Happy Hump Day! I hope you’re doing well. Life has been extremely busy lately and now somehow it’s officially summer! Time flies…
Since it’s Wednesday, I’m again linking up with The Fit Foodie Mama for Wild Workout Wednesday. Check out her site to see everyone’s posts about workouts you can implement in your routine!
Today I’m going to share some tips on how to find a running group, and not only find one, but stay committed!Join a running group and stick to it with these tips! #runchat Click To Tweet
Running with a group can be one of the easiest ways to improve your performance as a runner. Group Running can challenge you, keep you accountable, and lead you to meet new people and develop special connections with like-minded individuals.
When I started my running journey back in 2011, I did my training solo, most of the time on a treadmill. But I was so encouraged and inspired by my experience at the Broad Street Run that I wanted to continue to grow as a runner. So I developed a Running Club at my place of work as part of our corporate Wellness Program. Since then, the Running Club members and I have run nearly 40 different events. It’s been an adventure!
I have also participated in other running clubs, including Black Girls Run and the City Fit Girls Run Crew. It’s a great way to mix things up and I especially appreciate being able to run with other women since my running group only consists of guys!
If you’re not able to create a running group of your own, why not find a running group near you? There may be a lot more options out there than you realize! Here are some tips on how to find and join a running group that works for you!
I’ve mentioned at least a dozen times by now that I’m a very goal-oriented person. I’ve found that when it comes to running, you have to keep your eye on the prize in order to get to where you want to go. So think about why you want to join a running group. Do you want to meet new people? Are you looking to do specific types of workouts like hills or speedwork? Do you like to drink and socialize after a run? Do you need a group that meets every week or once a month? Different running groups have different personalities, and I’ve learned over the years that it is crucial to get a good feel for the group in order to know whether it will suit your needs.
Next, it’s time to find your running club! Living in Philadelphia, I’m very fortunate to have access to a very vibrant running community. There is a website called Run 215 that has a (nearly) complete directory of all the running clubs in Greater Philadelphia with meeting locations, dates and times. So if I want to meet up with the November Project, I can go to the Art Museum Steps on Wednesday at 6:25 am or Lemon Hill on Friday at 6:25 am.
If you don’t know of any websites like Run215, here are some other ways to find running clubs near you:
Once you’ve found a running group that you’re interested in, take the plunge and go for it! Go a little bit early to introduce yourself to the Group Leader and address any questions or concerns. Most groups will separate people out by running pace, so it should be somewhat easy to find a subgroup to join in depending on how you feel that day. There may be ground rules that the group abides by, such as “no music”, “don’t leave your partner behind”, and “wear reflective gear”.
If you’ve ever run with another person, you know that some people like to talk and run, some like to run with music, and some demand complete silence. When I run with other people, I like to chat, catch up on life (if we’re close friends), or get to know someone better. Personally, I think it’s rude to listen to music while on a group run, but different strokes for different folks! If you don’t like to talk while running but everyone else around you does, try not to be worried about fitting in or annoyed by all the chit-chat – just focus on having a good run.
Some groups get together for dinner or brunch after a run. While it would be a great to get to know your fellow runners on a more personal level, don’t feel obligated to go if you don’t want to! Trust your instincts.
Now I know I just said trust your instincts, but I think it’s really important to try out a running group more than once whenever you can. There are so many variables when it comes to running as it is, but when you add more people to the mix things can really start to get more complicated.
There are so many factors that can make what could be an awesome group for you only SEEM not so awesome:
If you’ve tried a running group a few times and it’s just not working, then maybe that’s just not the group for you. Hopefully, there are plenty of proverbial fish in the sea and you can test out a different running group! I truly believe that there’s something out there for everyone, even if you have to create a running group yourself!
You’ve finally found that group, or maybe multiple groups that you love! So if you want to stick with it, you have to make it a habit. Schedule your running group meetups in your personal calendar and be ready to put on your running clothes! Those Facebook Groups I mentioned are great for keeping yourself accountable. As you develop friendships among the members group, you’ll find that you’ll really look forward to your group runs even more, and you’ll be missed when you’re not there!
If you can’t make it out every time that you’d like to, don’t be hard on yourself. The great thing about Running Groups are that they are always there when you need them!
While finding the “perfect” running group is great, don’t forget to appreciate and take advantage of the time you spend running by yourself. I know that when I run with one of my oldest running buddies, he pushes me to go faster. But I can’t run like that every time. I appreciate the benefits of running solo because I know that I can focus more on my training and I can do a lot more deep thinking than if I was with another person. It’s all about balance!
I’ve been in a bit of a slump since the half marathon but I’m trying to make the effort to run and work out consistently. Here’s a recap of how I’ve been working out since the race!
Sunday 6/14: Rest after the 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Half Marathon!
Monday 6/15: Another rest day.
Tuesday 6/16: Went for a half-hour walk for our weekly walking challenge. Then we had our softball game. It wasn’t my best game by any means, but I did get a little action in the outfield (I still can’t throw for crap!)
Wednesday 6/17: No workouts.
Thursday 6/18: Was feeling extremely lazy and didn’t work out.
Friday 6/19: I finally got out of my rut and went for a run a little over 3 miles. It was extremely humid out but I’m glad I got it done. I followed it up with Nike Training Club 30 minute “Be Explosive” workout which consisted of squats, lunges, pushups, and deadlifts.
Saturday 6/20: I went for a 5 mile run in the morning humidity. I didn’t feel my best but I had a pretty strong final mile. Then I had a group bike ride with City Fit Girls. We had an awesome turnout! We rode for about 8.5 miles, then went to OCF Coffeehouse for brunch. It was nice to meet new people! I’m continuing to break out of my shell…
Sunday 6/21: I ended up not getting any workouts in.
Monday 6/22: I went for a 4 mile run in the evening, another hot and soupy day! I did pretty well considering the crappy weather, but my calves were killing me after the run. I am at the 400 mile mark for my shoes (I know, I know)…I need to get that new pair!
Tuesday 6/23: Boot Camp class after work. Nothing fancy, just some old fashioned squats, burpees, ab work, and upper body work!
Are you part of any running groups? What do you like about them?