You’ll Go Further And Faster If You Run With A Group

Why is a marathon 26.2 miles long? What is a beer mile? And what the heck is a BQ?

You’ll Go Further And Faster If You Run With A Group

One lap around a track is 400 meters, roughly a quarter of a mile; this is a common distance for repeats in track workouts. For example, a 12 x 400 workout is a good to build form and rhythm while training your body to run relatively fast under fatigue.

And here’s the fun part, they should be fairly speedy—as in you might throw up or pass out when you’re finished.

These (it’s never just one) are usually performed while someone stands at the edge of the track with a whistle and a stopwatch because you generally aren’t doing these for the fun of it.


Two laps around a track is 800 meters, or roughly a half-mile; twice the fun as a 400, but can and should be run at a slightly slower pace.

Again, they are often delivered in multiples, for example, 6 x 800m with 2 minutes of recovery jogging in between. After a few of these, you’ll understand the reason why track athletes often throw themselves on the ground after a race.

Again, these are most often done in a group or when someone is forcing you to do them.

The Mile

The gold standard of distance running, the mile is the distance by which everything is measured—at least in the U.S., one of the few countries in the world to shun the metric system at the peak of the first running boom in the 1970s and stick with imperial measurements.

The mile, approximately four laps around a track, is the base unit of distance running and knowing how fast you can run one all-out mile or what your mile pace is at any distance is of utmost importance.

While the mile has lost some luster in recent years, there is a movement (called “Bring Back the Mile”) aimed at revamping the excitement and encouraging high school, college and community mile competitions.

In recent years, how fast you can run a beer mile (repeating the act of intermittently drinking a beer and running a lap four times without stopping) has become nearly as important.


At 3.1 miles, the 5K is most popular race distance on the planet. Don’t be fooled, though: Just because the 5K is one of the shortest races commonly run on the roads, it’s only easier if you’re jogging. (And that’s just fine, especially if you’re a beginner just getting the hang of it!) But if you’re racing all-out, the 5K is one of the hardest and most acutely painful races out there.

Brick workout

Brick workouts are a favorite of triathletes in training. It means doing two different workouts back-to-back; think a bike ride and a run or a swim and a ride. While seemingly masochistic, especially when you are in the midst of it, the intent of the workout is to get your body and brain used to switching disciplines and training under simulated race fatigue.


One of the most coveted standards in running, “BQ” refers to a Boston-qualifying marathon result in any marathon with a certified course.

In recent years, it’s been harder and harder to gain entry to the Boston Marathon, both because the qualifying standards have gotten slightly faster and because more people have tried to qualify in some of the more popular age groups.

Still, earning a BQ is a true badge of honor, even if you don’t get in or choose not to race it that particularly year.


This is your number of footfalls per minute. And, of course, faster is usually better. The ideal number for running—meaning most efficient with a reduced lihood for injuries–is about 180 steps per minute. To help with the math, that’s 90 footfalls per foot per minute.


For over achievers, those training for a big race or an ultra, or even those who don’t have time to do one big run at once, your coach or training program may suggest two runs in a day.

The goal is to have time to recover between the two, while enduring the character-building experience of running on tired legs. But, if your morning run is a hard session, it might be that your afternoon/evening run is a light recovery run that helps flush out your muscles and keep you fresh for later in the week.

For some runners, though, that second session might be a running store fun run that happens to be serving beer and pizza.

Dynamic Drills

Dynamic drills are what you do to get warmed up and activate muscles before your run. When done right, you’ll definitely get your heart pumping and the sweat flowing without static stretching of cold, rigid muscles. Examples are: high knees, butt kicks, skipping, walking lunges, toy soldiers and fast footwork grapevines.

Easy Run/Recovery Run

The hardest thing about easy runs is generally keeping them easy. The legit goal here is to move your muscles, get blood flowing and NOT do any damage to recovering muscles. You should be able to maintain a conversation as you go.


