Humans are a super social species. The stronger a community, the stronger the individual. But, with our busy lives, perhaps it can feel like there isn’t enough time to join a new community, or that it could be too much of a commitment?
Running groups are a fantastic way to stay motivated and train consistently, whether you are a novice or an experienced runner. In addition, most groups accommodate all ages and levels of fitness, so no need to fear that you’ll be left behind or too far ahead of the pack.
Thinking about joining a running group but unsure if it’s for you?
5 Reasons to Think About Joining a Running Group
You know what can often worse than letting yourself down? Letting others down. Joining a running group holds you accountable to your training by committing to train with others at a set specific time, in a specific location. You can’t procrastinate about going to train if you’ve already agreed on a time to do it.
Whether competitive or not, you will be more motivated when running in a group. If you’re competitive, you can find motivation in wanting to finish ahead of others or faster than previous runs. You’ll also find that, unless you’re cutting them off along the route, people are super supportive. Exercising releases endorphins, so you’ll typically find everyone in a decent mood. At some point, you’ll also probably find yourself giving encouraging words to others.
You can learn a lot from reading blog posts online and watching videos, but you’ll also learn a lot from other runners, especially those with similar goals and interests. Running alongside others also allows them to see how you run and provide advice.
You know what’s cooler than making friends? Making friends with similar goals and interests as yourself. You can make a strong group of friends by training in a community, and you may even spend time with each other outside of training.
Running in a group is not just great for physical safety but emotional safety too. A lot of runners feel insecure when they start. Joining a group may seem counterintuitive, considering that you’d be placing yourself in the view of others, but the thing is that each one of them were all beginners at some point. So, fellow runners are likely the most understanding.
How to Join a Running Community
Finding running groups and communities is simple, both online and offline.
1. Social Media
Many local running groups use social media to keep members updated on their training times and locations. Searching on social media – Facebook and Instagram – can be an easy way to find local groups in your area.
In the search bar, search “(your city name) running group/club/community” and join the relevant groups. Then, read through the group to find information. If you need clarification on something, you can ask by posting a question in the group or messaging the group admin. A simple Google search of “running clubs near me” should give you a good few running clubs near you along with their contact details.
Many people use Strava to track their training sessions, but in some locations you can also search for local running clubs. Run in the Dark also has an online Strava club: click here to join.
3. Ask Around
Do you have friends/family/colleagues/neighbours who are regular runners? Why not ask them if they are part of any local running groups, or if they would be up for training together, and you can create an informal group.
Or, if you’re in the mood for a bit more of a challenge, ask your colleagues if they would be interested in setting up a workplace running group to train together before work/during lunch/after work. Lots of companies who take part in Run in the Dark each year set up informal groups to train together before taking part in their 5k or 10k in November. It’s a great way to stay accountable and foster some friendly competition!
As darkness sweeps around the globe every November, 25,000 people worldwide get up from their armchairs, slip on their red flashing armbands and pull on their running shoes to complete a 5k or 10k. From Sydney to San Francisco, together, we run for those who dream to walk.
Sign up to Run in the Dark from June each year, or join the waitlist and we’ll let you know when registration opens.