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Break the running monotony: Join a running group

A group run at Camp Taji, Iraq
A group run at Camp Taji, Iraq
Phoenicia A Lewis

Running can become very monotonous. Many runners try to vary between runnings on a treadmill versus running outside or they vary their route they run. Though these are great options to mix things up, another challenging option is to run in a group.

One of the most important lessons in running for weight loss is variation. The body quickly adapts to running the same speed and the same. Running with others will force even the most seasoned runner to move out of their comfort zone and break their running habits. The key to varying runs is to ensure that you run long slow distances, speed workouts, and hills are all great ideas, but are more likely to happen if more than one person is planning to do it. Creating a training plan with a partner can motivate each runner, even if it is only to appease their partner.

To change pace find a friend who does not run at the same level you do. If you are a faster runner who wants to slow down during long slow distances to reach your full fat burning potential find someone who does not run as fast. If you typically run slow and want to increase your speed during speed workouts run with someone who runs faster than you. This will challenge not only the body which will comply, but the more stubborn mind that will take a little more coaxing to adjust to the change.

If you cannot find friends who are willing to take the running challenge with you, not a problem, join a running club. There are running clubs throughout the city that have daily and weekly meet-ups for group runs. As a new runner it often seems intimidating to run with others who run more intense and longer, but most running clubs are designed so that ever one can participate regardless of ability. The L.A. Leggers which meet every Saturday at the Santa Monica Senior Recreation Center invite walkers as well as runners. The Santa Monica Running Group have runs planned runs for most days, check their website to see when they run.

Whether you are with a group or by yourself, make sure you challenge yourself, adjust your runs. Running with a partner or in a group may be the motivation you need to run that extra .2 miles you did not think you could finish. 


  • Valentina 5 years ago

    I never realized that a running group could be that beneficia or that you burn more fat by running slowly. Could you elaborate on why pacing is important in the future?

  • phoenicia 5 years ago

    Absolutely Valentina!
    As I explained the body quickly adapts to habit, if you run 6 miles for one hour 5 days a week your initially you will lose weight quickly you will cause your body to burn calories, however your body will soon become used to this and you will no longer have the same benefits. In order to continue to benefit from running you must shock your body by introducing something new. When you run with someone else who runs a different pace in trying to keep up with them you will have to adjust in order to run their pace be it faster or slower freeing your body from of former habits.
    It is not actually running slow that cause more fat to be burned, the percentage of fat burned is higher, but not total calories. Long slow runs help the body burn fat because as it gets lower on glucose it will turn to fat as fuel.
    The take away is that both high and low intensity are important to weight loss, changing up distance, intensity, and exercise are crucial for weight loss.

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