This is a Swedish word for “speed play”—Swedes know how to have fun! No, it has nothing to do with breaking wind. The “playful” aspect of these is that you get to determine distance, speed and how many you do, but the goal is to keep them relatively short and speedy.

Once you’re warmed up, step up your pace between trees, light posts, the red car parked on the corner, whatever works for you. Do a set of five to 10, return to your regular pace and repeat, if desired.

These are good mid-run, pick-me-ups if you feel your pace is lagging or your mind has wandered.

Forefoot Striker

A runner who primarily lands on the forefoot when running at any speed. Most runners are not forefoot strikers all the time. In fact, studies have shown that less than 2 percent of runners actually run that way.

Half Marathon

The modern-day crowning glory for novice to intermediate runners, the half marathon has become one of the world’s most popular race distances. At 13.

1 miles, it’s long enough to warrant some serious training but not so long ( a full marathon) that it depletes your energy, destroys your body for several weeks and makes you want to quit running.

Instead, the half marathon encourages runners to keep training throughout the year, travel to exotic places to run races on vacation and to keep going hard in hopes of lowering their personal best time.

Hill Repeats

“Ooh, let’s run up that hill!” said no sane person ever. But that’s exactly what you’ll do for hill repeats; repeatedly so, as the name suggests. Short bursts of running uphill help to develop the strength, speed and power needed for maintaining good form over longer distances and finish-line sprints.

Be sure to warm up on the way to your hill (or before increasing the incline on the treadmill). You’ll generally run uphill for a specific amount of time (45 seconds to 3 minutes), turn around and jog back down to the start and repeat for the recommended number of reps.

Downhill is your reward, make the most of it!


You might see “intervals” and “repeats” used interchangeably, but that’s not accurate. Intervals refer to the amount of time spent resting between runs, repeats (see below).

The time spent recovering between sets is usually less than the time spent doing the set itself, so that you are running without being fully recovered.

The interval may actually be an easy jog of 60 to 90 seconds instead of time spent standing still.


This 26.2-mile race is the granddaddy of all running races, still perhaps the hardest of all distances to master.

After American Frank Shorter won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Olympics and again after he earned the silver at the 1976 Olympics, interest from average citizens running that distance became so feverish that it essentially helped launch the Great American Running Boom.

That growth continued through the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s and remains strong today, although interest in the marathon has waned slightly in recent years (as judged by annual finisher numbers) as popularity in the half marathon and the 5K have soared.

It’s also been the distance du jour for celebrities running to raise money for charity or just to prove their mettle. (See Oprah Winfrey, Sean Combs, Will Ferrell, Pam Anderson, Al Roker, Ed Norton, Mario Lopez, Sean Astin, Pippa Middleton, Drew Carey and Alicia Keys, among others.)

The modern-day marathon was born at the 1896 Olympics in Athens as a means to commemorate the 40K (or 25-mile) distance ancient Greek messenger Pheidippides ran to spread the news of a Greek victory over the invading Persians in 490 B.C.

The marathon didn’t officially get longer until the 1908 Olympics in London, when Queen Alexandra requested that the race start on the lawn of Windsor Castle and finish in front of the royal box at the Olympic stadium, a distance of 26 miles, 385 yards (or 26.2 miles).

Minimalist Running Shoes

Minimalist shoes are low-to-the-ground shoes that have little material (rubber, foam, etc.) between a runner’s foot and the ground. The minimalist boom occurred from about 2004 to 2011 when Nike, Newton, Vibram, New Balance and other brands launched minimally designed models.

Maximalist Running Shoes

Maximalist running shoes are high-off-the-ground models that feature thick foam midsole cushions. The maximalist boom occurred from about 2009 to 2014 when Hoka, Altra, Adidas, Nike and other brands launched maximally designed models.


These runner geeky acronyms stand for “personal record” or “personal best” for any given distance. For example, if your best time for a marathon is 3:22, that’s your “PR” or “PB” for the marathon.


