While many may see running as a solo form of exercise, running is a social experience fora lot of people. And thanks to the COVID-19 Pandemic, runners around the world have lost that social aspect from their daily lives. If they’re still running, they’re now doing so alone, which can be hard for motivation, among other things.
But not all hope is lost! Whether you’re a race director wanting to support your community or a runner hoping to remain social while still social distancing, creating a virtual run club is an easy option.
Create an Online Forum
Community is a big aspect of why people join run clubs to begin with. So it’s only natural to create an online space for members of your virtual run club to interact, whether that be a Facebook group, specific social media handle or other online forum or message board.
On this platform, you can recruit members, designate specific times when people can run “together” and create a place for runners to chat about everything from goals and things they’re struggling with to topics that have nothing to do with running at all.
Hold Members Accountable
Encourage members in your virtual run club to share their intended run workouts, times or other stats with the group to remain accountable with their peers. Sometimes running alone can result in a lack of motivation or drive to stay on top of a workout because there’s no one there to keep you in check and no upcoming races to set goals around.
In fact, consider setting a running goal as a group. Maybe it’s a streak goal or one for total mileage during a set period of time. Or maybe you all sign up for the same virtual race and see who can get the fastest time. There are countless ways to come together as runners and as a run club, even without those weekly get-togethers.
Looking for other ideas for measuring success in your running? Check out this piece on ACTIVE.com for ideas.
Connect From a Distance
If your traditional in-person run club typically met for drinks, stopped for coffee or hung out outside of doing physical activity together, consider setting up virtual happy hours or get togethers. Your members will appreciate the sense of togetherness, even if it’s not done while actually running.
Sometimes people seek motivation from running with others as it helps them push harder or longer than they might when running alone. If you want to take things to the next level with your virtual run club, try setting up a conference call of sorts for runners to join while they pound the pavement. Simply call into the line at a designated time, pop in some headphones and chat away as you all run alone together.