Why You Should Join a Running Group on Facebook
Whether or not we like it, social media is a part of modern society and most likely a tool we utilize in our daily lives. While there are several articles out there to fight for or against the use of social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook, the key to a positive experience relies on figuring out how to use them to your advantage. For example, besides keeping up with friends and family, alternate uses for Facebook may be to consider joining a specific interest group of a hobby of yours in which you find interesting or engaging. Using Facebook to enhance your running is an entertaining way that also helps you get more out of your social media time than say, looking at funny cat videos (which are also awesome).
For runners, there are about 100 groups that pop up on just the first page of a Facebook search for “run”. It may seem overwhelming at first, but you can narrow your search to your specific identity or interests. Examples include: finding local groups to you by region, training for a specific race like NYC Marathon, trail running versus road running, gender-specific running topics, running gear and technology and the list goes on. The ideal group is out there for you and you won’t be alone!
Here at RunnerClick, we were interested in why people, who are already using Facebook and are a part of a running group forum, wanted to be part of a running group on social media. We have polled Facebook running group members varying from groups like Run Like a Girl Community, A Year of Running, Running the World, Running Shoe Geeks, and more to get their take on why they chose to join a Facebook running group and discuss some of their personal experiences of being part of such a group.
Our poll asked for members, of the aforementioned groups, to vote on their reasoning as to why they are members of a Facebook running group. Additionally, they were told to add any comments, positive or negative, as they sought fit to include. With over 200 participants, the results are in! The answers ranged from seeking advice on numerous topics to developing virtual and real-life friendships. A voter reported, “I use social media for general running advice. I have a couple of Facebook groups that are reliable for basically whatever questions I can come up with”. We will break it down for you from the least popular reason to the most popular reason.
Reasons to join a Facebook running group:
8. Seeking advice on how to get faster.
The least mentioned reason to join a Facebook running group, with 2% of the polled votes, was to seek advice on how to get faster. A few mentioned they were putting forward attempts to achieve future goals in improving their personal best times. They said getting advice from others on Facebook was a way to gather different avenues and action plans on how to achieve this success.
7. Seeking advice on running related injuries.
Next, with 3% of the polled votes, was to seek advice on running related injuries. Most of the polled voters stated that they did not use Facebook as a means to replace medical knowledge. The purpose was more to give and receive information on whether or not an injury or certain symptoms should result in seeking professional medical advice. While at the same time these individuals sought support on the emotional effects of not being able to run to the eventual coming back to running following an injury.
6. Seeking advice on running related nutrition.
Moving on with 3.5% of the polled votes was seeking advice on running related nutrition. A few participants stated that taking up running was not only a hobby but also a means of partaking in an overall healthy lifestyle. This included gaining nutritional tips and suggestions for recipes and reading material to enhance their fitness and well-being through a combination of diet and exercise.
5. Seeking advice on training programs.
With 5.5% of the votes, these participants are on Facebook running groups to seek advice on training programs and plans. From gathering information and reviews on Hal Higdon, Jeff Galloway, The Hanson Method to getting a personalized running coach, these participants found solace in others word of mouth and results from different training programs. Additionally, a few mentioned they felt better when supported or advised if they had to miss or change workouts within some of the weekly programs.
4. Seeking advice on particular races.
Moving up in the poll with 6.5% of the vote was gaining advice on a particular race. Ranging from where to park and how to get to the start of a race to course elevation and when, where and what are at aid stations, people appreciated getting insider knowledge from those who have run before or are local to that particular race.
3. Seeking advice on running gear, products & technology.
Coming in at 8.5% of the votes, getting advice on running gear, products, and technology came in third. With the abundance of products out there and most of them not being necessarily cheap, it is hard to test and discover what running gear is right for you. Many people wanted to get opinions on clothing sizing, product quality, durability, and overall answer to the question, “Is it worth the price”?
2. Developing friendships.
The second most popular reason our polled voters said they joined Facebook running groups was to develop friendships with like-minded individuals, at 27% of the tallied votes. One voter stated, “Running is a huge part of my identity. I wanted to be part of a community of people who share my passion”. Another said, “I don’t know a lot of people who like to run so I liked joining this group because these people get it”.
1. Motivation & Accountability
The number one reason from the polled voters as to why they join a Facebook running group, coming in with 40% of the votes, is motivation and accountability. The most common reason people joined a running group was to have invited motivating pressure from other like-minded individuals that brought on self-imposed accountability to their own actions. One voter said, “If you are active in a group and everyone is posting training runs, I think you feel a little more compelled to post. In a way, they hold you accountable without even knowing that they are doing so”. Another participant may have put it best, “There’s something to be said for ‘misery loves company’ when your training just isn’t going your way and you’ve exhausted all of your ‘normal’ friends. It’s nice to have a group who can truly relate”.