These are relative shorter, faster repetitive runs where you run at a high speed for 45 seconds to 6 minutes (or for a specific distance of 200 meters to 1 mile), rest long enough to recover slightly and bring your heart rate down a bit, then repeat each rep in your prescribed set as close to a consistent speed as possible. A workout may consist of a set number of 200s, 400s, 800s or miles or a workout that includes a combination of repeats of various distances—for example: 200, 400, 600, 800, 600, 400, 200—with an appropriate rest interval in between.

Rest Day

Hello nap time! Rest days—or a day off from running—are built into training schedules to give your body time to absorb all the training and conditioning. While naps are awesome, you don’t want to be glued to the couch for the entire day.

This might be a day when you do some sort of active recovery in the form of cross-training, such as hiking, swimming, cycling or mountain biking. Also, you might consider getting some bodywork or a massage, go to a yoga class or take a walk.

Use the time to recover and recharge so you’re stoked for another week of training.

Speed Work

The best way to get faster is to run faster in training! Fun, right? This term encompasses the things you do to get faster. Examples are fartleks, strides, intervals, repeats and hill workouts.

(Although hill workouts are usually run at a relatively slower pace as you work against gravity, they’re really a speed session in disguise because they’re building explosive power, strength and speed in the same way track repeats do.)

Static Stretching

Remember the stretches you used to do at the beginning of gym class or sports practice in high school? You know, bend at the waist and touch your toes to stretch your hamstrings. Or stand on one leg and grab your other ankle to stretch your quad muscles.

Those are static stretches. And doing them before a workout is no longer a good idea. Save these for after a workout, when muscles and ligaments are warm and limber. Hold stretches for upwards of 30-60 seconds.

You want to feel the burn of each stretch, but it shouldn’t hurt—at least not in a bad way.


Strides, or wind sprints, are short bursts of speed that help to boost muscular power, build good running form and increase leg turnover. They’re an ideal tool to help you warm-up before a hard workout or a race.

Typically, strides are 10- to 20-second sprints at about 80-85 percent effort. Sprint, take a walk or jog break, then sprint again until you’ve finished your set.

You can do these anywhere, on the road, the track, a soccer field or even a smooth dirt trail.

Tempo Run (aka Lactate Threshold or Threshold Run)

Tempo is code for “lively tempo” meaning you need to pick up the pace and run at an effort just below race pace.

While these runs may feel somewhat a sufferfest, the purpose is to train your body to go faster for longer distances.

Your pace should be comfortably hard, faster than conversational pace and also at a rate you can maintain for the duration of the run. Target speed should be faster than your everyday run, but slower than your 5K or 10K race pace.

XT or Cross-Training

These are the days when you can finally do something other than run! Swimming, biking and rowing are some good options. However, excitement often turns to despair when you realize you haven’t tuned your bike in months and you’re so tired that you think aimlessly wandering the aisles of Whole Foods counts (for the record, it doesn’t).


17 Inspiring Quotes About the Remarkable Power of Teamwork

You’ll Go Further And Faster If You Run With A Group

It's easy to think you're on any journey alone. But behind every great success is a team of collaborators, workers, and supporters.

Whether you're in a business meeting about a group project, or playing sports on the court, it's easy to see that teamwork brings about success.

A team can inspire innovation, find mistakes at a faster rate, and work together to advance professional and personal development.

Are your employees looking inspired? Are some starting to lose focus and move toward working solo? Here are 17 quotes about the power of working with others — after all, teamwork makes the dream work.

1. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” — African proverb

2. “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” — Ryunosuke Satoro

3. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” — Michael Jordan

4. “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” — H.E. Luccock

5. “Great things in business are never done by one person; they're done by a team of people.” — Steve Jobs

6. “Success is best when it's shared.” — Howard Schultz

7. “To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.” — Mike Krzyzewski

8. “None of us is as smart as all of us.” — Ken Blanchard

9. “If we were all determined to play the first violin, we should never have an ensemble. Therefore, respect every musician in his proper place.” — Robert Schumann

10. “A single arrow is easily broken, but not ten in a bundle.” — Japanese proverb

11. “Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers.” — Pat Riley

12. “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” — Amy Poehler

13. “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you're playing a solo game, you'll always lose out to a team.” — Reid Hoffman

14. “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision, the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” — Andrew Carnegie

15. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

16. “There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” — George Shinn

17. “One piece of log creates a small fire, adequate to warm you up, add just a few more pieces to blast an immense bonfire, large enough to warm up your entire circle of friends; needless to say that individuality counts but teamwork dynamites.” — Jin Kwon

Success is in your future — and with a team behind you, that future will start to look brighter much faster.

Published on: Oct 11, 2018

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of


When you’re just starting out with running – when a 5km is an awesome achievement – it can be hard to comprehend how it’s possible to run a half marathon, marathon or even further.

Believe me, everyone feels the same and it’s one of the most common topics of conversation at my beginner group.

Each time you run further than you’ve ever gone before, it’s a step into the unknown, and that can be unnerving and scary. For that reason, many runners shy away from going longer, staying within their comfort zone.

It might be safe, but you’re also holding yourself back, and missing out on a whole heap of fun and fitness benefits. As they say, life begins at the end of your comfort zone!

Building up your distance, and in particular your long run, really isn’t complicated; or at least it shouldn’t be. Going long should be embraced and enjoyed, not feared. But it’s easy to fall into some common beginner traps when trying to increase distance, especially when enthusiasm and motivation are high; which can lead to burn out, injury, or poor performance.

Last week, we covered how you can determine the correct pace for your running, and today we are going to put this into practice with your long runs.

Now you know what the right pace is for your long runs, the next step is to know how to build up the miles. If you used our calculations in our correct pace post last week, you should be able to increase your long run without too much trouble using one of the following methods:

Method 1

  1. Chose ONE of your runs as your designated long run day. Leave your other runs (and any other cross training) at the same time/distance you have been running.
  2. Find your longest run from the past six weeks. Plot a route so you run one extra mile (or 10 minutes) further.
  3. Keep your pace comfortable, just we talked about last week, walk up hills if you need to (yes you’ll still get a great training benefit!)
  4. The rest of your runs for the week should at an easy pace. To progress safely, and to prevent injury, you only want to change one variable at a time.

    When you are building up your long run, you need to avoid increasing the intensity of other training runs.

  5. On your next designated long run day, increase the distance by another mile or 10 minutes. Do the same the following week.

  6. On the fourth week, drop your long run distance down to shorter than your starting point. This will allow recovery and adaptation to the training. This may seem unnecessary, but it is extremely important.
  7. The following week, pick up where you left off before the “down week” and continue with the pattern of increasing by one mile each week.

Here is an example of your long run training log:

WeekLong Run
16 miles
27 miles
38 miles
45 miles
58 miles
69 miles
710 miles
85 miles

Before you know it, you’ll be at 10 miles and a half marathon or marathon will suddenly become a temptation.

Method 2

  1. Chose ONE of your runs as your designated long run day. Leave your other runs (and any other cross training) at the same time/distance you have been running.
  2. Find your longest run from the past six weeks. Plot a route so you run one extra mile (or 10 minutes) further.
  3. Keep your pace comfortable, just we talked about last week, walk up hills if you need to (yes you’ll still get a great training benefit!)
  4. The rest of your runs for the week should at an easy pace. To progress safely, and to prevent injury, you only want to change one variable at a time.

    When you are building up your long run, you need to avoid increasing the intensity of other training runs.

  5. On your next designated long run day, return to the distance you initially started with.
  6. The following week, add one mile to your long run two weeks prior to increase your distance.

