Need motivation to run? Let your co-workers see you sweat
April 29th, 2011

Vaneet Johal would never have considered entering the Paris Marathon were it not for her boss. Before she began training in earnest, Ms. Johal, the 27-year-old senior account manager for a tech startup in Vancouver, jokes that she could only run “maybe five minutes” at a time. Marathons, she figured, were for high-end athletes.

Then, last fall, a group of four co-workers, prompted by the CEO in their office of 10, decided they’d train together for their first marathon – more than 42 kilometres through the streets of the Paris. “This was go big or go home,” Ms. Johal said in a phone interview last Friday as she was about to board the plane to France with her colleagues. More than a few times she almost gave up, but having someone to talk through the rough spots at work the next day always made the difference. “We are all supporting each other,” she recalled. “You are involved in this together 100 per cent and it’s a huge commitment.”

And as it turns out, betting a bottle of wine with your cubicle mate that you can finish the race is an excellent way to guarantee that you will finish the race. Research shows that exercising with a group of friends or co-workers – as opposed to strangers at the gym or alone – makes people less likely to throw in the sneakers.

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From Monday's Globe and Mail