Running can be a solitary, often lonely, activity. While an occasional run with a friend is great, does belonging to an active running community help your training?
It’s kind of a trick question: we all know that support from a strong community will help you succeed.
- It’s why pro runners don’t train alone (and why nearly all of them have a coach, despite being at the top of their sport)
- It’s why children learn better in groups
- And it’s why no company succeeds without advisors, mentors, and teams of dedicated people
But why does peer support and guidance help your running?
When you perceive yourself to have “an audience” of people who are either watching you or will know the results of your efforts, you’re more likely to perform better. In psychology, this is called social facilitation.
In other words, belonging to a group will help you run faster or train more consistently with positive peer pressure.
Moreover, the support and guidance you get from the group’s leader (the coach) is most beneficial when you’re starting out.
After all, the direction you get as a novice informs and directs your progress. Lone wolves don’t get this guidance – and often flounder from injury to poor race to inconsistent training:
- If you have a horrible run, you can get support from other runners.
- If you have a coach, you can get any question that comes up during training answered.
- If you have a great race, you can share it with other runners.
The impact of a supportive community on your running performance can’t be understated.
And today, I want to share how the Team Strength Running community has helped Catherine feel more supported, disciplined, and encouraged.
Catherine’s a runner from Canada and she’s a great example of what it takes to keep improving year after year.
But since she lives in a somewhat rural area, she recognized that she doesn’t have that many runners near her. She wanted to be able to talk about running with other runners just like her.
So when Team SR last opened, she jumped on the chance to join a group of like-minded runners. She told me:
I’m not inherently comforable with online socializing but once I was in the group I found the discussion civilized, informed, and kind. I’m surprised, actually, at how much I’ve grown to like the members.
Catherine’s the type of runner who’s always looking for new things to learn about running so she can be more informed. Team SR has helped her with proper strength training and consistent, targeted training that’s kept her largely injury-free.
She reminded me, “And that’s saying something when you’re 60+!”
But let’s go back to the value of community. While I was initially apprehensive about hosting a large group of runners (What if they complained all the time? What if they were judgmental of other runners?), the interaction within the group has been incredible.
This is what Catherine thinks of the team:
It’s a community with very special members. Because it’s built not only around a wise training philosophy but Jason’s caring approach, it attracts members who also tend to be smart and caring.
And the members are from all over the world. It’s great to hear questions from other members on the live Coach’s Chats which give me another perspective on training.
Clearly, some runners are much more experienced or faster than me, but others are less so, and I feel like I fit in the midst of this amazing running community.
She’s used the support from the community – and coaching guidance from our regular coaching calls – to improve her motivation, training, and passion for the sport.
Because it’s not just a fun community to trade stories with or get encouragement from.
Each month, members get an exclusive interview with some of the world’s smartest researchers, top coaches, best-selling authors, or elite athletes (like Michael Sachs, PhD, Amelia Boone, or Travis Macy).
I wanted to know what Catherine thinks of our guests and team resources:
The experts Jason has chosen have been really knowledgeable and his interviews are friendly and professional with extremely good explanations (especially Anne Mauney and Alex Hutchinson).
The training plans cover many different distances and abilities. And there are metric plans!
During the coaching calls, Jason lends his experience and good judgment to my questions, considering them carefully and putting together a thorough answer.
I can’t be more thrilled with how Team Strength Running has impacted Catherine’s running.
While I can’t train for you, I can do the next best thing: provide the coaching guidance, training programs, peer support, and ongoing education to propel your running to new heights.
Should you join Team SR?
My goal is to coach the most passionate group of runners anywhere. I don’t care how fast or slow you are – my only demand is that you love running and are willing to put in the work.
Is that you? Then learn more about Team Strength Running here.
I’ll let Catherine provide more detail:
While I don’t really need a full-time coach at present, there are occasional questions that occur to me from time to time. Jason’s been good about answering my questions in the Coaching Calls.
Team SR really helps me to stay disciplined. On days when my resolve wavers, I know there are runners who are also doing that cursed Standard Core after their runs, so I’d better do it too.
I really enjoy being able to share my successes. There’s nothing like having someone else stoked about your success.
I also appreciate getting encouragement from other members of the team, but even better, I enjoy giving encouragement to others, offering help, tips, or just empathy to others. It’s what makes this a community.
So, thanks to the Team SR, I think my running feels more supported, and more social even though I still run alone most of the time.
Falling in love with running is a lot easier when you have the benefits of a team: guidance, support, smart training, and consistent motivation.
Just imagine where you’d be in six months if you “plugged in” to an established team that’s helping runners with so many personal bests?
I think joining the team will mark a big turning point in your running.
Catherine told me:
Yes, I recommend the program. Indeed, I’ve been singing your praises to my community!
I recommend it because the information is based on research and good science – no myths. And it’s great to support your running socially and technically.
I’m not sure when Team Strength Running will open next, so don’t miss out. 2016 is the “Year of the Team” and I want you to have every advantage for running faster, being more consistent, and staying healthy.
Check out all the details here and you’ll be the first to know when the team opens registration.