  7. Repeat for the remainder of the segment, alternating regular runs with your increasing longest run.

Here is an example of method 2

WeekLong Run
17 miles
25 miles
38 miles
45 miles
59 miles
65 miles
710 miles
85 miles

You can see that at the end of the 10 week block you’ve achieved the same long run distance as in method 1.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong method. It is best to find out with the distance and recovery which method best suits your lifestyle and fitness background. Method 2 might work better for more ‘injury prone’ runners, older runners, or those recovery from illness or who haven’t exercised much before.

Of course how far you get, will depend on your goal and training aspirations. For a 10k, it’s ideal to run up to 8-10 miles in training for your long runs. Half marathons will require up to 14-15 miles. To ensure you recover correctly, reduce your long run for two weeks following one of those 14-15 mile runs.

If you are following a marathon training schedule, you will need to continue increasing your long runs over time. However, it is best advised to train for a half marathon before you begin marathon training.

Building up your long run is not as complicated as we initially think. Just make sure your pace stays easy and you build up slowly. It is okay to throw in a walk every now if you need to.

Running easy will help you enjoy running more, and pay attention to your body for pains and tiredness so you can adapt accordingly.

If you feel a niggle coming on, get some treatment or advice from a physical therapist immediately to prevent it from ruining your chances of racing.

Measure your Improvement

If you’re monitoring heart rate, you should find that over time your average pace will quicken at the same heart rate or intensity. This shows your body has become more efficient. Your hard work will pay off when you get to a race or run a time trial over the same course.

Choose your route with care

When going long, choose a route which is relatively flat and not too technical underfoot. There is enough stress on your body with the increase in distance, without adding additional stressors through hills and tough terrain. In time, you can add in sections of trail or some hillier routes when you’re stronger and less at risk of injury.

Fuel up

Good nutrition becomes more important when you start going longer. You’ll find your appetite increases and it is important to match that with additional fuel; timing your meals and snacks will need a little more thought. Good post-exercise nutrition is vital especially after long runs and will help you replenish your muscle stores and aid recovery, protecting your immune function.

Try to include all food groups in your diet focusing on protein for satiety and recovery, and consume a good balance of fats and carbs. Correct fueling before, during, and after your long runs can make or break your ability to ‘go long’. Not eating enough or at the right time is one of the more common newbie mistakes. You will know never to make that mistake again if you get it wrong.

Before your run:

Fuel up for a long morning run, but don’t overeat. Many runners overload with carbs and end up gaining weight. Simply eat a decent meal the night before your long run, with a focus on carbs (but just a normal size portion), and top up with a good breakfast containing slow release low GI carbs about an hour or two before you set off.

Oatmeal or a smoothie made with banana, protein powder and milk are great pre run fuel to be consumed 3-4 hours before your long run. Making sure you are properly hydrated is also extremely important.

During your run:

By training at the right intensity (at that comfortable pace covered last week), your body will become more efficient, and better able to use fat for fuel and preserve glycogen stores. However, once you get over 70-80 minutes of running, you’ll need to start taking in some carbohydrates – either in the form of a drink or gels/blocks or chews.

But don’t overdo it, you do not need huge amounts and many runners overfuel in the hope it will make them run faster. Check out the nutrition info on the packet and aim for 30-60g of carbs per hour during the long run. Start at around 45 minutes in and keep topping up as and when you feel the need.

Post run:

And finally, the golden hour after your run is the optimum time to refuel your muscles and help your body recover. Current thinking is to have a snack or drink containing a ratio of 3:1 carbs:protein is optimum. A humble glass of chocolate milk is considered to be one of the best choices.

In a nutshell

So there you have it, a step by step guide on how to build up your long run, get your pacing right for that long run, and avoid some of the common pitfalls that new runners often make.

It’s not rocket science and it really doesn’t need to be complicated.

