This is the most common concern I hear as a coach and unfortunately, I believe it stops many people from giving group runs a go.
Everyone who joins our RunFit sessions are people who want to run in a group. They attend knowing they may have to alter their pace, and that’s in exchange for the good company you will bring and the social aspect that comes from group running.
You won’t be alone in feeling nervous but rest assured that if you’re curious about coming to RunFit, then you already have what it takes to attend! Plus, by turning up, you will add to the fun and variety of the group, making it more welcoming for other people out there who may be nervous about showing up as well. If RunFit was only made up of people who felt 100% confident and comfortable, it would be a pretty small (and boring!) group.
All our runs are paced so that everyone is involved. No one is left behind, ever!
One thing that all runners (even the pros) have in common is that we’re all secretly worried that we’re going to be the slowest, or not as good as we might think. That anxiety we share is a point of connection, not contention.
Top tip: Never apologise for your pace. How fast you run is not an inconvenience in our RunFit group sessions, and if someone else is slower than you (which there will be!) apologising sends a rubbish message to them.
If you’re new to running, it can be tempting to set lofty goals and expectations for yourself, especially if you have already developed a good level of fitness.
A mistake a lot of new runners make is concentrating on pace (how fast you are going) rather than the exertion you are feeling. Initially, in our RunFit sessions, you should be able to hold a conversation while you are running. We will slow down if required, and earlier on can even walk for intervals.
Dependent on experience and fitness, the walk:run is a great way to build up over time. We will never push too hard, building up takes time and patience. All of our runs are time based, and not focused on speed or distance.
What does the science actually say? A scientific paper published in the “Journal of American College of Rheumatology” showed runners DO NOT have a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis (OA) compared to non-runners (Lo et al. 2014). With other key findings:
1. Runners who engaged in regular running experienced knee pain less often than non-runners.
2. Regular running does not increase the risk of developing knee OA among the general population and may actually have a protective effect against the development of OA.
3. There is no reason to restrict participation in running at any stage of life as running does not appear to be harmful to the knee joint.
4. People with lower BMI (body mass index) were more likely to engage in regular running.
Bodyglide and lubricant, lots of it, and it happens to all us, lube up!
Lo, G, Driban, J, Kriska, A, Storti, K, McAlindon, T, Souza, T, Eaton, C, Petersen, N, Suarez-Almazor, M 2014, ‘Habitual running any time in life is not detrimental and may be protective of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis’, Arthritis and Rheumatology, pp 2895.