Let’s face it. Many of us have jobs which require us to sit for hours on end, with little opportunity for exercise. This is the perfect reason to get yourself — and your co-workers — out of the cubicles and on to the road!
These 5 tips will show you how to start and maintain a running club with your co-workers. Of course, these same principles can be applied to people at church, school, or anywhere else large groups of peers gather to sit for long periods.
- Find the Runners — This step may seem obvious, but start by asking around. One point of starting a club is to be social, so don’t be shy about asking everyone in the office. You could be surprised who takes you up on the offer! But do take “no” for an answer, and don’t be a pest. If Jim in accounting turns you down, he could have a good medical reason that he doesn’t wish to discuss. Or maybe he just doesn’t enjoy running. Or socializing.
Company email and bulletin boards are a great way to advertise. Check with your boss or HR department for permission to post flyers or to send a mass email. Be sure to include your contact information.
- Be Inclusive — People who express interest in running will have varying degrees of experience and ability. Be sure to communicate that everyone is welcome. Take strides (so to speak) to ensure that any planned activities are accessible to everyone who expresses an interest in your running group. The newbies will begin to shine in no time!
- Keep it Consistent — The best way to make sure your running group stays together is to stick with a consistent schedule. Pick daily or weekly times to meet up, and try to gather at the same place each time. There will be occasions when weather, holidays, roadway construction, or other events outside of your control will force you to adjust the schedule. When this happens, make sure to communicate the variance clearly with the entire group. Let them all know the new place/time, and how many sessions will be affected by the interruption. Reach out again when the schedule is back to normal.
- Run With a Purpose — Once your workplace running club hits its stride (these puns are too easy), you may want to give it some purpose. Participate in local charity runs, races, or other community outreach events. See if your employer will sponsor your group by printing t-shirts. That’s a great way to get their name and logo out at events, and will give your group a real sense of teamwork.
- Remember to Have Fun! — The whole point of creating a running group with your co-workers is to get out of the office, enjoy some fresh air, and to share camaraderie. Leave office politics in the dust.