Too many runners – and coaches for that matter – make training too scientific, too hard and overwhelming. I’m a huge advocate of learning to listen to your body, get in tune with what it’s telling you and just get out there to enjoy your running.

Keep it simple and avoid overcomplicating things.

What goal race are you currently chasing? What is the longest you have ever run?

Download your FREE Long Run Pacing Calculator now in your members-only download section.

Need help converting your race times to your optimal easy and long run pace? Download our FREE calculator and we’ll do the math for you.

Not a RunnersConnect Master member? Click here to learn more


20 Tips for Running Motivation: From Morning Runs to Marathons

You’ll Go Further And Faster If You Run With A Group

It may be tough to get up and go for a run. But most of the time, you’ll be more pleased and satisfied with yourself if you get up and do it.

Think about the reasons you want to run in the first place. Ask yourself if running is something you enjoy, since you’ll be more ly to drum up the motivation for an activity you truly want to do.

It’s easy to come up with excuses to avoid something, but the key is to counter those excuses with reasons to just do it.

Often, motivation follows action. So get yourself together and get moving. You’ll feel better after running, and you’ll be happy you stuck to your routine.

Let’s take a look at 20 tips that will help you find the incentive to step up your game and commit to your running routine.

Whether you’re planning a light jog around your neighborhood or an intense interval training workout, these tips can inspire you to dash out the door.

1. Get competitive

Look for a bit of friendly competition, if that’s something you enjoy. Find a group of people to run with in order to keep up the pace, or chart your times against others with a fitness app.

2. Reward yourself

The power of prizes doesn’t stop at childhood. Create a reward system for yourself. Track your process with good old-fashioned tally marks, or make a chart complete with stickers. Place it somewhere visible so you’ll see it often.

Rewards can be something as simple as allowing yourself an extra 30 minutes of sleep or booking a massage. Or you can go all out with a celebratory tattoo.

3. Lower your minimum time

On days when you aren’t able to meet your daily minimum time, run for whatever amount of time you have available instead of sitting it out completely. This way, you’re more ly to stay in the swing of things since you won’t have missed an entire day.

4. Maintain a healthy weight

Running burns calories, reduces belly fat, and helps you make healthy food choices. It can also help you meet your weight loss goals or maintain your target weight.

5. Get in a group groove

The more the merrier when it comes to group motivation. Find one or several training partners with whom you can set up a running schedule. Even if you don’t run together each day, you can band together a few times a week for accountability.

6. Feel the endorphin energy

The runner’s high is real. You may experience feelings of positivity or even euphoria, as running improves your mood and makes you feel better by releasing endorphins, one of the happiness hormones.

7. Set goals

Break your intentions into small, manageable steps. This can include the amount of time you put in per week, how fast you run a certain distance, or the number of days you run.

8. Dress for the exercise you want to do

Dressing well can have a positive effect on how you perceive yourself, and it may motivate you to run more often. Shop for workout clothing and shoes that you’ll enjoy wearing.

Or use your athletic clothes as a chance to experiment with styles you wouldn’t normally try. That could mean going for bright colors or wearing shorts when you normally wouldn’t.

9. Let the music move you

Take the time to create a playlist of all your favorite tunes. Select upbeat songs that put you in a good mood and inspire you to move. Only allow yourself to listen to these songs while you run.

10. Keep track with an app

Stay on top of your goals by using a motivation or habit tracking app. Many allow you to set reminders, connect with people through forums, and view graphs that track your progress.

11. Mix it up

Switch up your routine at least one day per week. Run hills instead of a long distance, or add in some sprints. You can also run in a different neighborhood, do your usual route backward, or change the time of day.

12. Feel the sunshine on your face

Running is a fantastic way to get the sunlight needed to boost serotonin levels. This helps to put you in a good mood while reducing depression and anxiety.

13. Set your own pace

The only person you have to answer to is yourself, so feel free to run at any speed that feels good. Decide if you prefer to run at top speed or more of a leisurely pace.

