All types of runners go to running groups, from those who have an impressive pace to the casual runner to beginners who do a run/walk mix. They go because running with a group can be beneficial on many levels. It allows you to immerse yourself into the running culture, meet people, make friends and turn running into a fun, social event.
Organized running groups are often quite large and very diverse in age and ability. Running groups work because they consist of people who have a core goal in mind – fitness, and they bond over this shared goal.
Another great element of running groups is the socialization. Running with other people helps make running more enjoyable. Whether you go to run groups alone, or with friends or you bring your family, it’s a great way to socialize with people who have the same interest in running and fitness. It also helps make running more of an event and less of an item on your daily to-do list.
Run groups also help motivate you. When people are running in a group, they are often willing to run longer and harder to stay with the; thus, they push the boundaries of their fitness levels.
Accountability is another benefit of running with a group. If you commit to a group that will show up to run, you are more likely to stick to that commitment than if you only make the commitment to yourself
If you can’t make it to run with an organized group try getting a small group of people together to run or find just one running buddy. Having someone or a group to run with makes the journey easier and more enjoyable for you and gives you that accountability.
Another great resource is social media. Depending on where you live and your schedule, you many not be able to run with others on a regular basis; however, you can get some of the same benefits from participating in running groups in the digital space. A lot of non-runners think that runners do nothing but brag on social media, when really we are simply sharing our running experiences and being accountable in a slightly non-traditional way. Digital running groups can also help you push yourself. Knowing that you can tell your online running friends that you ran that extra half-mile is motivation to keep your legs moving so that you reach that milestone. Posting your race schedules online also helps keep you accountable. If you share that you signed up for a race, then you are more likely to do the work, train, show up and finish the race than if you kept it to yourself. It is also fun to keep up with your running friends on social media and follow along on their running journeys whether they are just getting started, trying to reach a new personal record at a certain distant or working towards longer distant runs, following their journeys and cheering them on is another great component of digital running groups.
So to summarize, running with a group can help you push your boundaries as a runner, reach your goals and keep you accountable to yourself and the goals you’ve set. It’s also a way to make new friends.