Updated: Sep 25, 2020
Many would consider “running” an individual activity; something that you can do on your own, without the need for others. And of course they would be correct … but, they would be missing out on so much more that running can offer; if you decide to run with a group.
Most of us understand the benefits of running on a regular basis: improved fitness, weight control, better overall health, etc. However, even with good intentions, if left to our own, we struggle to find the time to run. Joining a running group makes it easier; and you will likely find yourself looking forward to the times your group meets up. Why is that?
1. It will likely make you a better runner. One thing that groups of runners like to do is share information: be it the latest running gear available (and sales!!!), or how to prevent injuries, or how to set up a proper training schedule matched to your current fitness and abilities, or the latest techno-gadget that is on the market, there will likely be someone in the group who can answer questions. They will also be able to give you advice as to proper running form, breathing, hydration, fueling, and stretching before and after a run. Learning from others, will help you avoid making “beginner” mistakes. Proper form and gear will make running more fun and lessen the risk of a preventable injury.
2. Motivation. Another thing that groups of runners like to do is motivate each other; and that will keep you coming back for more! If you are part of a group that you enjoy, you will more likely make the time to join up for a run. That will lead to consistency, which in turn will lead to improved health and fitness. When you see and feel the results, you will be less likely to give it up.
3. Social Facilitation. This is a fancy way of saying you will likely put in more effort with a group, than you would alone. It certainly applies to running; I have experienced it many times. Not only in races, but even during casual running with others, it just seems easier and more enjoyable to cover the same distance in a group.
4. Make new friends. The Colombo Night Runners and Colombo City Runners are two of the nicest groups of people that I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I look forward to Thursday evening runs with the Night Runners, just to catch up with news from my running buddies. A group is also a great way to keep informed of any upcoming running events, from “Fun Runs” to marathons, if it is happening, someone in the group probably knows about it.
So, if you think that you might like to take up running for fun, or fitness, or weight control, or whatever, then you should consider joining a group of like-minded runners. You won’t regret it.