Running “together” no longer has to mean running with others in-person.

Running is an individual sport. No one else can grind through the mental and physical challenges of a run for you; it’s something you have to find the fortitude to do on your own. But there’s camaraderie in braving that kind of type-2 fun with others—which is why, as long as people have been able to run, they’ve run in groups, signed up for running classes, and raced alongside each other.

And while running together in-person is a best-case scenario, just knowing your friends are also running elsewhere can impact your fitness. In fact, a 2017 study published in the journal Nature Communications found that running is actually “socially contagious.” After analyzing over five years of data uploaded by more than one million people to a global social media platform, the researchers found that people are likely to run an additional three-tenths of a kilometer after seeing their friends log an extra kilometer that day, or another three minutes after seeing a friend run an extra 10 minutes.

So while the COVID-19 pandemic has forced limited capacity in gyms and workout studios and canceled some run club meet-ups and races, runners haven’t retreated into isolation. The running community has simply moved online, redefining what social running looks like. 


posted Monday March 29th
by Runner's World