Some people love the solitude of running. The sport gives you the opportunity to hit the pavement without anyone else around – to get lost in your own thoughts and push yourself according to your own schedule. But if you’re looking to become a better runner, increase your motivation or meet others that share your love of running, there’s plenty of reasons to join your local running club.
Running clubs can be small or large. They can have formal workout schedules or may simply be a way for people to meet up so they can work out together. Depending on where you live and what your reasons for joining are, there’s likely a running group that will fit your needs.
If you’re not sure if a running club is for you, consider these benefits:
When you know others are relying on you to show up, it helps you stick to a training routine. Not only do running clubs make it more likely you’ll show up by increasing your accountability, but they make it more likely you’ll actually show up. Meaning you won’t just be going through the motion of logging miles, but rather you’ll focus on pushing yourself harder once you’re there.
Many running clubs work with experienced coaches. This gives you access to information, advice and training techniques that can make you a better runner. It’s like having a free personal trainer right at your fingertips.
All runners have things that work well for them and others that don’t. When you’re part of a running club, it’s easy to compare notes with other runners to increase your knowledge, try something new or get over a hurdle. Have questions about nutrition, stretching, gear or gadgets? All you have to do is ask others in the group and you’re bound to get feedback and recommendations.
Running clubs help you connect with others who have the same interests as you. These same people also help to motivate and inspire you. There’s also strength in numbers, so even when you’re not feeling much like running and your motivation is lagging, knowing that you have friends waiting to cheer you on or commiserate with you will make it more likely that you’ll get yourself moving.
Most clubs are comprised of runners of differing abilities. Sometimes you may want to push yourself to keep up with a faster group of runners. Other times, you may feel more like slowing down and taking it easy. While doing that, you’ll not only have the option of finding others to run with, but you’ll get to meet more people as you vary your training. Sometimes you’ll be inspired by better runners and other times you’ll be the source of inspiration.
You’ll never have to head out on the streets alone if you’re in a running group. It’s comforting to know there will always be someone around in case you get injured or feel ill during your workout.