Learning How to Run without the Motivation of a Group

Written by Ashley Cass

Born and raised in in DeForest, WI, Ashley Cass is an undergraduate student at UW Madison and Fleet Feet Outfitter. She ran Cross Country and Track in High School and now finds motivation running local races.

Beginning college, like all steps in life, brings many new and exciting things. Although, one thing I did not expect during this process was the change in my running training.

When I entered college I had six years of competitive cross country and track under my belt, and running was an everyday part of my life. I expected that throughout all the crazy that came with starting college, running would be a constant in my life to release stress and stay active. However, I quickly learned that training with a team of 40+ girls for a new race every week is a lot different than training on your own for occasional races. This change was strange and scary, and I began to struggle with even finding motivation to run. Nevertheless, I soon found things I enjoyed about solo running, and lots of running buddies for when I missed the social aspect of running. 

A change in training whether it be from the end of a training group, because of an injury, or just a change in your life, is always a challenge, but we must remember that change is good! The moment I began embracing the things I liked about my new training, instead of thinking about all the things I was missing about my old training, I snapped out of my slump and found new motivation. With my new training, I can run races of different distances (if COVID ever lets me...), and I have even found a love for solo running as a way to relax, and the perfect way to wake myself up in the morning. Although I struggled, running continues to be a constant in my life, and I honestly have no idea where I would be today without it.

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