Running is such an amazing and diverse sport. You can run fast or you can run slowly. You can run indoors or outdoors, you can run in the morning or at night, you can run on a flat road or on hills, long distance or short distance, and you can run with people, or you can run alone.
On that last note, not all runners are created equal. Some runners enjoy the sport “solo”. They like to go out there alone, just with their thoughts, their goals, and to focus on the task at hand. There is nothing wrong with that. Others, however, like to have some company. They enjoy the social aspect of the sport and all the benefits that come with running with a group.
Whether you are a “solo” runner, or you prefer the company, running with a group offers a lot of benefits.
Benefits of running with a group
- Accountability: One of the most important benefits of running with a group is that when you make plans and a commitment with running partners and you know they count on you to show up (and you count on them), it is less likely that you “roll over” in the morning, or cancel your evening workout.
- Motivation: On that same token, others will also help you stay motivated to get your workout done.
- Better Performance: If you run with people who are stronger/faster than you, they can push you and help you achieve better performance. You can do the same for others.
- Safety and Support “On the Long Run”: Running with others can make your long runs go by faster! In addition, there is safety in numbers. Anything can happen while you are out there. If you are having a rough day, don’t feel well, or conditions are not safe, having others around you, or being there for others is always a good thing.
- Camaraderie, Friendship & Bonding Time! This is one of my favorites. Running with a group is cheaper than therapy. Enjoying the camaraderie, creating new friendships and bonding with people can enhance your quality of life in ways you can’t even imagine. Running with a group can give you great friends for a lifetime. How cool is that? The laughs (and tears) you share, the memories you create, and simply sharing “life” with others is such an amazing thing.
- You Can Travel to Races Together: This is my second favorite! I have traveled the world with my running group and it has been such a wonderful experience!
It’s Fun! Running with others is definitely fun and something everyone should experience at least once.
How do you find a running group?
If you are in the South Florida area, look no more! www.friendsintraining.net (FIT) is a well established training program (it helped me a lot) that offers a variety of pace groups, guidance, coaching, camaraderie, support, and so much more. FIT is not “just a running club”. We care about all aspects of your well being. Therefore, we have partnered with Baptist Health South Florida to help us provide support for your overall health.
FIT has been training runners and walkers for over 20 years and has changed hundreds of lives, one step at a time. Our training routes are well planned according to the races we are training for, and we offer educational seminars after each run. We select great destination races, travel together, and enjoy lots of miles and smiles! We have locations in Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Coral Springs, and we also have a Kids program.
If you are not in the South Florida area, you can ask your local running store about running groups, or do a search for running/training groups in your area. Many cities offer different options.
Running with a group is a life changing experience and can enhance our quality of life. If you have not participated in group runs yet, I encourage you to give it a try. Go out there, make new friends and have some fun!