Just as a weight carried by many pairs of hands will feel much lighter than if carried by only one pair, a challenge shared amongst a team will make any activity feel easier, and so much more fun. There’s nothing like the spirit and motivation of team competition, after all. It brings people together. it brings athletes together - 6 of them in this instance, in the form of a running relay.
With everything going on in the world, people have been missing that sense of connection and motivation that teamwork can give you. When the future is so fuzzy, it’s easy to lose your sense of purpose. The solution? ASICS are introducing you to the Japanese running culture in the form of the Ekiden relay, a marathon distance relay in which a team of 6 athletes race as one to complete it.
The Ekiden relay may sound familiar to you, as it’s been going on since 1917. Now, though, ASICS are bringing it to you virtually, bringing people from all over the world to work together as a team and conquer the marathon distance as one. Anybody can take part, and nobody will be running alone.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WORKING AS A TEAM?
Having a team to be accountable to can make all the difference when it comes to consistency. When you have more than just yourself relying on you, you’ll think twice before making excuses that you’re too tired for this session or you’ll just wait until it’s stopped raining. In other instances, you may have had a bad day or be feeling a little bit discouraged, and having teammates to encourage you and talk you out of it is invaluable. Sharing the same goals with your teammates will encourage you all to stay on track, following up with each other regularly.
No matter how much you love the sport, there will always be those sessions that you don’t look forward to. Be it the post-work long run in the dark or the Tuesday speed session, having a team to face it with not only makes training more bearable, but it makes it more fun. Training with others reduces stress (according to this study). It gives your brain a distraction when the go-and-gets-tough, and sessions will seem to a lot faster.
The sessions won't just seem faster though. A little friendly competition will have you pushing each other to run faster paces, too. Especially if your team may have more experience or run faster paces than you do - This is called the Kohler Effect. A phenomenon that occurs when a person works harder as a member of a group than when working alone.
HOW TO WORK WELL AS A TEAM TOWARDS THE SAME GOAL
Now we’ve covered why teamwork is so great, let’s talk about how you can be a good team member.
- Stay organised with planning sessions and don’t let your teammates down whenever possible. If you bail out on a session, it’ll make your teammates much more likely to bail out too, especially if it’s one they’re not looking forward to.
- Create a team spirit by keeping it light and fun. Running is a great time to blow off steam from a hard day or week, and having a laugh with friends at the same time makes it so much more enjoyable. The more fun you all have together, the more committed you’ll be to your sessions and the harder you’ll push for each other come race day.
- Push each other to try different things. When I first started running, I was a little intimidated by the track and thought it was something only elite athletes ran on. The other runners I was training with ensured me that anyone can use the track and encouraged me to give it a go. I did, and loved every second! There are countless types of sessions, warm-up routines and secret running tracks that your teammates might be able to introduce you to, and you can return the favour by taking everything you’ve learnt to the table too.
- Be their biggest supporter. There are going to be days when your teammates have a bad run, get injured, or feel out of sorts. The best way you can be a good teammate is to be a good friend - listen, encourage, and advise.
In a good team, you’ll never feel alone. You’ll always have a support group, a safety net and friends to have a laugh with. They will motivate you, push you, and make you into a better runner than you could have ever become on your own. We’re all in this together, after all. And together, we’re so much stronger!
Digital Marketing Manager at NoblePro from Norwich
Age group: Open
Club: City Of Norwich Athletics Club
Coach: Paul Evans
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