5 Benefits of Running with a Group
If you run with a group I guarantee you’ll become a better runner. Obviously you’ll need to continue to put in a lot of hard work, but the benefits of training in a group environment are huge! Sure, there are times when running alone is preferred, but doing a majority of your runs with others has tremendous benefits.
This year I started running with a group on a regular basis. I typically did my long runs with one group, and a Wednesday workout and Friday Flapjack run with the running group at Mill City Running. Training with likeminded runners made me faster, and infused a lot of fun in the process.
Benefits of a Running Group
Below are five benefits to running with a group. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave them in the comments below.
Running groups hold you accountable when that little voice in your head tries to convince you to skip the run. When there are others counting on you, you’re more likely to show up. One of the biggest reasons people stop running is because they lack this accountability.
One of best ways to become a better runner is to do it more. Having a regular, weekly (daily in some cases) running group will help ensure that you stick with your running not only during race season, but in the middle of winter when it’s even harder to get those miles in.
#3. Motivation through Running with a Group
From my experience, running with a group is incredibly motivating because there is ALWAYS someone who is faster than me. This motivates and encourages me to work hard. When you run with a group, everyone there knows what each other is going through, and that commiseration can motivate you all the way through your next race.
#4. Learn from Others
Running with a group is also a great way to learn tips and tricks about becoming a better runner. Some running groups offer formal coaching or classes. Others simply offer a time, location and other people. In all settings, it’s virtually impossible NOT to learn from the collective wisdom of the group. Stick with it long enough, and all of that running experience will rub off. Runners tend to talk about running while running.
#5. Social Facilitation
There is actually some psychological benefits to running with a group. Social Facilitation is a social psychology term that means “an improvement in performance produced by the mere presence of others.” According to Cindra Kamphoff, Ph.D, when running with a group, “You get caught up in the pace, and you might not recognize how fast you’re going” she says. Your brain encourages you to keep up when you might have slowed down alone. I have found this to be true more time than I can count.
Running with other people creates an excitement that helps you run faster than you thought you could on your own.
Running Groups in the Twin Cities
We plan to do a more in-depth review on each of the clubs on this list, but for now, here are several active local running clubs.
- Club Run Minneapolis
- Calhoun Beach Running Club
- Charities Challenge
- Life Time Run
- Mill City Running
- Minnesota Distance Running Association
- MNRED Running Club
- Moms on the Run
- Moms Run This Town
- Northstar Running
- St. Croix Valley Runners Club
- Twin Cities Track Club
If you’re not already connected, finding a running group may be the best thing you can do for your fitness in 2014.