Nov
30

11 Reasons to Train with a Group

When I first started running, I was too intimidated to join a group run.  Would I be fast enough?  Would I mess up the group’s workout?  What if I needed to stop?  What if I don’t know anyone?

These are all completely normal feelings, but I learned that groups LOVE new runners!

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1.  Accountability.  It’s so easy to hit the snooze button if you’re doing a solo run.  It really helps to know that others are meeting you at a set time and location. P.S. Who runs in pink dresses?!

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2.  When you’re marathon training, you’re running for hours.  It really helps to have the company of others.  And, when you’re talking and laughing, the time really flies by!

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3.  Speaking of good company, you can make so many new friends.  I have met some of my best friends through running groups.

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4.  Running is good for your physical health, but group running is good for your emotional health.  It significantly improves your self-esteem, overall mood, and level of psychological stress.  Read more about this study…HERE.

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5.  A group can help you hold a steady pace.  Some runners have a tough time pacing themselves.  They’ll go out too fast and crash before they’ve finished the run.

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6.  Pacers, coaches, and mentors.  Fleet Feet Nashville provides pace leaders and coaches to everyone that signs up for training.  Everyone can start with the same training plan, but life doesn’t always go as planned.  A good coach can help you adjust your training for setbacks from illness, work, family obligations, etc…

7.  It’s a great way to learn from experienced runners.  Long runs provide a great opportunity to ask questions about nutritions, hydration, shoes, etc…

8.  Shared goals.  When you’re running with similar paced runners in your community, you’re often training for the same race and a similar finish goal.

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9.  Pre-made routes.  Making run routes can be very time consuming.  It’s also easy to fall into a rut of running the same route every time.  For our group runs, the routes are always pre-selected before the run.  It gives everyone the opportunity to familarize themselves with the course.  It also introduces the runners to new routes.  They might not be this cool, but you get the idea!

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10.  Safety in groups.  Not only are you safer from a would-be attacker, but you’re more visible to traffic.  It’s hard to miss this group!

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11.  This is my favorite…water stops!  We set up coolers of water every 4ish miles along the route.  It’s such a luxery to not worry about carrying enough water for a long run.
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Fleet Feet Nashville is gearing up for their Spring Marathon Training.  That’s what got me thinking about this topic.  I’ll be pacing the 4 hour marathon group.  They offer half and full marathon groups for every pace….if you’re walking your first race or trying to BQ!

I’m blessed to run with some great groups!!

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What have I forgotten on this list?

Are you a group runner?  Is it organized through a local running store?

Unrelated…How was your long Thanksgiving weekend?  

Join the Conversation

  • Kelly

    Just wanted to let you know I have been enjoying your posts. I also love all your recipes, gear, and clothes!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thabk you SO much!!!!

  • http://laurainlou.wordpress.com lmicklich

    One of my favorite group runs I’ve ever gone on was with Indy Runners and we went around the neighborhood to see Christmas lights. They do it every year, and it’s fantastic!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I love that idea! I cant believe we’ve never dont that.

      • http://laurainlou.wordpress.com lmicklich

        Sounds like you should get one started!

        • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

          I just texted the owner of fleet feet…thanks for the idea!!!

  • http://acupcakeformythoughts.weebly.com/ Jasmine

    Just found your blog a week ago and love reading your posts! I’m a newish runner and love reading all the advice, so I know what to do and what not to do as I progress with my running! :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thats so exciting!!! Let me know if you ever have any questions and thank you for taking thr time to read my blog! :)

  • http://www.runningnreading.com Running ‘N’ Reading

    This is so true, Jen! I really, really, really did not want to run the super-hilly route my group had planned for Saturday but I also did not want to run without them – ha! Thanks for sharing this; I think lots of people could benefit from your perspective on the what you’ve gained from running with a group.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you SO much!!!

  • Diane

    This summer I went on a few runs with a running group for the first time. I was intimidated at first because of the reasons you mentioned. Then I was the only female too! They were faster than me but it helped push me. When I fell behind the group, one of the guys stayed back with me too. I learned that is the point of a running group, to work and train together. I love your last picture with the bear behind your group.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thats a good point…group running has helped me to push myself and become a better runner!

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