Running… a team sport? Are you sure?
People don’t always think of running as a team sport. Of course it isn’t a team sport. It’s just one person, chucking on their shoes, and going for a run right? But if you take a step back and think of teams in their broader sense, then it definitely is! A team is made up of a group of people, from a range of backgrounds, with different strengths. They often have a leader, who has a key role of bringing everyone together and keeping things on track. They will agree a shared purpose or goal, each person will know what their role is, and team members will communicate with each other and support each other to achieve that goal.
There are more obvious team elements of running – the relay being one of them. Usually four people, who have a shared goal of getting the baton around the track as fast as possible, whilst not dropping the baton and making sure their change over happens in the right place. They will put hours and hours of training in to become as slick as possible until race day, and then they will celebrate or commiserate the outcome together. One of their key qualities that make a team is communication. If you don’t communicate with your team mates, then that baton often ends up on the floor. They also trust that their training will pay off on the big day and deliver the results they aspire too.
A relay team isn’t the only type of team in running. Athletes who come together to represent their city or country at a championship event will often help each other out in a race, with the goal being to try and ensure that one or more of them will get on the podium. When Great Britain send a team to an athletics championship they often select a team captain, the person in the team who will bring the team together ahead of competition starting and help motivate everyone to achieve the common team goals. There’s a bit of a pattern starting to form here…
Maybe it is a team sport…. But where do I fit in?
But what about me? I’m just a runner right? How am I in a team? Well for starters, I’m part of a running club. I have a coach, and together we set goals and a plan to achieve them. I support my club mates, and they support me. That might be on training runs together or on race day – sharing a high five with a club mate during a switch back on a race was always a highlight, especially if you need a lift!
The wider running community is also like a big virtual team. We often share common goals. We support each other whenever we can, be that an offer of a run buddy before an event, a good luck message ahead of an event, a cheer during an event or a well done afterwards. There’s also the ASICS FrontRunner team, we have a shared goal of achieving a sound mind in a sound body, and to support and motivate each other and those around us.
ASICS World Ekiden 2020 relay
The ASICS World Ekiden 2020 relay is giving runners a chance to show that running is a team sport. As a group of six people, we will be working together to complete a virtual marathon. Our goal might be to do this as fast as possible, or it might be to support someone in the team to undertake their first 10k. When we come together as a team we will agree what our goal is, then work together to achieve it. Each team member will have an identified role (completing the allocated distance, chief cheerleader etc.), and then virtually passing the Tasuki (sash) to the next team member. We will support each other, and keep each other motivated until our shared goal has been accomplished.
Ok, you were right. It is a team sport!
Now that I’ve convinced you that running is a team sport, why not grab some friends and join me in signing up to the ASICS World Eikden 2020 relay. Its taking place all over the world between 11-20 November and you can sign up by clicking here
I look forward to sharing your celebrations as you achieve your goals.
NHS Contract Manager from Bristol
Age group: FV45
Club: Active Soul UK
Coach: Marcus Sladden
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