Before I moved to Chicago I never ran with a group. Occasionally I would run with a friend, but seldom did I run with more than one person (with the exception of races, of course). Now that I’m part of a running group I know I’ve been missing out, because joining a club has made me a better runner, even in just a short amount of time.
The first improvement I noticed was increased accountability and commitment. If I make a date to run or RSVP to an event, I have to go. When I am on my own I am the queen of finding excuses to postpone the run.
I find that I am pushing myself more to enhance my speed. The group has runners of all paces. Sometimes I am in the back of the pack, and sometimes I try to run a bit faster to keep up with people. I like that it’s not just the often-too-comfortable pace I like to stay in. And running behind the superstar runners in my group inspires me to try to get better. I can also evaluate my pace by assessing whether I can carry on a conversation while running.
Group running also offers friendship. I know few people in Chicago besides my running group members. I find that the running community is welcoming and friendly, much like the yoga community. Often the hangouts evolve into genuine friendships.
Fellow runners are your cheering section. You’ll get high-fives and encouragement when you need it. If you trip and face-plant, someone will offer you a hand. If you have to stop mid-run, someone will wait for you.
Lastly, my running group meet-ups help me explore new parts of the city while having fun. Can’t wait for the next run!
Marette Flora is the founder of Floradise blog and personalized gift shop. Marette is a passionate storyteller and creator. She attended the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication.
She is passionate about creating helpful and meaningful things.