It’s been a hard day at the office. Deadlines loom, you feel like you hopped from meeting to meeting without being productive, and you realize that you might have to work from home after you put the kids down tonight. Going for a run is the last thing on your mind until you see that reminder pop up on your calendar.
You realize it may be your only stress release for the day, or the week.
Your co-worker comes to your desk. She’s ready to go and lets you know that she needs this run more than you do tonight. You rally because this is a standing appointment that you can’t afford to miss out on. You throw on your workout clothes and hit the road together.
This is the commitment you need to stay sane and healthy.
And, it turns out, a lot of people are doing it. Brad Nelson, who worked at Nike, explained that it’s part of their culture. “It was pretty common to go running, either big organized runs at an offsite, or the Hood To Coast Relay, or spontaneous runs coming out of a group text.”
Meredith Rennie, a CPA in California and member of the facebook group A Year of Running, ran with her co-workers after work and on the weekends. The company she worked for held a design contest for the running shirt that her firm would wear on race day. This ended up being a bigger win for the company when a photo of her (wearing the shirt) was in an ad for the race the following year.
But even in workplaces where it’s not part of the culture, you can make it so. When I worked at CreativeLive, we started doing mini workouts at lunch that got us moving. This warped into post-work jogs. We started a group that we named SLURPies (South Lake Union Running People..ies). Even after I left the company, we still run together. It’s a wonderful 4 mile way to stay in touch and continue our friendship.
Lacee Kloze, one of our founding members says, “Running with co-workers makes you feel less guilty about leaving the office early, because you are doing it together. It also feels great to be sweaty and pumped up after work/ in our office. “ Jen Nelson, who also works at CreativeLive agrees. “We help each other stay accountable. We check in every Weds morning about running in the afternoon. It’s always a group decision.”
And this isn’t only a phenomenon in the US. Adam Barnier, who works for Intermec in Australia, runs with his co-workers before getting to the office. “The weekly run is always Friday mornings at 7.30 am. It is a nice trail run through national parks, and we have age records and Strava segments to push us all along.”
The benefits of running with your co-workers are significant. Brad mentioned, “I used to rely upon happy hour after work as a way to get to know the people I work with. I find that running with coworkers helps me both socialize with them and stay on my training plan.”
Here are some tips to get your office mates running with you.
Broach the topic with your friends and get them to help spread the word. Make a group on motion.social and invite your co-workers.The calendar system will sync up!
Don’t forget to pack.
The night before pack your bag with everything you need: shoes, workout clothes, running watch, hair-ties, etc!
Eat before your run.
Even if it’s a short jog after work, you’ll want to be sure you ate enough during the day to get those miles in and feeling good.
Enjoy the time together.
Everyone I interviewed said that competition didn’t factor into work place run groups. Some groups talk business, some don’t. Try to stay together and be inclusive so it’s a positive experience for everyone.
Now get out there and run off the stress from a hard day of sitting all day at the office!