Running is a great way to get lost in your thoughts or listen to music and think about nothing at all. Many runners embrace the opportunity for alone time when training, which is great. But then again, even the most independent runners can benefit from the occasional group run.
Running with other people can help you challenge yourself in running faster or further. If you've been running at the same pace for ages, a slightly faster running partner will push you to go a little harder.
Whether you love to run with friends, or you're ready to try group running for the first time, finding people who are willing to lace up at 5 am or hit the trails after work isn't always easy. Here are some tips to help you transition from solo to social runner.
Sites like Meetup.com provide members with a list of local running clubs. If you live in a city, you'll find many different clubs with different schedules and styles, so you can pick one that's right for you. Some of the more popular clubs host at least one run per day, with many geared towards specific conditioning levels.
Most major cities have companies that host running tours; they’re just like walking tours, but a lot faster! It’s a great way to tour a new town, and an even better way to rediscover the one in which you already live! For the most comprehensive tours, from ‘locals only’ to ‘family runners’, check out City Running Tours.
If you are traveling and staying at a Starwood Hotel, you can also check out the RUNWESTIN program. Each 3-5-mile course is lead by a personal trainer and they're completely free to hotel guests.
Athletic retailers, once only a place for shopping, are now hip to the idea of building community through sports. Hosting runs is one way they're doing this. Many running communities have coaches that will help challenge you and provide tips and feedback to help you achieve your goals.
Fleet Feet offers regular running groups, race training, and even personalized training plans created by fitness experts. If you don't have a Fleet Feet store in town, you can download the Strava app and build a virtual community by connecting with runners around the world.
What better way to meet new folks than by preparing for a charity run? Run for Charity is an organization that matches runners with charity runs, aligning unique locations and interests. After you land on a charity you'd like to represent, either start your own team or link up with an existing charity group in your area.
Supporting a charity is also a great way to get in on a half or full marathon. Most marathon websites will have a charity page, displaying the teams that are running for a specific cause.
Having trouble locating a group of runners? If so, then get moving and start your own running group. Use resources like Meetup, Instagram, Facebook, or Craigslist to spread the word. It may take a bit of legwork, but the satisfaction of building a community from the group up will be well worth your time. The more running friends, the better!
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