Running events, like marathons and mud-runs, are an excellent way to progress your athletic abilities whilst being a tonne of fun. But why do them alone? In this article, we’ll look at 5 great reasons to run an event as a group.
1. Motivate each other
Training for and the actual event itself naturally come with their highs and lows. Whether it’s a tough long run, struggles with nutrition, pushing through a rough speed workout or giving it all you have on race day. Start to finish, participating in a running event involves a lot of challenges.
A great benefit of taking a running event on in a group is that you can motivate each other. When the going gets difficult and someone feels challenged, they can count on the other group members to encourage and instil a sense of confidence in them.
You’d be surprised how far a ‘you’re doing so well, I believe in you’ can go when you’re 13 miles through a 20-mile long run and your running buddy has a dwindling fuel tank. Little words of encouragement can be the difference between the members of the group quitting or pushing through and staying strong.
Come race day, you’ll have pushed and motivated each other enough to be in great shape for an excellent performance.
2. Share the fundraising load
Something I often hear fellow runners struggling with is fundraising for a charity as part of their event process. Whether they’re not able to raise as much cash as they’d like to in their circle of family and friends, or they feel like their fundraising efforts are limited as one person, it can be difficult.
A great advantage of running an event for charity as part of a group is that the fundraising load can be shared and enhanced between the group. Everybody has a shared responsibility for fundraising and it’s much easier to reach, and then smash the target.
For instance, someone in the group could organise a cake sale at work whilst someone else could organise a virtual quiz, whilst another decides to fundraise by selling old junk at a boot fair. All of this whilst everyone in the group regularly commits to publishing the training and fundraising for the running event via social media, word of mouth and so on.
Everyone in the group combines their efforts and, before they know it, there is a sizeable sum of money raised for the charity of choice. Simples!
3. Connect with the group
When training for a race together, you quickly develop deep bonds with those in the group.
Meeting up 3 or 4 times a week to train is a great opportunity to get to know those in the collective and establish new friendships or strengthen existing ones.
You’d be surprised how close you can feel to someone after you motivate each other to carry on through a taxing long-run.
4. Enjoy friendly competition
A great advantage of training for and participating in an event as part of a group is that you can enjoy friendly competition.
Naturally, us humans have a competitive spirit within us. We try to be the fastest, in the best form, the best.
Using friendly competition in your group throughout the training phase, and during the event itself, you can push each other to perform to the best of their abilities.
Set friendly contests in your group during training to keep things interesting. See who can rack up the most weekly miles. Get Strava premium and try to outpace each other in certain segments of distances on popular routes. See who can achieve the best average pace per mile for a long run, if running separately.
Engaging in friendly competitions such as these are a good way to encourage your group to be the best athletes possible. Come race day, you’ll be better prepared and better trained for a great performance.
5. Share best training practice and top tips with each other
You can make great use of top tips and best training practices from others when taking on an event in a group.
Maybe someone discovers and shares that a cereal bar and a coffee twenty minutes before a workout gives a massive amount of energy for a decent training session.
Someone else may have found a beautiful, scenic route just off the beaten track. You may share a YouTuber’s channel you subscribe to, who regularly uploads and shares top tips for running form.
Perhaps you’ve read an amazing book, such as David Goggin’s ‘Can’t Hurt Me‘, which has changed your outlook on training and you share it with the others.
All of these small examples of sharing best practice can all add up and make the groups training efforts stronger. Come race day, the group will be a force to be reckoned with.
There you have it. Five great reasons to run an event as a group. What are you waiting for? Contact some friends and family, assemble a group and enter an event together. All the fun is to come!