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Join a lunchtime run club and feel great

Lunchtime run clubs have become popular in many places. In cities, office workers and urban professionals meet in lobbies and gyms and then pound the pavement in concrete jungles. In smaller centres, folks convene at parks and community centres to commence their lunchtime treks on tracks, in parks, or on trails. In all places, people gather to exert themselves and to realize many benefits. Who are they? Are they nuts? Why do they do it? Is it something for you?

Running at lunchtime is fun

Most anyone can join a lunchtime run club, and realize many benefits. Some include dividing your day into chunks, having a break from the office, eating fewer calories at or around lunchtime, boosting your metabolism both during and after the run, and having a vigorous aerobic activity where you can contemplate work-related or other challenges. In addition, you can make new friends or strengthen bonds within a team or company by sharing information and common activities.

Lunchtime or early afternoon are great times to run

The folks at Livestrong have outlined the gains and advantages around running at lunchtime or in the early afternoon.

  • Body Temperature and Lung Function - Many functions vital for good running peak around the same time each day. One is body temperature, which gradually climbs from the early morning to reach a peak in the early afternoon. Scientists have found that athletes perform better when body temperature is higher, so afternoon runs can be advantageous.
  • Visibility - Runners are more visible and drivers are often more alert (and sometimes less plentiful) during daylight hours.
  • Diet - Running in the early morning may be most difficult, because energy stores are depleted while sleeping. By contrast, running in the afternoon may give you enough time to digest and get energy from your breakfast or morning snack. It might also help curb your appetite post-run so you may achieve a higher net-calorie burn.
  • Mental Factors - Although late afternoon is considered the best time to run physically, it’s not necessarily the best time mentally for many people. Many of the runners interviewed for a "Running Times" article said that the hardest part about running after work was finding the motivation after a full day at the office. However, if you can get past the psychological aspects of being drained after a long work day, you may be surprised by how well you perform once the running shoes are on your feet. (Especially if you’re using FreshFooties to keep your feet naturally fresh while you’re running!)

Factors to consider when joining a run club

  • Timing and synchronization - can people meet around the same time and devote the same duration to the exercise. If not, part of the lunchtime can be squandered.
  • Location - is there a convenient meeting point that’s close to people's offices which also has recreational amenities (showers etc.) that can permit a post-workout cleanup?
  • Skill level - running can be great, in particular if you run with a group with similar speed (pace) stamina and distance preferences. Try to choose a group whose capabilities match your own, especially if you are a novice or beginner.

Joining a run club can be an extremely energizing experience where you meet other like-minded individuals who all have a common goal to stay fit. Run clubs give you a great opportunity to learn from other motivated runners as you train and become a better runner. And who knows, you may be the one who ends up meeting your future partner at a run club.