Though I like nothing better than to head out for a run on my own, spending my time in solitude as I run, there are a couple of times a month when I like to run with others.
I’m more of a throw my headphones on and pound the roads alone type of runner, but there are some days when I need a friendly face or encouragement from someone who knows what I’m going through. Even if part way around the course we fall into silence, at least we know the other is there!
Find Out What Group Works Best for You
There are many running groups regularly appearing, so it may not be the hardest activity to find if you’re interested. However, I would be tempted to suggest that if you can’t find one near to you, or even a group that you feel you would personally be able to get on with, why not look a starting your own? A running group needs to be somewhere where you can feel comfortable, happy and supported – so it’s worth taking time to find the right one.
Things to Look for In a Running Group
Even now, with the length of time I have been running, I like to mix it up. I currently run solo most nights, and meet up with a group of friends once a week. But, I also meet with another group once a month. It has taken me several attempts to find this group, as I need to feel as though I belong with such a large group of people before committing. On my way to finding this group, I have learnt a lot about the process:
Are they local? Fair enough, most of us will drive to the designated meeting point anyway, but if you are constantly rushing to get there after work, or you find yourself stuck in endless traffic each time you make this route, this can make the journey there and back a horrible event.
Are they Friendly? It may sound like a simple request but unfortunately not every group you meet with will gel with you. One of the first groups I tried was so competitive and bitchy that I began to wonder what fun any of the members could possibly derive from each session!
Are they your level of fitness? Perhaps the most important aspect is the fitness of the group. I was relatively at peak level when I met my group, and so were the others, so we manage to work together nicely. Some groups may be aimed at certain stages of running strengths. Be sure to check you find the right ability for you at that time.