Running with a pack can help you reach new PRs.

Social Benefits of Running in a Group

Pros of Group Running

For years, more than 10 to be exact, I’ve run as part of a team. Starting at Cherokee HS, then Villanova University and then to George Mason, and finally as part of the now-defunct Haddonfield Running Company team, I ran with people just about every day. Those are some of my fondest running memories. Not only was I push to new levels, but I also had the shoulders of my teammates to share my successes and failures.

Villanova racing 4 miler @ Haverford College

Sam, Bobby, Marc & Kippy racing a 4 mile XC race

The conversations you can have with other runners during a run can make the miles fly by.  Running in a group is the perfect way to gain motivation, learn from more experienced runners, and get pulled along to new PRs.

3 Perks of Group Running

Carly & Marc running together in San Fransisco

Running in groups are huge reasons why running is becoming so popular again.  Below, I’ll look at 3 reasons why running in a group is and has become so wildly popular.


Motivation

There’s no better way to jumpstart your training than with friends. You can have conversations about anything while you’re running. Steve Case said it best, “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions”. Not only that but the shared experience leaves you feeling connected. It’s no wonder that elite running groups fare better than elites who train by themselves.   Even if you don’t know who you’re necessarily running with, a group or pack is much better for your motivation than running solo.

Running with a pack can help you reach new PRs.

Marc running with Shalane in a pack


Learn from Experienced Runners

All of the questions you had about running could potential he be answered on a run. Questions such as “how to stretch”, “what to eat”, “what workout you should be doing”, could all be answered by an experienced runner. Bouncing ideas off of a runner who has “been around the block” can greatly improve your own performance. Online communities, such as Run856 proves that new runners looking for motivation and help can turn to more experienced runners.


Social Facilitation

There’s a lot to be said about working out in a group setting. A fast pace is more manageable when you’re working with other runners going through the same thing. Sharing the work is crucial for both physical and mental reasons.  As talked about on wikipedia, “Social facilitation, or the audience effect, is the tendency for people to perform differently when in the presence of others than when alone.”  It’s a legit phenomenon that you work harder, smarter and more efficiently when you’re in the presence of other people. 

The 3 benefits of running with a group: Motivation, Experience, & Social Facilitation

3 benefits to running in a group

I know for a fact that I perform better when someone else (even someone I don’t know) is on the track when I’m doing repeats.  This is definitely a real thing! So next time you’re looking for a little boost during a workout, find some unsuspecting person to use as extra motivation.


Summary on Group Running

Overall, running in a group is hugely beneficial if you can control yourself on the days when you run with the group.  I know from experience that too many days in a row of pushing the pace leaves me feeling really sore and run down. Pick your group-running days wisely – maybe 2-3 times a week, while the other days you focus on your own pace. 

Pros of group running

Group running builds confidence & motivation

When you run in a group, there’s a good chance you’ll have some extra motivation.  Not only to perform but to show up. And as we know, showing up is half the battle. On top of that, group running will help you learn from experienced runners.  You can ask the questions you’re afraid to ask. Or maybe you hadn’t even thought of something and during conversations, you’ve learned something new! Finally, through social facilitation, you’ll be able to handle a faster pace or a longer distance because working with a team (or in a group) is powerful stuff.


Need more motivation? Check out these articles!

Partner Workout – HIIT

Using a coach to provide the social facilitation

“Tricking” yourself to get you out the door


WELCOME TO THE RUNNING COACHES’ CORNER!

Running Coaches Corner

Running Coaches Corner

For coaches: Link up each week to post your favorite running tips and coaching ideas.

For runners: Link up with running successes of your own and gather insight from running coaches!


LINK-UP RULES

  • Your link must be running related. You don’t have to be a coach to join but you do have to post something related to running. Unrelated links will be removed.
  • You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun!
  • Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers! Leave a comment and find new blogs to read!
  • Use hashtags #running, #coachescorner, and #runningcoachescorner to stay in touch and promote your content!


Need for a coach to help you reach your running goals?

I am a USATF Track and Field & Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT O2 certified running coach. I have more than 19 years of experience running and more than 10 years of experience coaching runners.  Click for more information!

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Social Benefits of Running in a Group

  1. deborahbrooks14 says:

    All of my runs are now with my group. I have not run alone in years! The best conversations and best friends have been made

    Like

  2. Debbie Woodruff says:

    I used to run regularly with a group. I loved it. The miles really do fall away when you’re chatting with a running friend. Now I mostly run alone or with my husband, which I also love, but I do sometimes miss the group run.

    Like

  3. RunningOnTheFly (@runningonthefly) says:

    I don’t do a lot of group runs for training, but I run with a friend for most of my long runs (and those 5:00 a.m. 5-milers). I’m working on getting a network of runners together in my town, so we can facilitate group runs more often…they definitely area fun and productive!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s