Should I Join a Running Group to Improve Performance?
While many of us use running to get away from it all, the benefits of running with others is wide ranging.
Research has show runners are able to 'dig deep' and reach new heights when surrounded by teammates, and runners in Kenya and Ethiopia consistently train in large groups to push the pace.
Here's 3 reasons why;
I bloody love running but even I waste a lot of time procrastinating before I head out on solo interval sessions. Running groups remove any indecision.
Consistency is the key to improving your running and being accountable to your friends and training partners helps you lock in a consistent routine.
2. The motivation of friendly rivalries
My best periods of racing and training have coincided with periods when I have had a specific running rival. It's always friendly of course, (that's the beauty of running- you will always empathise), but mapping your progress against others will motivate and encourage you to work that little bit harder.
Simply running alongside others will improve your performance in a workout. Psychologists use the term social facilitation to describe “an improvement in performance produced by the mere presence of others.” I'm willing to bet £100 that very few people can run a 5k faster on their own than with a bunch of people on a Saturday morning ParkRun.
3. Learning from Others
Running with a group is a great way to learn, whether its from a coach or your training partners. A good coach should always be able to tell you how and why a particular session will benefit you while your training partners can offer a different perspective from their approach to running.
There are loads of different groups to get involved with all offering slightly different approaches to group training. Here's just a few;
Recreational running groups across the country.
Let's Get Running Work Run Clubs
Let's Get Running will set up and run an running group for your company. We start and finish at the office, and sessions can take place at lunchtime or straight after work so it fits nicely into your working day.
A running group with a difference. They run, but they use the run to help others-running to help groups and individuals in their communities who need help with physical tasks. They organise weekly runs in areas across the country helping food banks sort food, community gardens with heavy lifting and older people with help around the house. Find out more here.