While we may not be able to meet up with our running groups in person, there are still ways to stay connected to one another and keep each other motivated during this time! Here are a few ideas to keep your group together from home:
Join a Strava challenge together (or create your own!): Each month the running app Strava puts out new challenges to runners, with activities ranging from running a 5k to hitting 100 miles in a month and everything in between. Pick a challenge as a group and use Strava to keep each other accountable. Or, create your own challenge! Use Strava or an app of your choice to get the group together and encourage each other virtually each week. Challenges can be to hit a certain number of miles a week, run with the most creative outfit, or hit the fastest mile split. Use your creativity to have fun and motivate one another!
Run a virtual race together: While many in-person races have been postponed, there is an abundance of virtual races that offer runners a competitive outlet to test their training (like CARA’s Run Solo Virtual Run!). Pick a virtual race to run “together” with your running buddies. While you will run on your own, you can plan to hit your respective start lines at the same time and post your results to your group. For an added bonus, your group can even award the top runners with digital gift cards to local stores or restaurants in lieu of prize money.
Create a book club: Now is a great time to tackle that stack of books you have been meaning to read! With so many great books about running available, choose one that inspires you and invite your running buddies to a virtual book club. Create a schedule for finishing chapters and set aside some time during the week to Skype or Zoom with your running friends and chat about the book. Tip: Many libraries are offering free ebooks and audiobooks through services like Hoopla
Send a good old fashioned text or phone call: Sometimes, all it takes is a little encouragement from your friends to stay motivated! A simple text or phone to check in on your running buddies may just be the positivity they need to lace up for their next run.
While we may be running solo for the time being, remember we are not alone! The Power of the Group expands far beyond training sessions and group runs - it is the bonds we form with one another along the way that keep us going strong through the good times and bad.