Do you prefer time alone when you run, or do you find safety in numbers? Warm summer days often encourage us to socialize, so we’ve been looking at the benefits of running groups, and they’re not just for newbies!
Until recently, running was an escape sport for me - I loved to have my headphones in and just have myself to compete with. But recently, I decided to try my hand at group running. To my surprise, the group I joined was a complete mix - beginners, long-time runners, and even a couple of professionals. It made me wonder, why is running as a group so popular despite experience? Here’s what they said!
The main draw for beginners is motivation. Running as part of a group often means a regular meeting time, so the old “I’ll go tomorrow instead” excuse you make when you run alone just doesn’t cut it. Finding new friends in a running group adds an extra element of motivation, as you begin to compare and compete with others.
Unlike beginners, regular runners tend not to struggle with incorporating training into their routine - it’s already an established part of their week. What motivates more experienced runners is the group dynamic. It’s easy as an experienced runner to interrupt a workout because you’re not achieving what you expected, or your motivation is dipping. When you’re in a group, you’re encouraged to stay on-track despite your expectations.
While professionals often run alone, competing with themselves and aiming to bust their own personal targets, some turn to group running for the surprising tips they get from other runners. When I asked one professional runner in my group why she ran with us, she told me that she was constantly surprised by the tips and suggestions she gets, even from beginners! Whether it’s swapping a full training plan with a more seasoned runner, or just swapping recommendations for sole pads, group running can be a great networking opportunity.
So don’t be fooled into thinking that you’re too good, or not good enough, to join a running group. Get out there, find some like-minded runners, and get on the track!