I can barely write that title without laughing and having to double check that my body hasn’t been taken over by aliens. Like seriously. Who the heck am I?!
It seems like just yesterday that my “I Hate Running” anthem was spreading over the internet like a bad case of… you fill in that blank. Now, at 34 I’ve taken up the hobby of running. So much so, that I think I might actually be able to call myself a runner?! (gasp).
It just goes to show that it’s never too late to try something new, or do something that you grew up thinking was impossible. So.. while there are still some days that are absolutely terrible, I’m finding way more that are enjoyable and worth the extra effort and sweat. Which is why I’m encouraging anyone who has considered taking up the sport of running, or for anyone currently running to join a running club. Why? Keep on reading, friends.
If you can create a running schedule and stick to it, good for you! You are a far better and more dedicated runner than I am. But, if you’re anything like me, and you’re constantly guilty of letting life get in the way of your runs, then a running group will help keep you accountable.
Running groups will set aside scheduled runs each week, and will include distance, RPE suggestions, and new locations for meet ups. In short, running groups will give you a group of people who are waiting for you to join them, making it a lot harder to back out of your scheduled run. Plus, your team will always be there cheering you on up those hills or when you feel like quitting.
New Training Methods
New to intervals, speed training, hills, or progressions? Running groups will teach you everything you need to know to improve your skills as a runner. But I can Google those things. True, but Googling something and then actually experiencing it in person are two different things. Plus, nothing beats having a real life person walking you through the rationale and how-to for completing some of these training runs. And, Google won’t be there waiting for you at the finish line to tell you good job.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of following your same designated running path, but when you join a running group, chances are your meet-ups will be someplace new every single time you meet. This is great because your body can get used to running the same course time and time again, so switching up your locations, adding hills or new terrain, will make your body learn to work at something that will ultimately help you become a better runner. Plus, running in new locations gives you the chance to get out and make every run seem like a brand new experience, and will help decrease burnout and boredom.
Nothing will build you up quite like a running group. You’ll see runners from every walk of life, every athletic ability, and every speed group. You’ll meet competitors, and hobbyists, and everyone in between. You’ll hear some great stories, and learn new tips and tricks from all sorts of different runners. All while improving. Improving speed, improving form, improving in overall skills. When you’re working on a common goal, even for different reasons than the rest of your group, you’re ultimately working on improving your running, and what you’ll find is that your confidence will increase the more you participate.
Not only will joining a running club help you stay accountable and learn some new techniques, but it will also give you a whole new group of friends. Surrounding yourself with like minded people who share similar goals is the perfect equation for forming new friendships. And when you’re all cheering each other on, amazing things happen.
Some of my Favorite Running Gear
Here are some of my favorite items that I’ve been using to help me during my runs. It’s always a learning game for me, so if you have something you swear by, please comment below so I can check it out! xo
Disclaimer: I may have used some affiliate links in this post, which means if you click on any of my affiliate links and make a purchase, I may get a commission straight from the retailer at no additional cost or price to you. All of the opinions in this blog are always mine, and I would never recommend something I didn’t like!
Natasha Funderburk is a wife, #boymom, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Consultant, and ACE-Behavior Change Specialist. When not watching her son play baseball, she can be found on various writing platforms, coaching her clients to live their best lives, drinking all the coffee, and conducting living-room dance parties.