How to Find the Right Running Group for You
People who always run alone miss out on a lot of benefits that group running offers such as better performance, expanded social circle, and improved motivation. The running community can inspire you to run a race or distance that you thought was impossible for yourself. Running with a group of several people can help you make new connections within the place you are living and beyond. Then the question you want to know is where to find a running group, and what would be the most suitable running group for you.
Types of running groups
Before you get started, take a look at the most common running groups. This will help in choosing the group that fits you best.
- Recreational running groups – These groups get people who run between 3 to 8 miles to run together. They usually run for social and fitness reasons.
- Trail running groups – Ideal for people who like outdoor running on the trails. The running distances range from a few miles to higher treks.
- Triathlon groups – Besides running, these groups also involve swims and rides. They usually take place once or twice per week and include various race distances.
- Marathon and half marathon groups – They include free training groups that are focused on an upcoming marathon, charity fundraising groups and running groups where runners pay the coaches to prepare them for the particular marathon like.
- Ultra marathon groups – They connect trail running and marathon group in one. The running distance ranges from 50 km to more than 100 miles.
- Track and field running groups – These groups are suitable for people who enjoy racing/running on the track and they are intended for all ages of runners.
The Best Running Organizations, Communities, and Clubs in the United States
If you live in the U.S., here are a few organizations and communities to take into consideration if you want to find a running club or group in your community:
Stroller Strides – This fitness program helps moms stay fit after childbirth by running, walking, or working out along with their toddlers and babies. It is active in more than 2,000 communities across the United States.
- Road Runners Club of America – It is a big national organization that involves numerous local running clubs in the U.S. You can find the clubs closest to you. Many of these clubs have forums where people create invitations for running buddies.
- Running Specialty Stores – These stores also involve group training runs, and most of them do it for free. Some of them even lead a specific workout and running programs.
- Marathon Kids – A running organization that introduces kids to run in a fun and have the active lifestyle.
- Girls on the Run – This is a fitness and learning program intended for the girls between 8 and 13 years of age. The girls learn various life skills through running and dynamic lessons. After 10 weeks of training, the girls start participating in the 5K races.
Read also about best running shoes for teenage girls.
- Charity Group Training Programs – It includes a number of not-for-profit organizations that deal with diverse charity running programs for the fundraising efforts. This way, you benefit to a good cause while running.
In addition to these national running organizations, you can also join a local road race. The registered participants enjoy free group runs. By the way, this is the great opportunity to meet new people after or during the race.
Ways of Finding Running Friends and Groups
There are different ways of finding running partners today. However, you should look for the running buddies with the similar running pace who will be the right fit for your personal preferences. Here are the most common ways you can find running groups and buddies.
- Ask at your health clubs and gyms
Some gyms and health clubs include sign-ups for running buddies. All you need to do is to check their bulletin board and post a note over there in order to find fit-minded people like you.
- Ask the local running stores about running groups
In many big cities, there are running stores that offer free runs from the retail locations. These runs usually take place during the weekends. Most of them are open to the public. While enjoying running you can meet new people along the way.
- Check out fitness dating websites
This is a great opportunity to connect two things in one – find a running partner while making a romantic connection at the same time. Luckily, there is a wide range of dating websites which are intended for single people who love running. If this is your thing, and what you are looking for, by all means indulge. Here are a couple options: FitnessSingles.com and RunningSingles.com.
- Get on Google or Facebook
Simply type the keywords into Facebook and/or Google search bar, such as “running club,” “running groups,” or “marathon training group” and enter the particular city name or the name of an area you are looking for. You will get the results for running groups that may be suitable for you.
- Recruit people at work
Ask around at place you work and find your co-workers who are interested in running before or after work.
- Volunteer at a road race
This is another way to meet buddies in a certain local running community. While you are handing out water cups or sitting at the registration table, you are likely to meet people who are also searching for a running partner.
Now go out there and find your group. You have the information you need. What are you waiting for? Get active and take the next step in finding your perfect running group!