No matter where you live, if you look out the window early on a Saturday morning, you’ll likely see a group of runners smiling as they trot by. Those happy runners are probably all members of a local running club and you can easily join their ranks. Not only is a running club easy to join, there are tons of other benefits to getting involved with a bigger group as well. Here are a few of the good things you get when you team up with your local running club.
Runners are social. When they aren’t actually running, they love to talk about running. They drink beer and talk about what they’re fueling their long runs with. These people can relate to all of the things your non-running friends think make you crazy. Group runs and activities build strong friendships no matter what your speed.
Motivation. Bailing on an 18 Miler a few weeks before marathon day because of bad weather? Not if you’re supposed to meet the gang. Runners want to be out there with friends. Miles go by much faster with some conversation and encouragement. The accountability running with a group provides will help you stay on your training plan and hit any goal you choose.
Guidance. There is inevitably going to be a runner with more experience, speed or injuries than you. Want to run a race? Someone can probably give you the details. Running with someone faster will help make you faster. Hearing about an injury means you’re less likely to get it. A big group of runners is a library full of knowledge that’s just waiting for you dive in.
Safety. Early morning and night are both dangerous times to run on the road and trail. With a group or at least one friend who has the same workout scheduled on the same day to join you, you’re a whole lot less likely to get hit by a car or worse. Two blinking red lights are better than one.
A few more extras that come with joining usually include discounts at running stores and races as well as community service opportunities. To find the closest local running club to you, check out the RRCA website and search by state.