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Why Running Together is More Beneficial than Running Alone

Why Running Together is More Beneficial than Running Alone

Whether you’ve just got your first running shoes or are a seasoned road pounder, having running partners can do wonders for your running. And while the romanticism of the loneliness of the long distance runner might sound endearing, in time you’ll no doubt find a desire to have some company out there on the road.

But what exactly is a running community…and why should we all want to be part of one?

The Running Community

A loose term that could mean anytime you don’t run alone. It’s about finding a relationship with others, even over the course of one run, that benefits your motivation, goals, and desires for running.

Learning what works for you will also inform what kind of community approach will suit you. Here are some examples to get you started.

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Types of Running Clubs

Highly structured and regular running clubs sit at one end of the spectrum, as well as, the more traditional local athletics clubs, running together has been brought to the masses by organised running groups sponsored by Nike, Lululemon and others (Search for Nike+ or Lululemon Run Clubs for more info).

This way of running allows it to be the glue in an otherwise potentially diverse social group, and often they make space for runners of all experiences. At the other end of the spectrum are innovative online ways of connecting, such as the online communities built around technologies like MapMyRun and GPS watches and other running technology. These allow you to run remotely with others, creating a community across the world to remotely ‘run’ with.

But these are structured and organised approaches. A more informal attitude could be suggesting to a friend to go for a run on a whim, or running over the hill outside your kitchen window with your dog at your heels.

Equally, I know friends who have run marathons, who have been supported through a playlist we made for them as a way to offer encouragement along the route. Finding your way to be supported by running friends and non-running friends alike is a smart way to widen your running support.

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Black and white image of a single runner in the distance stretching his quads and standing on one leg
    Solitude and space are other reasons to go out for a run, but company helps progress like nothing else.

    Why Community Matters

    As with any activity, there are a number of reasons not to go ahead and stubbornly pursue it alone. Motivation is a big one; having someone by your side to push you on, offer advice and give perspective is huge.

    Part of this can even be giving you permission to not run so far or so hard, as they are able to see that, today, maybe a short jog and a long relax on the sofa is most beneficial.

    Making a commitment to run with someone can also act as a huge boost. It can lead us out onto the road on a day we might otherwise have preferred to stay in. Running pals motivate us to go out or keep going, and this support is crucial in making running into what you wish it to be for you. Being able to stick to and believe in steady, gradual progress is another reason to run together.

    I find pacing much harder when I’m on my own. Too often, I am tempted to run like the wind, only to tie myself up with cramp before I’ve hit half the distance I wanted to achieve. Running together helps you to monitor pace, cadence and breathing because there are people around you to refer to. Also, if you run regularly with the same people, you can all support and advise one another on how you are all progressing, and spot when you’re going too hard or slacking off!

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    And this peer advice is the last perk of running together.

    We are all wiser than we might think, and learning that we can offer this advice to others – and then learn from them – helps ground us in our running. It’s often said that we don’t know a subject truly until we’ve learned to teach it. Sharing our knowledge with our running partners, and receiving theirs, in turn, helps create a communal pool of knowledge that benefits everyone.

    Two runners in the distance jog around a field that has recently been ploughed
      A friend gets you out running whatever the season.

      How to Build your Community

      Whichever group suits you, I would encourage you all to start to run with others. Different communities will suit us at different times of your life and types of person, so don’t be disheartened if finding the right way takes a while. Just keep on running as you search!

      One thing we can all do to encourage the running community at large: smile at each other!

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      One of my absolute pet hates is running past another runner, smiling, and receiving nothing but their glare in return. Folks, however fast, far or well we are running, a little smile and generosity offered to someone else who is out there with you goes a long way to building a strong community.

      So next time you run, smile at all your running partners…it makes a huge difference.

      More by this author

      Tom Pritchard

      Copywriter, Proofreader and Storyteller

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      Last Updated on April 19, 2021

      8 Weight Loss Tracker and Exercise Apps for Your Fitness Goals

      8 Weight Loss Tracker and Exercise Apps for Your Fitness Goals

      Are you frustrated by the fact that you haven’t been able to lose weight? Have you ever wondered if you don’t actually know how many calories you eat in a day? How much exercise do you ACTUALLY get, and why doesn’t anything seem to be working? A weight loss tracker can help you answer all of these questions and more.

      How can we start to see results and have the momentum to keep moving forward? The answer is simple:

      Have a game-plan and know exactly what is going on inside your body.

      If you really want to excel at your fitness goal, then you need to have a game-plan for success. You need to know what will keep you motivated, how to simplify things, how to be more efficient at your goals, and even find what you enjoy the most.

      You can start by checking out Lifehack’s Busy Yet Fit Course, which will help you get into the groove of working out, even if you have a busy lifestyle.

      If you’re blindly trying to chase your goals, then you probably feel about as hopeless as a carpenter with a butter-knife. So, it’s time to stock your toolbelt for success!

