Want to Stay Motivated? Team Spirit Keeps You Running Your Best
by Larissa Sexton
Running is an individual sport. It is the physical act of moving your feet in a fast, rhythmic motion to propel yourself forward at a greater speed than if you were walking or jogging. It is up to you to put on your running gear, go outside, and run. You run for yourself. You fight your own inertia. You push your limits.
Several half-marathons and many years of running experience have taught me something else that is just as important: you need support from others to reach your training goals, because it takes a village to raise a runner. Running is actually a team sport. And I am not only talking about a team to train with. There’s more to it than that.
1. ASK YOURSELF: WHO INSPIRES YOU?
What makes you lace up your shoes and run? You need motivation. My motivation comes from all the runners that started like me and then went on to make it to the top. Anna and Lisa, the Hahner twins, are my role models. I can identify with them, and they have demonstrated that you can make it if you keep working at it. I will never race at the Olympics, but I admire faster runners. I will never run with the Hahner twins, but they motivate me to train a little harder every time.
So if you are looking for new motivation to go running, ask yourself: who inspires you? It doesn’t need to be someone famous. Maybe it’s your best friend who runs faster than you or your neighbor who just finished an ultramarathon. Whoever it is, think about this person the next time you are struggling to get out the door for a run.
2. FIND PEOPLE TO PUSH YOU
Besides my role models, there are people that I actually go running with. Every runner has run with someone faster who pushed them into a new gear. Training with my male friends challenges me to go faster, to push harder in every run.
But it’s not just the stronger people we can learn from. Every team member makes a valuable contribution to a team. While training for my first marathon, it has been crucial to run long distances at a slower pace than a regular 10k. Training with beginners makes me focus on a steady, slow speed that will help me cover the 42 kilometers. My training team helps me go the extra kilometer and do it one minute faster. Try putting together a running group at work; it will energize you, build team spirit, and is a great way to stay fit with your colleagues.
3. GET MOTIVATED BY YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM
I can’t forget the part of my team that doesn’t run – the team behind the team. They are my friends, family, and supporters. They are the nutritionists that develop meal plans or energizing protein bars that fuel me during my run. They are the people that develop apps like adidas Runtastic to support every step of the way.
Hearing your friends cheer you on during the run through live cheering in the adidas Running app pushes you forward, and falling into the arms of your family after crossing the finish line is the best reward. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my social support team.
There is a real team spirit to running. While training for the marathon, I have learned that it will not just be me running by myself. My teams have been with me throughout the training process and will be supporting me during the race.
Indeed, what may first seem like an individual sport is actually a team effort.
About Larissa Sexton:
Larissa is a passionate traveler and runner. So far she has run six half marathons in five different countries.