Seven Reasons to Check Out a Running Club

soloIf 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.

FriendsMak­ing 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.

trailBeing Account­able
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.

Sur­pris­ing Yourself
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.

ShoesGet­ting 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!