Why Solo Runners Should Join a Running Group
Running can be a source of health, happiness, and confidence. It can be either individual or social, but best results follow when you combine both.
If you’ve been running regularly, you’ve noticed it: No matter how you feel, movement makes you feel better. And it goes beyond the “runner’s high” – even if you just meet the minimum amount of physical activity (30 minutes, 5 times per week), you’ll feel better and live longer.
Not convinced yet? How about this: Running brings us joy. Watch small children all excited, at play, and you’ll see they can’t stop running.
At 10 years old, I had the chance to train with experienced runners from my home town. I was the youngest person in the group and the running course felt hard. A few years later, I ran for the best regional triathlon team, trained by first-class coaches. Then, during my sports science studies, I started to train more professionally, mentored by a national coach. My passion and determination brought me to my dream race: the European Triathlon Championships.
But running, to me, isn’t just about competition. I love the diversity of running. In different temperatures and climates, at sunrise and sundown. On a treadmill, on the track, running cross country. If you train your body for these moments, you will get a host of physical and mental benefits as well as new experiences.
From solo to social
So, like me you’ve fallen in love with running, and you have a million reasons to keep at it. But do you know how to become faster? Do you know how to get over your doubts? Do you know the difference between running and systematic running? You will learn all these insights at a running class.
Even if you miss a session, knowing the rest of the group are training motivates you to make up for a session so you don’t fall behind.
Having someone else plan a session takes away that extra step, so you can solely focus on your performance. You also get valuable advice along the way. In solo runs, no one reminds you to stand tall or relax your arms and land softly. From a motivating coach that’s committed to your individual development, you get instant advice and feedback on your technique. These tips carry over to your solo runs.
On a running class, everyone is equal
“Much like understanding the individual needs of a team member in business, a good coach understands the individual needs of an athlete.”
“I want to run, but I’m not good enough.” “What if others are faster?” If this sounds like you, you’re forgetting the reason running classes exist: to run together, and to develop together.
Of course, different runners have different performance levels and speeds. And yes, it’s possible for everyone to train together – it’s your unique strengths that will bring you forward. Much like understanding the individual needs of a team member in business, a good coach understands the individual needs of an athlete. Plus, you can always tap into the knowledge of more experienced runners for tips and advice. They, too, have been beginners at some point.
No matter how fast or how long you run, now is the time to take the next step. One of the most common phrases I hear from my runners: “I would’ve never done that by myself. It makes me so happy!”