Group Running Fears and Myths

By | January 22, 2015

When I first started running, I thought it was a loner sport.  I spent many long solo runs in 2010, training for Country Music Half Marathon.  While I really enjoyed the time to think and reflect, it sure got lonely out there.  Races were the only social runs I encountered, however, most people had their headphones in and my wonderfully witty jokes literally fell on deaf ears.

Later in 2010, a random guy in my neighborhood posted about needing runners for Ragnar.  It sounded cool so I signed up and got to spend 28 hours in a van with 5 strangers.  It sounds a little weird, but it was an amazing experience where I didn’t feel alone on the road.  I have since done 6 more Ragnars and one Texas Independence Relay.

One day I stumbled upon the Tin Roof 2 Running Crew.  It sounded interesting, but what if no one talks to me?  What if everyone is faster than me?  What if, what if, what if?  I tried getting other running friends to go with me, but it never worked out.  One day I finally worked up the courage to go by myself and the mystery and fear of group running had been debunked.

I met a nice guy named Mike who had lost over 100 pounds after he started running.  I met Tammy who was always friendly and energetic as she gave everyone the route for the night.  I met Kyle who owns the bar and kept the appetizer and drink specials flowing.  My only complaint about this group is that it took me about 45 minutes traversing through traffic to get there from the West Side of Franklin.

Years later I opened a running store and made sure that we had weekly group runs.  We had a great turnout, which wasn’t a big surprise because I knew there were plenty of people on this side of town looking for group runs.  Unfortunately, the road construction by the store seriously affected our numbers and we eventually had to stop the weekday runs.

Thankfully, through this process, I came to know Seth.  Seth is one of the friendliest and selfless people I have ever met.  Seth has been organizing group runs in the area for several years.  He goes out of his way to accommodate other people’s schedules so they don’t have to run alone.  To me, Seth and “his” group really embodied the epitome of what a group run should look like.

I have been blessed by other groups, such as the Road Kill Surfers.  They have a Tuesday and Thursday morning group and ran a faster pace than the other social groups.  They pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me become a faster runner.

Now I am spoiled and cannot fathom running by myself, although I sometimes do.

At this point in time, with all this group running experience, the biggest problem I see is there is a large group of people who stay home because they are intimidated for one reason or another.  I would encourage you, no matter how fast or how slow you are to get out there and find a group that works for you.  We have no egos, no stop-watches.  We just like to get out of the house, sweat a bit and enjoy each others company.

We look forward to seeing you out on the pavement!

Check out our Calendar of group runs in and around Franklin, TN!

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About Andy

Andy started running in 2010 when his wife, Karyn decided to run the Country Music Half Marathon. He has since finished 12 half marathons, 4 marathons, Half Ironman, 7 overnight relay races and several smaller races. Andy is also the founder of the Franklin Half Marathon.