If you’re used to running solo, you might find enjoyment in the seclusion of getting lost in a run. Deep in your thoughts, you can go at your own pace, pick your own route, and take a break whenever you feel like it. But running by yourself can also get boring. It can be tedious, can lead you to plateau, and can be all-too-easy to stay on the couch when the weather is looking a little iffy.
If you’re starting to experience some of the less desirable side effects of your one-person running show, then it just might be time to consider trying a running club. Here’s why.
Learning New Routes
Picking your own routes is nice, but maybe you’re guilty of doing the same routes over and over. Running clubs are a great way to discover new trails and routes that you might not even know exist right in your own backyard.
Making Unlikely Friends
People in a running club share one thing in common: a passion for, or at least an interest in, running. Beyond that, participants range in age, professions, backgrounds, and other interests. You’ll get the chance to meet people that you otherwise might never have gotten to know.
Staying On Your Toes
The right running club will keep you challenged, continually making you a stronger runner. Look for clubs that switch up routes, running styles, and drills every week, forcing you to work a little harder. You’ll notice the difference after a few months.
There’s something about scheduling a run at a certain time on a certain day that just makes it easier to commit to. It’s like sticking to any other kind of appointment. If you’re the type of person who has trouble finding time to squeeze in a run, the accountability factor of group runs might be right up your alley.
With someone else in charge of the run, you might surprise yourself in your run club—for better or for worse. Maybe you aren’t quite as fast as you thought you were, or maybe you’re better equipped for hills than you ever gave yourself credit for being. By trying different things that some you might not have ever considered trying on your own, you can learn more about yourself and your running style.
Picking Up Pointers
Be a pupil, and listen to (and observe) teachers, run leaders, and others in your group. They might have a few tips and tricks up their sleeves than can ultimately make you a better runner.
Getting the Inside Scoop
Nobody knows the running circuit like the folks in a running club. It’s the perfect place to swap race reviews, overhear information about shoe sales, events being put on by other stores, trail maintenance days, and so forth, allowing you to plan out your season of events. It’s good to be in the know!