Running Social - Skip the Night Club, Join a Run Club
I think it is safe to say that a lot of us begin running so we can avoid buying bigger jeans. However, what running becomes to a lot of people is so much more than just a healthy choice; it becomes a lifestyle and a source of sanity. It helps us to deal with stress, overcome tough times, feel strong in our bodies and sweat out the day. For a lot of us, it even becomes our social life.
As someone who met many of my closest friends through a run club, I am a huge fan of running with others. We often get locked in to the routine of our daily lives and end up only hanging out with the same few people we grew up with or with co-workers. Joining a run or triathlon club gives you the opportunity to meet people from outside of your circle of friends. People of all ages, backgrounds and occupations, but that are drawn together by one common bond…the love of the sport.
Of course, there are days when running solo and tuning out the world is a beautiful thing too. But for the most part running with a group is just more fun and can really help to take your running to the next level, as well as keep your training on track.
A case for the club…
· Running with others keeps you accountable. Making plans to meet up bright and early means you won’t bail on your workout when the alarm goes off in the morning. It is a lot easier to make excuses and postpone getting up when you don’t have a group of people waiting for you.
· Time flies. Having friends to chat and laugh with as you run makes the miles whiz by. Plus you are more likely to try new things, like stairs or track workouts, with a group. Trudging through the same old route solo can be torturous and lonely. Everything is more fun with friends.
· There will always be someone faster or slower than you to help keep you motivated and give you advice. When running with a group you naturally find your pace pack, but as you progress and improve you can work towards keeping up with the faster group. This motivation to push yourself a little bit harder will help to improve your speed immensely.
· When you want to quit or end your run early, your friends will keep you going. If you run solo it becomes a lot easier to convince yourself that X number of miles is plenty for today when you had X+4 planned. Running with a group helps you stick to the plan and your teammates will be there to offer words of encouragement when you think you can’t go any further.
· Sense of community and camaraderie. The opportunity to get to know your local store owners, people in your neighborhood and fellow athletes is a rare thing nowadays. Joining a club gives you the opportunity to become a part of a community and meet people that will cheer you on as you work towards your goals, no matter how big or small they are.
If you want to make some new friends and join a run club in your area check out some of these awesome run clubs the 361 team has had the opportunity to run with across the US:
Charles River Running:
679 Washington Street, Norwood, MA, 02062
109 North Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, IL, 60301
Wednesday nights @ 6:30pm
Garrett's Run Shop:
1100 Manhattan Ave, #104, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266