Should You Join a Running Club?

By Jessica Remitz for Discover and Play

While solitary running can have its perks, training with a group or running as part of a club can help improve your race times, motivate you through a tough workout and expand your social circle with like-minded friends. Here’s a look at what you need to know about finding or starting your own running club, as well as the top running apps to try.

Ask about group runs at your local running store, fitness center or YMCA. Most running stores hold informal runs on a weekly basis; from there, you can learn more about running groups in your area. You can also search for a running club nationwide at www.runningintheusa.com/club/ or the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), which can also connect you to professional trainers and coaches. Be sure to determine what your running goals are and find groups that will help you reach those goals while making you feel comfortable and excited about running on a regular basis.

Starting Your Own Running Club

If you haven’t found a group in your area that’s the right fit, consider starting one of your own. Round up a few friends, sign up for a local race and start training — it’s that easy! Just be sure to find participants who run at the same level as you, and set guidelines for what you expect to get out of your new club. Remind each other to show up for all of your scheduled runs, and work towards a certain goal for your upcoming races. Should you want to establish a more serious, long-term running club, check out the RRCA’s guidelines for starting a club.

Running Apps to Try

Once you get started, use
your smartphone to stay connected with members in your club, track your
progress and share your results. Invite group members on weekly runs with Running Club, an app that allows you to
schedule live or virtual runs with friends across the country. Or try Endomondo Sports Tracker, an app that lets you send
pep talks to your friends in real time. You can also use the built-in audio
cues from RunKeeper to keep your group on-pace
during training and help you save a detailed history of every run.

Jessica Remitz is
a freelance writer and web producer living in Brooklyn. Her work has
been featured in a variety of health and lifestyle websites including
Spafinder, FitPregnancy and Everyday Health. To see additional writing
samples and learn more about Jessica’s work, visit her
website.

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