Meet the Running Club For People That Can’t Run Good

Health Icons
August 19, 2019

What motivates people to run? What are the benefits of running in groups? What training is required to run a marathon? To examine these questions, we contacted a local Boston running club with a fun name and a short-but-impressive history of inspiring people to go the extra mile.

Group photo following one of the recent, “Will Run For Beer” events
Group photo following one of the recent, “Will Run For Beer” events

If you want to socialize and get fit, and are a fan of the movie Zoolander, we’ve found the club for you. Founded by Caralie Coleman in 2016, Running Club For People That Can’t Run Good is a local Boston running club inspired by the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Who Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too. This club welcomes those looking to run with a group, become better runners, and just have fun. Events include running for beer, breakfast, or simply attend a fun run. And the group is expanding, now featuring a New Orleans chapter that is taking off.
Research has shown the benefits of group-based exercise and how they seem to have a significant impact on health. Group fitness increases commitment, duration, and motivation to a fitness routine, simply because if people are expecting you to show up somewhere, you are less likely to skip a workout. Working out with a crowd also brings out competitive spirit, challenging people to work out longer and hold themselves accountable for their performance.

“I have always been anxious about joining other run clubs, as I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep up. I knew I couldn’t be alone in that fear, so I created a group that would be welcoming to all.”
—Caralie Coleman, Club Founder

The group fitness component of the running club events was undoubtedly a core motivator behind three running club members deciding to train for the Chicago Marathon on October 13. To accompany their training efforts, we equipped three running club members with a winning combo of devices to track their progress: each received a Steel HR Sport hybrid smartwatch and a Body+ Body Composition Wi-Fi smart scale.
Read on to get to know the runners and their fitness goals, and then check back as we follow along with their training.

Meet Tim

Running Club Member: Since 2016
Training Started: June 30, 2019
Occupation: Contract specialist with the National Park Service
Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
Hobby Outside of Running: Visiting new national parks
Favorite Running Music: Three 6 Mafia

Why did you join Running For People That Can’t Run Good?

I was brand-new to the city and was mainly looking to socialize and see new parts of the city.

How has running with a group of people benefited you?

Even though we don’t actually run that long—usually about 2.5 miles—it’s really cool to talk regularly with others about running. Having running on the mind is a great motivator for getting me to keep up with my solo runs.

How do you think you will use the Steel HR Sport and the Body+ scale while training?

Although weight loss has not been my primary goal, I have noticed that I have put on about 50 pounds since my last marathon—NYC in November 2017. I know that running will help me lose weight, and that will also be easier to run when I’m a little lighter. I hope the scale will be a great way to track my progress.

What are your fitness and nutrition goals while training for the Chicago Marathon?

There was a time where I was really hoping to use this as a Boston qualifier [because] I was initially signed up for the 2018 Chicago marathon and had to drop out due to injury. I’m just now getting back into it, and I really just want to finish it and enjoy the race.

Biggest challenge you encounter when you run?

I do a lot of my runs on the Boston Esplanade, one of the most popular paths for serious runners. Basically, I spend the entire time getting passed by better runners, and it can get discouraging.

Were you always athletic or have you become more athletic since joining the running club?

I’m not sure if I’d call myself athletic now! My physical condition has always been up and down. Registering for a race always forces me to get back into shape.

Meet Olly

Olly running the Boston Marathon with Team Equinox.
Olly running the Boston Marathon with Team Equinox.

Boston Running Club Member: Since September 2016
Training Started: June 15, 2019
Occupation: Pilot
Hometown: Taiwan
Favorite Running Music: HandClap, Hymn for the Weekend, Viva La Vida

Why did you join Running For People That Can’t Run Good?

I joined not just to meet new people, but to meet people with similar interests and goals.

How do you think you will use the Withings devices while training?

[The Steel HR Sport has a] great watch design with options to switch bands for different purposes, and [there are] excellent features on the Body+ scale as well. I can definitely use both products to monitor my training progress as well as weight during the training.

What are your fitness and nutrition goals while training for the Chicago Marathon?

I would like to lose weight and improve my overall time.

Biggest challenge when you run?

Getting over that obstacle when your body is trying to give up, having a good playlist or partner to train is important for me when running long distance.

How would you describe your level of fitness prior to joining the Running Club For People That Can’t Run Good?

I played tennis in high school, and I joined the Running Club For People That Can’t Run Good when I moved to Boston in 2016. I ran my first ever 5K with them in April 2017—barely surviving the race. I joined Equinox in May 2017 and took many different kinds of classes, in addition to going to running club events. I lost 35 pounds within 6 months of signing up for Equinox.

How soon after joining the running club did you run your first marathon?

I ran my first half marathon, the Cambridge Half, in November 2017. I ran my first full marathon in St. Louis, Missouri, in April 2018 just under a year after my first 5K race. Running is something I adopted after moving to Boston because I noticed it was part of the culture here. I not only got motivated seeing people run on the street every day, but I was inspired watching people run the greatest race in the world: the Boston Marathon. I’ve made a lot of friends here through the running community and have since, keeping my life in motion every day.

Meet Dana

Dana training with her Steel HR Sport.
Dana training with her Steel HR Sport.

Running Club Member: Since 2017
Training Started: June 1, 2019
Occupation: Environmental Scientist
Hometown: Massachusetts
Hobbies Outside of Running: Baking, reading, traveling, whitewater kayaking, hiking, trapezing, and any adventure!

When did you first get into running?

I always loved to run and be active. I started running in high school for cross country after being cut from the field hockey team. I ran a good mile during tryouts, and I got a call from the cross-country coach a few days later asking if I wanted to run cross country. I took a break from running in college and only started running again my senior year, when my friend and I signed up for a half marathon. To be fair, there was pie involved!

Why did you join Running For People That Can’t Run Good?

I joined because I was looking to meet new people and friends when I moved to the city. It is a laid-back running group that ends at a bar or arcade, so it seemed like great people would gravitate toward it!

How has the group motivated you to improve?

Dana’s most recent 14-mile birthday run.
Dana’s most recent 14-mile birthday run.

Running in a group is a great motivator. On those days where it is freezing out or raining, it pushes you to go out and run. A little over a year ago, I told my friend that I would run any race anywhere with her. She chose a marathon in Michigan. We signed up and, for a few months, forgot about the commitment. Training started in January for me. Running with the group helped me in my training. I would add on miles to the run and finish with the group. It was always great to have people push you through those last two miles and encourage you to keep going when all you wanted to do was take a brief break. A few members of the club even ran parts of my long 14-mile runs with me.

Have you learned anything using Withings devices?

Using the sleep tracker through the Steel HR Sport has definitely made me more aware of my sleep patterns and help me improve my night’s sleep. The step counter helps push me out the door on those wicked hot days where I don’t want to run just because I don’t want to break my step streak. The Body+ scale I was initially hesitant on because there’s more to fitness than the numbers on the scale. It’s easy to look at those numbers and forget what your goals are. I was pleasantly surprised by the scale. It’s interesting to see water weight vs. muscle mass, and it helps give perspective to what you feel as you run.

What are your fitness and nutrition goals while training for the Chicago Marathon?

For the Chicago Marathon, I want to beat my previous marathon time. During training, I am looking to take a holistic approach for health. Nutrition is a huge part of a healthy lifestyle. I want to build muscle and overall become stronger as I train for the marathon. Sleep is very important as well.

What is the biggest challenge you face when you run?

The biggest challenge is to keep pushing yourself when all you want to do is stop and give your legs a break.

In Boston or New Orleans area and looking to get more active with like-minded folks? Running For People That Can’t Run Good might just be the key to helping you “run good.”