The early morning lends a certain energy to your run, and you may feel you’re getting ahead of the game, which can set a positive tone for your entire day.

14. Be on the right side of the bed

Starting off your day by checking off your running box is a huge accomplishment. Doing it first thing leaves you with less chances for distraction or getting caught up in all that comes with the daily grind. You’ll feel better mentally and physically for getting it done early.

15. Bask in morning stillness

Enjoy the beauty and silence of the early morning. Waking up early allows you to take time for yourself and enjoy this quiet, peaceful time of day. Other benefits include boosts to your productivity and concentration.

Running on trails will give you a new perspective, and can train your body to move in different ways. You may become more aware of foot placement, which can help you focus your mind and stay present. Plus, running on dirt is more gentle on your body than pavement.

16. Connect to nature

Breathing in fresh air and surrounding yourself with the natural beauty of trees, lakes, and hills can be mentally refreshing. Plus, being outdoors is a natural mood booster. Even if you can’t get the city every day, try visiting a natural park at least once per week.

17. See the birds and the bees

Pique your curiosity and make a point to learn about some of the natural wildlife and plants in your area. Set out to discover or take note of one new aspect of nature each time you visit a running trail.

Running a marathon requires structured training over a set period of time, so you’ll need to commit to a course of action. Plan carefully to make sure you have plenty of time to prepare.

18. Put your race face on

Sign up for a few shorter race such as a 5K, 10K, and half marathon, and gradually build your way up to a full marathon. This way, you’ll start to get a feel for following a training schedule and what it’s to compete.

19. Get the ball rolling

Sign up for the marathon you want to run at least five months in advance. Once you’ve set your heart and intention on this race, start your marathon preparation. Make sure you’re well-versed in what exactly this entails, and stick to your training schedule.

20. Find a fan club

Running a marathon is no small feat, and if it’s your first one, let your friends know. They’ll happily support you and check in with your progress as you prepare.

Your friends may even want to join you for parts of your training. Plus, they can mark their calendar so they’re present on the big day to cheer you on.

You’ll need to stay motivated and make sure you maintain this drive day after day, week after week in order to achieve your workout goals.

If it works for you to have a set routine, continue in this direction. If it’s easier for you to stay motivated when you change up your routine, then do something different.

Run sprints, hills, and long distances on different days. Change up your location and the time of day to keep it varied, which will prevent you from becoming bored.

Ultimately, you’re the only one who can lace up your sneakers and set out on your course.

It’s easy to list off the reasons why you can’t run on any given day, but it’s just as easy to turn it around by creating a list of the reasons why you can. Stay focused on the reasons you to run and the benefits it brings.

If you need some extra motivation, reach out to a run coach, or join a run group in your area. Figure out what your goals are, what helps you achieve them, and commit to a plan of action. Trust yourself to lead the way.


Everything You Need to Know About Group Running

You’ll Go Further And Faster If You Run With A Group
svetikd / Getty Images

Running is often thought of as a solo sport, but you're missing out if you always hit the roads by yourself. Group running can enhance your athletic experience.

Group running is simply organized training, usually arranged by a local training association, running store, or health club. Training groups may meet once per week or several times during the week for a variety of running-related workouts.

Usually, runners of all abilities are welcome, although you will probably be grouped according to your running pace. For example, there may be different sub-groups within a large group so that those running a 10-minute mile are not required to keep pace with those running a 6-minute mile.

There are different types of running groups. Some training groups are organized around a specific goal. For example, those running a marathon might meet for weekly long runs to prepare for their event. But there are also other groups for athletes who participate in 10Ks, 10 mile, and half marathon events. And there are track groups for runners who participate in sprint distance events.

If you don't participate in running events, there are also running groups for people who simply enjoy the sport of running. Generally, these groups include running workouts along with other social functions. There are also running groups affiliated with charity organizations, such as Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team In Training (TNT).

