If you’re used to running alone, you might have your doubts about running with other people. But what if you’re missing out?
There’s a reason more than 200,000 runners a year sign up to join one of 1,500-plus running clubs in the U.S., according to the Road Runners Club of America.
And it might not be what you think (Faster times and better performance? They’re not at the top of the list).
Thinking about joining a local running club? Check out these surprising benefits of signing up.
1. Make running social
Want to stop stressing about mile pace, split times and racking up finish medals? Running doesn’t have to always be performance driven.
In fact, joining a local running club can make the sport a lot more social and fun. You’ll meet up with other runners at planned events, stay connected online, and develop friendships that will help you keep going.
2. Get first-hand race info
Looking for a certain type of race?
5K (3.1 miles)
10K (6.2 miles)
Half marathon (13.1 miles)
Marathon (26.2 miles)
Obstacle course race
When you hang out with other runners, you’ll learn about other races in your area.
And you’ll find out what those races are like (course, organization, swag, T-shirt, medal, post-race party, travel tips, etc).
That’s good info, especially if you’re new to the area, new to running or both.
3. Stay motivated
You already know what happens when you surround yourself with like-minded people.
You become more like them.
If you want to be a better runner, join a local running club.
Why? You’ll hang out with other runners, hear their stories, learn from their mistakes, and be inspired by their achievements.
It’s the perfect ingredient to help you stay motivated to train for a race or run to stay in shape.
4. Create accountability
What if you skip a run or workout and nobody knows?
For some of us, it’s a slippery slope. One missed workout turns into a month of missed workouts. That ever happen?
But when you’re part of a running club or group, and you let everybody know you’re planning to show up for the 5 a.m. early-morning run or weekly night run, and you don’t show…
Guess what? Your running friends are going to check on you, encourage you, and hold you accountable to help you reach your goals.
5. Get planned workouts
Ever get into the habit of running the same routes at the same pace for months?
It happens. It’s familiar. It feels comfortable.
But if you want to become a better runner, it’s important to make changes to your training strategy so you can progress.
Most local running clubs host a couple of planned runs every week, sometimes more during the summer months.
And many have race-specific training plans you can follow to improve speed, strength and conditioning to get race ready.
Track workouts, hill repeats...anyone?
6. Tap into experienced runners and coaches
Looking for more customized training to help you train for a race, rehab an injury, or get faster?
Maybe you’ve had “running a marathon” on your bucket list forever. And you’re ready to get some help to go the distance.
A local running club is a great place to find experienced runners and coaches who can help you create a training plan based on your goals and experience.
7. Get shoe, gear and training tips
Whether you’re new to running or you’ve been logging miles forever, you’re still going to have questions about how to be a better runner…
How do I choose a running shoe?
Which shoe is right for me?
Should I buy that headlamp for running at night?
How do you prevent shin splints?
What can I do to prevent runner’s stomach during a race?
Sure...you can Google these questions all you want looking for answers. But it’s a lot better to get help and answers from people you know, like and trust.
Join a local running club, and you’ll have an instant network of runners with massive-collective experience that can answer questions and offer insight on almost any topic.
Join a local running club to run your best
Want to be a better runner? Join a local running club. You’ll have an instant group of running friends who will motivate, inspire, and challenge you to run your best.