7 Smart Reasons to Join a Local Running Club

Run by yourself or join a local running club?

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 CHEERY reasons to sign up...👇👇

1. Go for a social run

1. Go for a social run

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.


  • 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

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)
  • Ultra
  • Triathlon
  • Obstacle course race

When you hang out with other runners in a local running club, you’ll learn about other races in your area. 

And you’ll find out what those races are like...

  • Course
  • Organization
  • Aid stations
  • Elevation profile
  • 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

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

4. Create accountability

What if you skip a run or workout and nobody knows?

For some of us, it’s a slippery slope.

You know...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 (maybe text, call, bang on your door or all three
  • Encourage you, and...
  • Hold you accountable to help you reach your goals
5. Get planned workouts

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. Connect with experienced runners and coaches

6. Connect with 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 tips on shoes, gear and training

7. Get tips on shoes, gear and training

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…

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. 

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Evan Jensen
SANDY, Oregon

I help RUNNERS reduce injuries, fix running form, run longer & faster by strength training without running ragged. I'm a NASM-certified personal trainer, and hold the record for the most finishes at the Mountain Lakes 100-Mile Ultra in Oregon.


Dan Burk These are all great reasons. I missed being part of my weekly group run when the small local running store closed that was holding the group runs. This article has given me the encouragement to find another group-run group or even better, to create my own.

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