Regardless of the type of group you join, there are certain rules of the road that you should follow to make your experience—and the experience of your fellow runners—more enjoyable.

First, leave your headphones at home. Engage with your fellow runners during the workout. Don't be afraid to start conversations. For example, you can ask questions about upcoming running events or previous running experience. Positive and friendly conversations will help the time fly by, especially on long runs.

Next, always follow traffic rules. Stay to the right side of the road, cross busy streets with the traffic signal, and try not to run more than two abreast to allow cars and cyclists to pass. Always run against traffic so that you can see oncoming cars and trucks.

Also, run with your group. While this rule might seem obvious, there may be times when you feel that you want to separate from the pack and run ahead or fall back behind the others. Be sure that you choose the right pace group and stay with the others to enhance the experience.

Lastly, respect your fellow runners if need to spit, blow your nose or pass gas. Move to the side or back of the pack so that others are not affected by your understandable but less-than-desirable bodily functions.

It doesn't matter which kind of running group you choose. You can expect to enjoy a wide range of benefits from the experience of running with others who share your love of the sport.

It's obviously much safer to run in pairs or with a group. It's tough to get lost if you're with a group and, even if you do take a wrong turn, you have each other to figure out how to find your way.

When running with a group, you're less ly to need to listen to music, which means you won't be distracted or not able to hear cars or other hazards. And if someone in the group gets injured or sick, there's always someone there to help. Potential attackers are also more ly to strike a lone runner than they are a group.

Some people prefer to run alone so they can sort out their thoughts and do some brainstorming. But running in a group may actually get your creative juices flowing even more than running solo because you're able to bounce ideas off other people and ask them for feedback on a project or problem you're working out.

With group running, you get your own personal cheering squad. Members of running clubs and teams root each other on during races and support one another through long runs.

You'll also be more motivated to stick to your training because you and your running partners will hold each other accountable. It's harder to blow off a workout when you know that your teammates are expecting you to show up.

Let's face it: everyone thrives on a little healthy competition. When you're running with others who are encouraging you to run faster and harder, it's easier to take it to the next level. When running alone you may be tempted to cut your workout short, but trying to keep up with running buddies encourages you to do that extra hill repeat.

While some deals are sealed on the golf course, plenty of important business conversations have also taken place between runners on the road. Running with co-workers, clients, or even your boss is a great way to network and build your professional relationships.

Also, meeting new people through running is also a great way to expand your professional circles and potentially find a new job, make new contacts, or learn about other business opportunities.

It's tough to get bored when you're running with others. You're also more ly to explore new running routes when running with a group, which will definitely make your runs more interesting.

Running with a group gives you an incredible sense of community.

Whether you're racing together, volunteering at a race, or cheering on your teammates, it's fun and rewarding to be connected with -minded people and be part of something that's bigger than you. Runners can really relate to each other and are supportive of one another through running (non-running) problems and triumphs.

Anyone who has run with a group knows that it's a great opportunity to get to know people with similar interests. Many people have met their spouse, significant other, or close friends through a running group or club. Some runners end up traveling to destination races with friends they've met in running clubs or charity running programs.

While these group running benefits are substantial, there are some downsides to this type of workout.

For example, your group is not ly to have a lot of flexibility in terms of scheduling. Typical training times include early morning and early evening. If your schedule changes regularly and you have to skip workouts often then group training may not be for you.

Also, you may have good reasons for running alone. Some people need the experience of aloneness that running solo allows. For example, if your job requires you to be actively engaged in conversations all day long, you may need some quiet time at the end of the day.

Group training is not for everyone, but it is smart to give it a try if you've never tried it before. The benefits are numerous and you may find that you it more than you expect. Take some time to find the right group for you and connect with the team leader or coach on your first day. You're ly to make new friends and gain new skills to enhance your love of running.

Thanks for your feedback!

What are your concerns?