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12 Running Resolutions for 2012 - Part XI

By Bob Cooper


There are practical advantages to solo running, BUT when a friend, loved one, or running-club pal comes along, it's more fun and the time goes by faster. And because you'll look forward to these runs more, you'll be less likely to skip them.

Joining a running club's group run is the surest way to find people to run around with. Most clubs offer one or two weekly runs, where the pace, distance, and conversation varies widely enough to accommodate almost anyone. You might even meet someone whose pace, personality, and schedule matches up well enough with yours that you can arrange other runs together. When you arrive for a group run, you may be asked to sign a waiver, but won't need to join the club. Eventually you may decide to join, as most club dues are a bargain (about $30 per year), with coached workouts, races, social gatherings, and store discounts among the typical perks. Find a club at

New Yorker Val Cognetto is typical of runners who blossomed after joining a club. "So many members were happy to share their knowledge about training and racing," she says. Cognetto has forged many friendships, especially at the Sunday morning runs that end with a potluck breakfast. Emotional support is another asset. "After my last marathon, I cried when I saw that I'd missed the Boston qualifier, but then someone from the club gave me a hug and a pep talk. That's what these groups are all about."


This is the year I will...

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