“Running” has as many definitions as there are people.
Some folks run to win races. Some run to lose weight. Some run to eat. Some run to manage stress and/or to get away from life’s stresses. Some run to spend time with friends.
Some folks only run – it’s a bad day if they have to stop or walk. Some like to take breaks on an interval. Some find it easy to average 7:00 minute/miles. Some are good with a 12:00, 13:00 even 15:00 minute/mile. Some only run on the road. Some only run on trails. Some run after swimming and cycling.
So, if running is so individual, then how can SWET offer running training as a group experience? That’s the beauty of SWET groups: they are designed to support as many people’s goals, methods, fitness levels and/or speed as possible. Over the 13 years we’ve been offering training groups, we’ve been able to help many (thousands) start, continue, restart, achieve, qualify, ENJOY, finish, and yes, even win. Here’s a little insight into how we approach our training groups – at all levels from beginners to marathoners.
We approach our training groups with the idea that running is lifelong endeavor. Although many of the group sessions culminate with a race, our goal is to lay the groundwork for lifelong running, not just to get you ready for one race. To do that, you need to learn how to avoid injury, enjoy doing it and have it meet your goals.
Running shouldn’t hurt all the time
Understanding how to pace yourself is half the battle. Even as adults, we tend to do what we did as kids: run as hard as we can, as long as we can and then stop. We help you find the right pace to run that will keep you motivated, avoid injury and even get faster. In addition, we focus on what equipment is essential, how much to drink and eat as your distance increases, and how to stretch – before and after the run. We even teach you the key principles of running form for efficiency and injury prevention.
It’s okay to slow down a little and have fun
Again, dialing in the running pace for each individual is key. Whether you’re training for your first 5K or your fourth marathon, knowing how fast to run while training will allow you to achieve your time and distance goals and keep you running. The truth is, unless you aspire to win races and get to the Olympics, your speed and distance goals are just that: Your Goals. We’ll help you figure out what speed goal is reasonable in the short and long term and help you achieve them.
Our beginning running groups employ the innovative run/walk methodology (intervals) for our training, and many runners apply this to the longer distances. It’s certainly not a requirement and many of the participants in SWET’s running group do not take walk breaks. However, if you’re training for a distance race, we do believe there are enormous benefits to taking short breaks from running on a regular basis. It’s as simple as giving your legs and connective tissues a break from the pounding and allows you to hydrate more efficiently.
As an adult, you are responsible for your own training
SWET running groups are focused on providing guidance, structure and education to the participants. The group meetings help runners stay accountable, but only to the training plan. There are no guilt trips or penalties for missing a group workout. And, the camaraderie and companionship lends to making running a more enjoyable experience. The coaches that work with all the different programs are all runners who have been through the training programs themselves, and can relate to the challenges. They are approachable and knowledgeable and there to motivate the runners from beginning to end.
Finding a SWET group that’s right for you
SWET offers two group training programs, with multiple sessions throughout the year. Running Start is a beginning runners program focused on getting participants ready to complete a 5K (3.1 miles). Running 365 is a for anyone who can run or run/walk 3 miles and is looking to run further or faster (up to half marathon distance – 13.1 miles). Each has a recommended fitness level to begin the group session and follows a progressive distance plan. With our comprehensive description of each group on our website, we detail our suggested fitness level/criteria to begin each group. But, like anything related to SWET, we recognize that we may need to guide you to the right one. A phone call or an email to chat with the coaches, is your first step to finding the right group for you.