Are you tired of pounding the pavement by yourself? Join a running club! At the mention of individual sports, running may be one of the first athletic pursuits to come to mind; but, for many, it offers a valuable social network and much needed camaraderie on long runs that could otherwise be lonely when done solo.
Beginner and seasoned runners alike can benefit from a membership to a running community. Many running clubs offer several different group runs to meet the various running levels of members, so beginners need not feel intimidated. One such club is the Your Pace or Mine Running Club
in Rochester, Michigan which was formed by John Hodgson and Jen Keuten in December, 2006. According to club member Joe Terranova, "Our running club is great....We basically take all speeds, our motto is 'no runner left behind.' We always try to not let anyone run alone, and everyone is very supportive of each other and we've become great friends."
Whether you are interested in training for a race or just want to run to improve your overall health and fitness, running with a group undoubtedly will keep you motivated to achieve your running goals. According to Terranova, "I would never be running as much as I do without the club, and I definitely would not be doing more marathons. I trained alone for one in 2004 and won't do that again. The only bad thing is that I get sucked into a lot of races due to peer pressure. But it's all fun."
What are the benefits of joining a running club?
What does a running club membership typically provide?
- Support - sharing a similar interest develops a sense of community. Fellow runners offer words of encouragement to keep you going during training runs and races.
- Accountability - it is easier to stick to your exercise routine when you know a group of people are waiting for you.
- Networking - many friendships and business deals have evolved from members conversing during group runs.
- Improved fitness/performance - mentorship from seasoned runners who are eager to share their running strategies (as well as a little healthy competition among members) can lead to improved running times.
- Safety - running with a group may help to protect against an assault; and, can be life-saving if a personal medical emergency should arise during the run.
- Group runs that usually take place on weekend mornings, but some are scheduled during the workweek (often in the evenings).
- Social events, picnics, potlucks, post-run get-togethers, etc,.
- Club newsletters/emails
- Online forums
- Information on upcoming races
- Training information/seminars
- In some cases, discounted race entries, club race shirts, and store discounts on running gear
Whether you are interested in speed workouts or training for a marathon, joining a running club can provide you with many benefits. To find a running club near you, contact the Road Runners Club of America
, a national organization of over 980 running clubs. To join or learn more about the Your Pace or Mine Running Club in Rochester, Michigan visit www.yourpaceormine.com
Road Runners Club of America
Your Pace or Mine Running Club, Rochester, Michigan
"Benefits of Group Running" by Christine Luff, about.com
Updated February 22, 2009
Labels: group running, Road Runners Club of America, running clubs, Your Pace of Mine Running Club