4 Ways to Stay Connected to the Running Community When Sidelined
One of the unexpected joys that running has brought to my life is the community of people, both online and in real life, who have been so incredibly supportive and fun. This is a community of athletes of all levels, who have understood my seemingly-neurotic habits of getting up before sunrise to get that morning run in before leaving for work, who share knowledge about electrolytes and running nutrition, as well as how to stay in optimal running health. I love my running community and would be lost without it.
But, of course, even the best runners can’t run all of the time and during periods of time apart from running, I find that I miss my community the most. One year, after a nasty IT Band injury, I was forced to take a break from running and work diligently on physical therapy rehab. As the weeks went on, I found that while I missed running immensely, what I especially missed was the feeling that came with being a part of the global running community.
Over the months of injury rehab, instead of missing out, I found ways to remain feeling like a part of the running community—both online and offline—and am here to share them with you, in case you, too, are taking a break from running.
4 Ways to Stay Connected to the Running Community
The next time you’re sidelined from running, try these four ways to stay connected to your community:
In my opinion, race spectators are one of the most important parts of a race experience. Their encouraging and hilarious signs would put a smile on my face during particularly difficult race moments, and their gifts of tissues, food and other goodies throughout the course are always especially appreciated. By going out and being a race spectator, you are able to still stay connected to the running community while also serving an important role in local races.
Related: How to be a Good Marathon Spectator
Another tactic I used to satisfy my running itch when I wasn’t able to physically get out on the pavement was reading about running through books and online publications and websites. I made sure to subscribe to online sites like Runner’s World and Minneapolis Running, which allowed me to read about running news, learn fitness tips, and take in a plethora of other information related to running. I also read books about running, such as Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, which also was a way for running to remain a part of my life. These strategies allowed me to remain up to date on things happening in the running world, gather information on techniques and nutrition, and ultimately keep running a part of my life while allowing my injury to heal.
Listen to Podcasts
Perhaps one of my favorite ways to stay connected to the running community is to listen to podcasts about running. I love listening to all sorts of podcasts, and two of my favorites are running related; Marathon Training Academy is hosted by Trevor and Angie Spencer, and The Runner’s World Show, which is hosted by Editor-in-Chief of Runner’s World, David Willey. These two podcasts discuss everything running related from injury prevention, to interviews with both famous and novice runners. When I was able to run and training for a race, these podcasts were great company on long runs, as well.
The last tip I have is to volunteer with running related organizations or school athletic teams. Girls on the Run is an organization that has opportunities across the U.S. with various levels of volunteer responsibilities. The organization inspires girls to be happy and confident through integrating an active running curriculum into their everyday lives. Also, helping out at schools as a cross country or track coach, or volunteering at their meets is a fun way to spend time with kids while sharing the love of running with others.
How Do You Stay Connected?
How do you stay connected to the running community when sidelined by injury, illness, or busy schedule? Share in the comments below.