Five Surprising Benefits of Running with a Pace Group

And None Have to do with Speed!

Contributed by Stephanie Laska (@140Lost), Pacer for the 2018 San Francisco Marathon and Nuun Ambassador

With The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon less than a month away, you might be giddy with excitement or panicked with fear. Personally, I waffle between the two emotions right up to the start line, so you’re not alone! I’d like to offer you a solution that could help manage the roller coaster of emotions come race day. Have you considered running with a pace group?

Aside from helping you maintain your speed, pacing groups offer some hidden benefits:

  1. Camaraderie. You might start off as complete strangers, but will end up as sweaty friends. After spending mile upon mile together you are bound to find commonalities. I’ve kept in touch with many runners I’ve met along the course, and have even waited at the finish line to cheer as they earned their medals. We are in this together!
  2. Entertainment. Everyone has a story to tell about what led them to participate in the race, their training experiences, or about past races. In every pacing group, there are an equal number of runners who love to chat and those that would rather just listen. Have an open-ended question or two on the tip of your tongue as conversations are guaranteed to help pass the time.
  3. Fueling Cues. While you may have planned on a hydration/fueling strategy during your training, the excitement of race day might cause you to forget your plan entirely. Moving along with a group of likeminded runners offers visual reminders to hydrate and periodically continue calorie intake.
  4. Pack Mentality. When you have “low moments” during your race, being part of a group can help “whisk you along.” If you’ve even seen the sardine exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium where the school of fish circle almost as one, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Let the pace group carry you to the finish line.
  5. Course Familiarity. Fellow runners and your pace leader can clue you in to upcoming fuel stops and course markers, and even identify neighborhoods and tourist attractions. The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon offers the most magnificent course and running with others that are more familiar ensures you don’t miss a thing. 

There is so much more to a pace group beyond helping you keep a consistent speed. Self-select your appropriate pace group at The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon on July 29, 2018 and make the most of this bucket-list race of a lifetime!

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