Running is one of the best forms of exercise there is. Not only does it burn significant calories, it can be done almost anywhere – in the neighborhood, at a track, at the beach, or anywhere else you choose to vacation. All that's required is a good pair of running shoes and a little motivation. But, logging all those solo miles can get lonely if you don't have a friend or family member who shares your interest. If you're tired of hitting the track alone, a running club could be your answer.
When some people think of a running club, they imagine the members to be die-hard, humorless sorts who are only interested in logging more miles. While this may have been true in the past, the modern day running club is full of diverse personalities who simply enjoy the health benefits and freedom of a good run and want to share that experience with others. Many of them have experienced the loneliness of running in solitude and want a little camaraderie.
Many running clubs offer weekly group runs, usually on a Saturday morning. They may have several different runs for different levels, so even new runners won't feel intimidated. Being part of a running club provides a unique opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of more experienced runners and to socialize with a group that shares a common interest in running and good health. Plus, group running can give the additional motivation and confidence needed to sign up for a race or charity running event. Running as a group also helps with focus, not to mention it's a great way to network.
Many moderate and large sized cities have a running club of some type with some areas having more than one. One way to find a group in your area is to call your local health club or YMCA. Sporting goods stores that sell running gear are good sources for information about area running clubs. In our directory of running clubs, you can search for running clubs by state or you check out the Road Runner's Club of America's website.
Some running clubs also have additional perks such as discounts on running gear at local sporting good stores and racing discounts. Many also sponsor social events particularly around the holidays.
The bottom line? If you like the social aspects of running and don't want to do it alone, a running club may be the answer for you.