As a runner you sometimes prefer the solitude of running alone with the ability of going on your own routes & running at your own pace. There are times where you want to explore a little bit more unknown territory and new routes, you aren’t really sure if that trail that you saw while driving is runnable or even where it may lead you. Is it safe? Will there be mad rabbits and or farmers chasing you if you venture out to the unknown? Exploring new routes is all part of the fun of running. When I first started out running I did what most people do – stick to known roads and areas that I’m familiar with, however after a while it becomes a bit boring, yes you can zone out and listen to music or whatever but as soon as running becomes a chore the fun of running is gone!
Some of my best experiences in running has been discovering new routes & trails that’s around in Wellington! (Literally hundreds of Kilometers) Even after running for 3 years I keep discovering new trails. The only reason that I’ve been able to find new trails/routes is because I try and run at least once a week with other runners.
We as runners are always apprehensive when someone else asks us “Hey you should come running with me!” – Our immediate reaction most of the time is – “oh no I’m going to hold you up I’ll be slow” or inside our head we go “oh god! I’ve seen your times you are freaking fast – I’ll be gasping for breath to keep up” – Believe me – I have been like this many a time when others first approached me to join their groups for runs. The reality is if another runner or group is asking you to run with them is not to poke fun at you for running slow or anything else, they are either wanting some company or want to show you some new routes. Now I absolutely love going running with others. I have made these runs to actually work to my advantage and also fit in with my training runs.
So here’s what I did. (And what you could do..)
- From runners that you know (friends, colleagues,
strangers you meet on the internet via twitter) identify a few that you know that you can hold a conversation with (It helps to get over that awkwardness of having nothing to say for a few kms while running).
- Also if you are wanting to try out new routes you’d want to make sure that they themselves are familiar with the new trails. (It’s no fun for both of you to get lost exploring a new trail!) This is a tricky one, it’s happened to me, Lucky for me she wasn’t an axe murderer. 🙂
- Join a running club or group – there are quite a few around and this is by far the best option since you are guaranteed to find runners who are in the same pace as you! – Clubs organize weekly “Pack runs” with experienced runners setting various group paces and no one get’s left behind in the trails
woodsto be eaten by rabbits or wolves. There are other benefits of joining up such as mentoring, coaching and also participating events that you might not otherwise go by yourself.
Things to watch out for.. (and rightly avoid as much as you can..)
- Run every single day with the same person – unless they are your immediate family, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife and you have no choice!
- Talk endlessly about how awesome you think they are or you are or your BF/GF/Dog/Cat/Family is – stick to some general conversation and give the other person some room to talk (and room to run too)
- On narrow trails – one of you will have to go in front – be sure you know the trail if you are or let them lead!
- Avoid running with complete strangers whom you met on twitter or Facebook! Unless of course they are ‘known’ runners and have been twitter stalking you for a while telling you how awesome you are!