break, and the connection just isn’t that good, you should enjoy it,” Wilcock says. “So smile.”
Listen to the most recent episode of The Well+Good Podcast for more suggestions that can help keep your relationship with running as strong as your strides.
Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the knowledge we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.
- Franken, Rob et al. “Running Together: How Sports Partners Keep You Running.” Frontiers in sports and energetic living vol. 4 643150. 16 Mar. 2022, doi:10.3389/fspor.2022.643150