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The Unelite Athlete

Do I need to network?

So what is the best way to train? Some say it’s always on your own, and the others say always in a group. What to do? Well there are two sides here, and the secret is, you don’t actually have to pick a side and stick with it.

I started running a few years ago and whenever I did, I never really had much interest in meeting people through running. Not because I’m antisocial, anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m the opposite of that, but, because I didn’t really know how to go about it.

At the end of the day, no matter how confident you are in yourself, it can be hard to walk up to a group, at say your local parkrun, and say “Hey guys, do you like running? I like running too, let’s go running!”

Doesn’t sound like it would go down too well. It took me a while to want to run with people, then I found it hard to find people who wanted to run at the same time of day, or at the same pace as me, or even people that would actually commit to running once a week. The point is that’s the way I felt.

I thought that running on my own all the time benefited me the most so that’s what I did. Until I met the right people to go out with. So how do you find those people? It actually is as simple as asking!

There are good things about running with someone, or a group. For one, the conversations you’ll have will be great for building a friendship, at the same time as getting your lungs performing better, because as you talk and run, your lungs will be working harder, which equals more fitness!

Another good thing is the commitment. Your less likely to skip that run if someone is relying on you, don’t become the one that always let’s the team down. You’ll be getting fitter if you run with people who are faster than you, and on the flip side if you’re faster than them, you’ll be getting them fitter!

I’ve made some good friends through running, and although it took me a while to find some as crazy as me, it was well worth the wait.

Plus it’s made me better at solo runs. I’m constantly striving to find ways to improve, so that next time my running friends want a race, well, I’ll be ready to give them whatever it is I’ve got!

So if you’re happy running by yourself, that’s ok. Just know that you can run with others if you feel like it once in a while. If you don’t it’s ok, the right group will be fine with you coming along when you feel like it. You don’t have to pick a side, you can have the best of both worlds!

And if you are sitting back and want to run but, don’t want to try it by yourself, check out running clubs in your local area, a good club will always welcome you. Or ask a friend if they fancy it. You’ve not much to lose by trying something once. You have however, got a great amount to gain!

Catch up with you soon

Calum

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