Saucony's Freedom Track Club Promotes Family Feel

Jonathan Green runs for Saucony's Freedom Track Club

According to Saucony’s Freedom Track Club (FTC) coach, Tim Broe, training with a partner or group provides motivation and a guide so you can better gauge your effort level. “Even Olympians and Olympic hopeful runners suffer the occasional lack of motivation,” says Broe. “It’s just human nature and nothing to be ashamed of.”

He says it’s like group therapy; no one wants to let the other one down.

Training gets even harder when it’s dark, cold and windy. So, having a partner or group to meet during the short winter days helps to keep you accountable. Because, after all, everyone wants to be a team player.

We sat down with Broe and the newest FTC members, Carly Muscaro (a Division III National Champion and All-American in the 400 who is switching to the 800 professionally), and Jonathan Green (a Division I All-American in cross country and the 10K), to talk about working hard and working with a team:

Saucony Track Club runner Carly Muscaro

FF: What is your favorite thing about the hard work it takes to compete, and how does this translate to other activities in your life?

CM: My favorite thing about the hard work is that it builds character. I would not be the person I am today without going through all I have been through with training. Since I started running, I have become more confident, passionate and determined in my everyday life.

JG: My favorite thing about the hard work it takes to compete is that sometimes it feels like you’re in a fog and you can’t tell where you are or where you’re going—you’re just doing it because you trust your training. All of a sudden, almost in the blink of an eye, you’re out of the fog, and you’re in really good shape. The type of shape where you feel you can do anything, runs feel effortless, hard workouts feel like a fun little game. It’s something that you weren’t sure was there, but you just had to press on through the hard work to get to that fitness level. This means with other things in my life I am able to be more patient because I know sometimes I am not sure where things are going, but I can wait a little bit longer and everything will find its place.

At the top, running can be a lovely endeavor. By signing with Saucony, you both have managed to make it a team sport. Do you feel like your teammates are your family/tribe and, if so, why?

CM: I trained alone from May 2017 until I signed with Saucony in March 2018. Training by myself for almost a year was the hardest thing I have encountered during my running career. I am so thankful I have found my family with the Freedom Track Club. My teammates are my brothers and sisters. They see me at my absolute best and worst. They are there to cheer me on and lift me up. We all go through the same triumphs and pains together. Without them, I know I would have left the sport earlier than I wanted to. I will be forever grateful for my Saucony family.

JG: I know that my teammates at FTC are there to support each other and stand up for each other. When you spend an hour to an hour and a half with each other where there’s nothing else to do but talk and enjoy each other’s company, then you tend to get very close. I know my teammates have my back and I have theirs.

Saucony Freedom Track club coach Tim Broe

Finding a training partner is easy, but finding a training partner with similar abilities and compatible goals is a little harder. Any advice for people looking to find running partners that will inspire and push them to reach their goals?

CM: The best thing you can do for yourself is surround yourself with people that challenge you. This is true with running and with all aspects of life. Most runners are very supportive, friendly and goal oriented. Joining a running group, club, or even asking a friend to run with you will advance your running skills.

JG: Don’t be afraid to reach out to runners and ask them to go running. One run can turn into a great friendship very quickly.

TB: The simplest answer to that is to find a few groups in your area and just show up. Each group/coach has a different dynamic and culture. Most casual runners who I meet seriously underestimate how fast they can run. They see the front runners who wear all the gear, look the look and have all the medals. But you’ll never know what you can accomplish until you stick your nose where it doesn’t belong.

If you had to give one piece of advice for anyone looking to achieve a goal in running, what would it be?

TB: Train hard, race harder. There is no way around it. Running is uncomfortable, even at the best of times. The beauty of running is its simplicity. If you do the work and race hard, you will improve. There are no shortcuts. It’s not flashy, and it isn’t particularly fun. You can work really hard for marginal gains. But there is no bigger satisfaction than setting a plan, committing to the work and getting that big payoff in the end.

By Ashley Arnold. Ashley is a storyteller, ultrarunner and cat person. As Fleet Feet’s content marketing manager, she manages the Fleet Feet blog and its roster of writers.

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