“That was tough. You need friends to run with, no doubt.” Those are the words of my running friend Dave after a solitary Sunday morning long, slow training run.
Dave was away for the weekend so had to train alone and missed the regular Sunday group run from Richmond Bridge.
I’m currently back in marathon training for the Boston Marathon and if things go well I’ll also line up on the start line for London six days later.
But I know I need a little help from my friends. For me at least, the worst part of marathon training is those long, slow distance runs on your own. I’m with Dave on that one. It can be tough.
It’s tough getting out of bed early on a Sunday morning especially if it has been a late night the day before.
We’ve all been there. The alarm starts ringing in your ears, your eyes are all a blur, it is still dark outside and the bed feels so snug. The instinct is to hit the snooze button and roll back over into a slumber.
But when you’ve committed to running with friends, there’s no snoozing.
That’s one of the joys of running in a group: the added motivation.
Six months ago I moved back to England after four and half years living in Shanghai. Last year I ran four marathons and was lucky to have a regular training group of five or six friends to run with on those gruelling weekend long runs.
So now I feel blessed to have been warmly welcomed into a new training group of Ranelagh Harriers.
Wherever I have run in the world I have always felt that runners are a friendly bunch. My non-running friends see running as an individual sport but for me running is much more than just the running. It’s about the camaraderie and friendships you build.
So here’s to running together – and to the extra motivation it can bring.