Joining a group run is great fun, and it brings with it a number of additional benefits.
Being part of a running group will most likely improve your running faster than endless miles on your own. It brings with it a perfect balance of challenge, motivation that will help you push yourself that little bit further. And most importantly of all, it’s fun!
Group running doesn’t need to be complicated. You don’t need to join a big running club. It can be enough to find 1 or 2 runners who want to commit to a regular run.
This is enough to deliver many of the benefits a group run has to offer. A smaller group over a bigger group will actually increase your sense of accountability and commitment to your scheduled runs.
So let’s take a look at some of the benefits group running will give you.
If you find yourself planning to run and bailing at the last minute for a comfy couch and glass of wine, joining a group run may be just the thing for you.
Alternatively, if you do go running but you find the endless miles on your own monotonous, a group run is your solution.
Motivation can take on a number of forms.
By committing to go running with other runners, you will have other runners depending on you, taking the decision out of your own hands. This works particularly well if you are running in a small group where your presence on the run will be noticed, or more importantly maybe, you not being present will go very noticed! Yes, it may be peer pressure but it works.
The second motivational benefit is the run itself. Not all runs are good runs. But when running in a group you will be surrounded by at least a few motivated runners and this can, in turn, have an impact on your own motivation, lifting you up for your run.
The power of other people to help drive motivation is strong and has the ability to push us a little harder than we may have done when running alone.
Pace & Performance
If you have never run with a pace runner, it is powerful.
When running in a group the runners around you will serve as pace runners and sticking with the group pace can be an great challenge to take on.
It is important to know the pace of the group before you set off. Ensure that the pace is where you want it to be so that you can enjoy the run. Too fast and you will find yourself struggling to keep up and get frustrated. Too slow and you may find yourself having to wait for others. Neither are great.
Running at your pace can improve your pace consistency. We all tend to have weak moments in our run where we drop our pace slightly. when running in a group we will typically work harder through these moments and stick with the group at the specified pace.
If you are running to improve your pace, running with a slightly higher paced group will push you to improve your own personal best. Using the pace of the group will serve as a strong driver that pushes you harder.
At Loop Social Sport we organise a weekly group run, just for fun and to be social. Nonetheless, as the pace of runners vary, we frequently see runners driven by the group to run a little faster and break their personal best. So if you are chasing a PB, a group run may be the way forward.
Let’s start with the obvious. You’ll be running in a group. This is especially beneficial if your only options are running after dark. Whilst the likelihood of a safe run is probably high, give yourself the extra peace of mind with a running buddy.
There are other safety benefits to running in a group. If you are not good with directions this will help avoid wrong turns. If you are new to an area this will help you discover new safe running routes.
As an added benefit running with others will be of great help in the case of any mishaps or injuries enroute, situations when being alone is not ideal.
Related Reading: What Can We Learn From Ultra Trail Runners?
Social & Running Community
Making new friends is awesome! Especially when they are like-minded and you share the same passion.
Group running will add and extra dimension to your run. It becomes about more than the run. It becomes about the people you share your running with both during and after your run. If you incorporate a post run coffee it enables your to boost the social aspect and turn your run into an outing.
The more fun you have, the more likely you will make this run a part of your recurring calendar. You will increase your running frequency and most likely improve your running.
Techniques & Tips
Running groups are often made up of a mix of experience. From beginner to keen marathoners.
This brings with it a wealth of experience and your running community is therefore also a great source of running related insights. Whether it is running gear, technique, training plans, race day tips, stretching and core strength tips, the chances are you will have all the answers you need right there within your running community.
Tips for Your Group Run
Whilst there is nothing complex about group running, these are a tips that will help make your group run as enjoyable as it can be:
- Try to run with runners at roughly the same pace as you
- Agree on the pace, distance beforehand.
- Know the run structure, are you incorporating a gentle warm up job as part of the run or should you do this before?
- Turn up early to ensure you have time get yourself ready before you run.
- make it social, have a drink after
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Jeroen is a keen runner and triathlete. With over 10 years of experience training and participating in races, simply for the joy of sport he has turned to sharing his experience through the articles he writes. As a founder at Loop Social Sport Jeroen has focused his passion on creating a community of like minded individuals who not only train together but also motivate newcomers to take up sport, whether in person or via this blog.