After one of the wettest Februarys on record I was amazed to see that over 70 people had earned their Grand Prix points for attending 7 sessions or more. There were several others who came close which brought the total SE Fitness sessions attended in February to almost 1400! The list of names is on the noticeboard if you want to check it.
Bear in mind February is a short month, there’s a half term in it and the weather has been terrible so this total is quite startling! I’m sure, like me, there are times when you look outside and see it’s raining, windy and cold and really don’t fancy it. I sometimes think to myself that no one will turn up today and yet when I pull up at HQ there you are! Jigging about in your hi viz, sheltering in the corridor, hiding in your car until the very last minute and I think to myself that you have a choice but you still decide to come and that is incredibly uplifting.
It seems to me, and the research shows, that running or walking as part of a group is one of the very strongest motivations to keep going. A walk or run with your buddies becomes something much greater than the workout: it’s a catchup with friends, a counselling session, a laugh, a shared experience, a break from work/chores/kids and the hot drink in Costas afterwards ain’t bad either! This is what your non-SE Fitness friends simply can’t understand and why they have such a look of shock/horror on their face when they say, “You’re never going out in this?!”
Research has shown that the likelihood of staying motivated is much higher when exercise takes place in a group setting. There’s also evidence that being part of a group helps to facilitate an improvement in performance. STRAVA looked at data from 90 million runs and found the average pace of group runs was 7 secs per mile quicker than lone runs and the distance covered was an average 1.3 miles further. If you’ve ever been out with our Walking groups you’ll know those statistics work for group walks too and then some!
I wanted to thank you all for turning up this winter through wind, rain and storm. I love to hear SE Fitness HQ filled with laughter and chat so much so that it’s hard to drag you onto the track! I sometimes think at SE Fitness we turn up for the social as much as the exercise in the middle.
The hardest part is turning up but you always feel better for it afterwards.
Credits to Sam Murphy, Runners World March 2020 for the inspiration and facts in this post!