      I am about to show you the top weight loss tracker apps that will be game-changers for you. From nutrition trackers to step counters, these apps are sure to set you on the fast track to your fitness goals.

      Keep reading to find the apps that might just shoot you past your plateau and into the lifestyle you dream of.

      1. MyFitnessPal

        When it comes to the best weight loss tracker apps, this one takes the cake (The Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan cake that is).

        MyFitnessPal is the best all around calorie counter that I have found on the market. This app is free and has almost all the calorie counting resources available to you. Not only does it seamlessly estimate the daily calories needed to hit your goal, but it also gives you the methods to track it.

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        Just enter the ingredients of each meal you eat, and it will add up how many calories you eat. It can also scan product barcodes and automatically enter those calories for you.

        Going a step beyond that, this app also tracks your macros (according to your own customized goals) and nutrients. Furthermore, you can input a desired weight to track your weight loss journey.

        While that all seems impressive enough, this app also tracks exercise calories and can sync to Fitbit, MapmyRun, and other apps to measure your exact energy ratio.

        If you want a one-stop map to success, then this is it! This will not only help you develop a game plan, but will also create a flexible plan to get you there.

        Get the app here!

        2. Fitbit

          I know you’ve already heard of this app, and for good reason. Fitbit has been helping thousands step their way to health since it first came out.

          While investing in a Fitbit may not be cheap, I believe it to be well worth the investment.

          Fitbit will track your total amounts of steps each day. For those of you who are competitive, this is the perfect app to keep you moving and motivated throughout the day.

          This app can also sync with other fitness apps, like MyFitnessPal, to measure your exact energy expenditure each day. It’s a keeper for sure, especially if you’re looking for a great weight loss tracker.

          Get the app here!

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          3. MapMyRun

            This is another one for the competitive, beginner, or exercise enthusiast. MapMyRun measures the distance that you run and even tracks your route. Furthermore, you can sync your daily results with MyFitnessPal to keep track of your daily calorie burn.

            If you want to go at it with a friend, you can challenge them in competitions that are sure to keep you both moving!

            Once, my husband ran for 2 miles just before midnight to beat me in a competition that was ending the next day. Talk about motivation!

            MapMyRun is perfect for those who like to challenge themselves, love to be part of a fitness community, or want a place for friends to hold them accountable to their goals.

            Get the app here!

            4. Zombies, Run!

              Are you having trouble pulling away from entertainment to go out and run? Then why not combine the two?

              ZombieRun is a fun app that is sure to get you moving if you are someone who is motivated by a good time. In fact, you might even have such a blast you will forget you are exercising!

              This app takes you through a storyline and makes you the hero. Each level will present a new challenge to help you progress and keep things exciting.

              You certainly won’t need to worry about your pre-workout. Imagining you are the hero in the story will be enough to keep your adrenaline pumping on its own.

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              Just be sure not to move too slow or the “Zombs” (as we runners affectionately call them) might catch you!

              Get the app here!

              5. Prepear

                Are you tired of sitting down for hours and trying to strategize what to eat? This app helps cut this time in a quarter and is a great addition as a weight loss tracker.

                Simply add online recipes into your weekly meal plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and it will organize all the ingredients you will need into a shopping list.

                With all your meal planning in one organized area, it will be easy to find which meal you plan to make for the day. This will keep your healthy recipes delicious. You will seriously never have to fret about meal planning again!

                Get the app here!

                6. Strava

                  If walking is your health resolution, this weight loss tracker might be for you. Strava is sure to get you into healthy habits that you enjoy. In fact, you might start losing weight before realizing that you’ve even been exercising.

                  This app enables you to track your trails and mileage, take pictures, and invite friends to join. It is a keeper for beginners and hikers alike.

                  Get the app here!

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                  7. Aaptiv

                    If you find yourself at the gym and not sure what to do, then this app might be for you. Aptive gives you workouts to do and instructs you how to do them.

                    While there’s nothing quite like the accountability of a personal trainer, Aaptiv is a great way to be guided through exercises without having to dish out tons of money.

                    The online instructors will guide you through the movements and keep you focused on finishing the workout. This app is sure to make you a gym rat in no time!

                    Get the app here!

                    8. Freeletics

                      Here’s one for those of you always on the move! Freeletics is an incredible app designed for people who just don’t have the time (or motivation) to drive down to the gym. Freeletics provides online workouts designed specifically from bodyweight with no equipment needed.

                      You will be surprised at what a great workout you can get without any equipment.

                      That’s right, you work-travelers; say goodbye to your excuses because this app is bringing the trainer to you!

                      Get the app here!

                      The Bottom Line

                      These 8 weight loss tracker apps are sure to revolutionize your fitness goals. Guesswork will no longer be a part of your fitness journey. These apps are like carrying professionals around in your pocket all day!

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                      Get ready to be motivated, informed, and ready to start achieving your dreams!

                      More Tips for Weight Loss

                      Featured photo credit: Gabin Vallet via unsplash.com

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