Running Groups - 8th February 2019

Simon - running coach
by Simon - Middle-distance runner and athletics coach

I love running solo. It gives me a chance to gather my thoughts, I can run at my own speed, stop if I want, run where I want, walk up hills if I want. But, I do also love the group run.

If you've never run in a group, here are some reasons why you should give it a go.

Time flies

You'll be surprised how quickly time goes by when you're running with others. This is really handy if you're increasing mileage and starting to find running a bit tedious.

It's easier

I pretty much always run with a heart rate monitor and I fairly consistently notice that running at a given pace in a group yields a slightly lower heart rate than when I'm running alone. I've not discovered why, but I suspect it has something to do with relaxation.

You perform better

If you're undertaking a tough session then having others around to encourage you can be a massive boost. It's very easy to wimp out of a final rep when you're on your own, but the judgemental eye of others helps prevent this in a group setting.

It's social

Who doesn't love socialising? Well, quite a few people, I suppose. But if you do, then group runs are the perfect way to chat to people about running who don't start going mad because all you ever talk about is running. Apparently.

It's motivating

If you've told your running buddies that you're going to be there for a group run, then you're either going to have to be there or make up another excuse.

It's informative

Other runners know stuff. They know something about that injury you've got; they know how you might knock another few seconds off your 10k PB; they know about a local race that doesn't seem to be listed anywhere else; they know of another group that meet bi-monthly and do midnight headtorch runs; they know about a store that's offering a massive discount on technical t-shirts. Group runs provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about running and what's available to runners.