Why Not Train on Your Own?
It’s dark, it’s cold outside, and your bed is snuggly warm; yet you know you need to get outside and train. You reset the alarm, pull the covers up a little tighter, and fall back to sleep cursing your eagerness two months ago when you registered for the ever-looming race.
Sound familiar? If so, you may be a candidate for finding running friends to hold yourself accountable to run outside during those pre-dawn hours, especially now that winter is approaching.
Benefits of Running With a Group
Before discussing how to find or start a running group, it important to know the many benefits of being in a running group…
- • Knowing others are waiting for you, keeps you accountable
- • It’s safer than running alone
- • Other runners provide companionship and help make the time go by faster
- • You will have someone to pace with and push you when needed
- • You’ll have the opportunity to return the favor and push others
- • You’ll hear about upcoming races that you might not have heard about otherwise
- • You’ll have someone with which to bounce off training ideas
- • You have someone who can check your form if necessary
- • You have someone to share your running goals with, and someone to help you achieve those goals
Places to Look to Find a Running Group
There are all types of running groups you can join ranging from recreational to very serious, some with coaches and some without. You name it and you can probably find a group of runners who share a common interest and would be happy to welcome you into their fold. Here are some common places to find a running group…
- • Local gym – Look for signs or ask the fitness manager if the gym has a running group.
- • Running store – Many running stores not only have free group runs, but they also offer training programs.
- • Road Runners Club of America
- • Facebook – Your friends may post that they just completed a run with a particular group.
- • Online – She RUNS This Town (formerly Moms RUN This Town) has chapters all over the country, and joining them is as simple as finding your local chapter and asking to join their private Facebook group.
- • On the trail – Don’t be shy, if you see a group of runners on the trial, ask if you can join them.
- • Work – Ask other running friends if they have after work group runs.
- • Race web site – Upcoming races may have weekend group runs or a training program leading up to the race.
- • Ask your local high school’s cross-country coach if they know of any running groups in the area.
Starting Your Own Running Group
If you would prefer to start your own running group, don’t be afraid to get the word out that you’re looking for running friends. Post on social media, send out emails, talk to your work friend, etc. and let everyone know that you’re serious about forming a group and would be willing to be the team leader. Set up a time and location for your first run. If you have people from several different walks of life or varying speeds, consider serving fruit, bagels, and water immediately after the first run so everyone can get a chance to meet each other.
- • What motivates you to get outside in the cold and dark to train? ~ Not only do I love to run which is motivation on its own, but I love the peace and solitude of being outside in the dark before the sun comes up and other people are stirring.
- • Are you part of a running group? ~I am a member of one running group and lead another.
- • If you are a member of a running group, do you always run with other runners or do you sometimes prefer to run alone? Why? ~ Due to my schedule I almost always run alone these days.