While it can be said that all you need to run is a good pair of running shoes and the open road, we are going to make a compelling case here for not going it alone – and recommend joining a running club. AaaaOooo (I’m howling like a wolf!)
Reasons to join a running club
Here are just some reasons why running with the pack is beneficial:
Expertise: Runners who are just starting out will find unlimited, first-hand, practical advice from other runners who have ‘been there, done that’ hundreds of times over. There is no better advice than from runners who have experience. Clubs can offer that hindsight without the pain of having to live through it yourself! Some running groups even provide professional trainers or coaches. Bonus!
Convenience: Many running clubs have planned runs with routes and workouts already scheduled – all you have to do is show up, ready to roll. With everything else on your plate, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to think about where you are going to run?
Accountability: Running club members can push you to achieve your best. Are you signed up for the 10k you’ve wanted to do for the last few years? Did you do your stretches before you ran? It won’t take long for your running pals to know you and want to help motivate you to do your best. After all, the pack is in this together. Having other athletes watching your back is not only helpful, it can seriously motivate you to achieve your goals.
Motivation: The competitive aspect of running with others will push you to go faster and get stronger even when you might think you don’t have it in you. Tired of looking at the back of a sea of t-shirts? Pump those legs and get elbow-to-elbow with the front runners! AaaaOooo! (the howl thing again!)
Running in numbers: Sure, there are safety benefits to running in groups, particularly at dawn, dusk or nighttime – or any time or place where you wouldn’t want to be caught alone. There is also a benefit of running with like-minded people and getting to know everyone! There’s bound to be socializing, and sharing of favorite methods of recovery (cheeseburger or granola, beer or smoothie?). Who knows – if you are single, maybe you will meet your match?
Get your nerd on: There’s a plethora of information and technology for runners! Learn which apps, shoes, trainers, weight programs, recovery methods – just name it – are popular with the pack and you’re a step ahead of those just reading about it online. Running club members may even know about group discounts on preferred athletic wear or specials at running stores. Gotta love those discounts!
Get a built-in fan club: Picture race time on your own: maybe some of your non-running or currently injured friends and family will meet you at the finish line after they’ve eaten a big meal of fried chicken and beer as you run your miles. Now picture race time with the pack: taking on each kilometer with some of your regular running buddies as others from the club line the race path, cheering you on – by name (or nickname). Plus there’s that method of recovery mentioned above…
These are but a few of the perks of running with the pack! Can you think of other reasons to join a running club?
Or are you still committed to going solo? Let us know below!