One of the great things about running is that you can just throw on pair of running shoes and head out the door. It's a great way to kick off your day, feeling better able to tackle what's ahead of you. It's equally as good as a way to finish your working day, allowing you to release some of the built up stress and tension that has built up over the day. Basically, you almost always feel better after a run.
Unfortunately for some, getting out the door is the hardest part. Some ways to help you get started were mentioned in this previous post. One way to help you get out for a regular run is to be a member of a running group. If you run with a group on a regular basis you will become a better, more consistent runner.
Let's look at 6 great benefits of running in a group:
If you have made a commitment to a running group you will be held accountable both to yourself, and others. It's harder to skip a planned run if you have others counting on you to show up, or if you have made time in your weekly schedule to run regularly.
2. The Group Effect
Studies have shown that when people train with a group, their perceived effort is lower at the same speed/pace than when training alone. When people train together they release more endorphins that lift mood and suppress discomfort than they do when undertaking the same tasks individually. This allows them to work harder for the same effort, as displayed in a 2009 study involving rowers.
Twelve rowers were subjected to a test of pain sensitivity. Once after rowing for 45 minutes alone, then after 45 minutes in synchronisation with other rowers. The pain tolerance was significantly higher after the group effort, translating to a higher output for the same perceived effort.
- A weekly group running session (or more) will allow you to be more consistent with your running. Many runners will skip a day, a week or more and find it difficult to get back into the habit of running. Having a regular weekly running session will make it easier to remain consistent and also help runners build up volume gradually.
While consistency is desirable, too much of the same thing can be detrimental to your running fitness. A lot of runners run on the same route, at the same pace for every run. While doing this regularly can improve your running fitness to a certain point, you will quickly find that the improvement ceases as your body is no longer being stressed to make new adaptions. There is also an increased injury risk if you are placing the same loads on the same tissues run after run.
A group running session will add some variability to your training program. Sessions will vary in focus, allowing you to develop the different systems required to be a more rounded runner and build a solid base to reduce the chances of suffering from running related injuries.
Running with a group can be very motivating as you will quite often find yourself pushing harder than you would on your own. Quite often this is because you may have somebody who is faster than you, but equally it can be due to the fact that the other runners are familiar with what you are going through and are able to provide encouragement so you can mutually motivate each other towards your goals.
6. Coaching Advice
Each running session will have a specific focus, and be structured with a warm up, drills, main set and cool down. During the sessions you will receive advice from the coach regarding running technique, injury prevention and how best to structure your training outside of the sessions. If you are preparing for a goal race you can also benefit from advice regarding tapering, nutrition & race pacing.
Joining A Running Group
Check out Facebook, or Google "running group" for your area. If you are after a northern suburbs running group, the Consistent Running Club Perth could be the answer for you. Well structured group running sessions are held 4 times per week