BY: Caitlin Bergren from Lonestar Footwear
Sometimes the hardest part of going for a run is finding motivation. Sometimes it is finding a safe place to run. And sometimes it is figuring out gels or pacing or the best leggings to wear. Finding a running group can alleviate some of the more trivial parts of racing/running!
Studies show that runners who are a part of a group or club feel a sense of bonding and support – which creates meaningful relationships (both during group runs and outside of running).
Today’s blog is all about: how do I find a group that is right for me?
- In terms of where to begin, may we suggest your local running store? You can certainly go with the internet and search (try the Road Runners Club of America – they have everything from finding a group or a coach to anything needed to set up your own races) but more often than not, your local store has a group or social run to join whether you are a casual runner looking for new friends or a marathon runner looking to improve their mile time. And you support your local store just by showing up! Win, win.
- Once you have found yourself a group, be honest with yourself about pace. Saying you run in a faster pace group or that you are running longer mileage than you are ready for will put you with the incorrect people. Instead of enjoying your runs, they could be miserable! If you are unsure of where you should be, speak to the runner in charge of the group run and they will get you connected with the right pace group.
- And most importantly, talk to those around you! Introduce yourself and create space for others to get to know you. Big groups like this should be welcoming and open (and if they are not, maybe keep looking!), but no one can get to know you if you are not open to it yourself! And before you know it, you will become part of the group and you can be the one to reach out and welcome new members.
Running can be quite the solitary activity, but you don’t have to do it alone! Plug into a local training group and build friendships along with building strength. The power of community cannot be underestimated!
(Our friends at Fort Worth Running Company and Dallas Running Company offer weekly group runs as well as training groups for half and full marathons. To find out more information see their website at lonestarfootwear.com)