Today I had my usual Sunday morning run (23K) with my marathon training group. Every Sunday morning I look forward to seeing my group and chatting with them. I have not run with a group since my Learn to Run Clinic in 2007, and I am really enjoying it!
I found an article from the Running Room that I think gives all of the perfect reasons why everyone would benefit from joining a run club/group.
1. Be mentored by someone who is more experienced than you.
Last week I ran with a woman that will be running Western States (100miles in California) and she is filled with knowledge, advice and experience. Our group pacer is also an experienced ultra runner which is all very helpful for my training.
Every week I am able to ask any one of these group members for some advice and they are always more than happy to help!
2. Mentor a new runner.
As I am gaining more experience myself I am also able to now pass along advice to beginner runners or people that may just have questions.
3. Expand your social network.
What a great way to meet other people that enjoy running. (Or don't, but do it for the exercise ;)
Also a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
4. Deepen your commitment to running
Studies have shown that people that join run clubs have an increased commitment and also have improved their race times.
5. Stay motivated
My run club gives me the motivation to get out there on cold days, wet days, or just those days that I don't feel like running. My group also helps me to run those hills that I might normally slow down on or even walk up.
6. Stave off boredom
One of the troubles with long distance running is that it can be lonely and boring. Running with a group helps to distract one's attention from the "long" distance.
7. Learn new routes
Almost every week we run a new route. I am learning more about my area and I gaining an appreciation for the country that I didn't even know existed in my city.
8. Share accomplishments
When your non-running friends are tired of hearing about your running life, your run club/group is the perfect outlet to chat about everything to do with running. They love to talk about and hear about running!
9. Save money
It's almost a guarantee that a few of your fellow group members will be running the same races as you. This allows you to car pool and/or split the cost of accommodation. It also eats up my time for shopping and spending money in other ways I probably don't need to.
10. Stay in the loop
The running group will almost always send out information on upcoming events, races and more. It is a great way to stay informed.
I used to think that I was a person that liked to run alone, but after joining my training group, I realize that I was completely wrong. I hope to continue to run with this group and others that may join in the future. I am learning a lot and it keeps me honest to my running.
Happy Running Everyone!