It’s been interesting to hear the feedback from participants in our Commitment Day 5K training program. Most of them are beginning runners who are experiencing group run training for the first time. When asked why they chose to join the training program, many respond that they feel like the group will keep them motivated. They want someone to rely on, and others to rely on them.
The power of group training is nothing new. At the turn of the century, when distance running was struggling in our country, many experts noted that Americans had drifted away from living and training together. Training groups like Team USA Minnesota and the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project were seen as an answer to the problem. Americans have had a considerable amount of success at the international level in recent years, much of which can be attributed to the group training opportunities that now exist for post-collegiate runners.
The Commitment Day movement has a big goal: to start a fitness revolution, encouraging all Americans to commit to a healthy and active way of life. The only way to make a change this big is to make it together. Those of us who are already living an active lifestyle need to become evangelists. We’ve taken responsibility for our own health and fitness. What can we do to get the rest of the country on the right path?
Everyone doesn’t need to run a marathon. They don’t even need to run a 5K. But they do need to connect with others who can help them toward their personal fitness goals. Look for ways to make those connections. You may not be able to start a running club at your company, but you can probably get a group to walk around the block at lunch. Many small changes can make a big difference. And frankly, we have to do something.