Words of occasional wisdom from Bruce Oakley

The more the merrier

Posted by boakley59 on August 29, 2011

Beep Beep. Roadrunner. Beep Beep. Beep Beep. Roadrunners.

Here a beep, there a beep, everywhere a beep beep — roadrunners everywhere. For all that running is an individual sport, it is nevertheless undertaken by social animals. Those of us who find contentment in running alone generally find something even better in running with others.

We seem to find it easier to run in a pack. If you are plodding along with little motivation or progress, find a mentor, partner or apprentice to share the road. Whether you are learner, leader or pal in your pack, you are very likely to find yourself having more fun and getting faster and fitter.

In the past year, I’ve had the chance to share a lot of training advice with runners from state record-holders to struggling beginners. The constant for all of them has been strength in numbers: Improvement has come in the company of others. Having someone to chase, someone to pace or just someone at the same place has made all the difference. Runners at training plateaus have suddenly made great strides (sorry, couldn’t resist), largely by having someone to share their trials and triumphs.

For the beginners, it helps to have guidance or mutual accountability. For the racers, it helps to have someone pushing. And every little success is that much more enjoyable when it is amplified by the chorus.

So, roadrunners, if you really want to do better, get the flock out there!

Beep beep.

One Response to “The more the merrier”

  1. It has been such a blessing to run with the pack this year, and to have you coaching us.

    As it says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

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