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By Columnist Ron Byland – USATF, RRCA and Lydiard certified Running Coach:


Photo credit: Urgency via photopin (license)

Spring is finally upon us here in the Twin Cities in the United States, and runners are starting to get out of the house or off the treadmills and are hitting the roads. For those of you in countries that are about to enter the colder months, then remember if you cannot get outside to run then get onto your treadmill instead.

As a full-time certified coach with 30-years of experience, I get the privilege of being at the runs to oversee workouts and to answer any questions you might have. There are so many advantages to running in a group, or joining a club as opposed to running alone. Of course, what you prefer depends entirely on you and your level of comfort.

Some of the advantages of running in a club include the following:

Motivation –  I’ve had people over the years say they’re too slow, too old etc., and that they can’t run 3 miles at 10:00 mile pace. They’ll come out and run with us, telling us their life story as they run at under 10:00. They are then are shocked when they find out how far and fast they actually went. When you are running by yourself all you hear is your breathing and your mind takes over and tells you to quit. But, this doe not happen when you run with a group.

Safety – How many times have you come up behind another runner who has earphones in and announced to them, “on your left”, only to have them scream and then jump off the road. Running with a group gives you greater safety. It’s also important for you to remember that others do use roads and trails. So a personal plea here is to always run no more than two runners wide on the roads and trails, as they’re not wide enough for six people and their dogs.

Ability to become faster – While I always place my runners within the right paced group, a group that matches this person’s ability, there will always be someone in the group that is going to feel great and someone that may feel slow. I see it all the time, but this will also allow you to challenge yourself more so that you push yourself to stay with the group, rather than fall behind. If you elect to run by yourself these challenges do not exist, and if you run with a group that’s much faster than you, then you will be left behind and feel dejected.

Social environment – How much fun can you have going out for a post-workout breakfast or dinner and a beverage by yourself? As a running group, we go out to social events together, party’s and other events. There’s nothing better than a run on a hot summer night, then finishing that great workout and pulling out a beverage, and talking about your training with your friends.

I invite you to come and join us for a run if you’re in the Minneapolis area or for you to join a local club in your area. Either way, I’m sure you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Just do it, you won’t regret it.

Have a month and I’ll… See you on the roads (and next month).

Coach Ron

About Our Marathon News and Review Columnist

Ron Byland HeadShotRon Byland is the current coach of Kelly Brinkman, 2013 USATF-MN Female runner of the year. He has an extensive competitive racing background that spans over more than 30-years, and he has been coaching runners for over 25-years. Ron is USATF, RRCA and Lydiard certified. He lives and works in Minneapolis, but also offers online training options for runners via his running club.

As the founder and coach of Minneapolis based Mile To Marathon Run Club, Ron Byland,  offers runners many coaching options, such as:

  • Customized Personal Training Program
  • Personal One on One Training Sessions
  • Virtual Training
  • Corporate Run Programs for 5 -500 runners
  • Couch To 5K Programs
  • Corporate Speaker

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Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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