Running is a great way to get fit and finding friends to run with is a great way to have fun and stay motivated. Finding a running group that fits your needs can be difficult; often times established groups don’t cater to beginner runners, store led clinics can be expensive, and sometimes there simply isn’t a group or club in your area.
When you can’t find a running group that fits your needs, why not start one?
Choosing a Schedule
To maximize participation pick a day and time that doesn’t conflict with the typical work day. Most running groups start with a weekend morning run and expand from there. Once you have a group of regulars established for your Saturday or Sunday morning run, poll them and use that info to help you decide when to add another run to the schedule. It could be a weeknight, a pre-work morning run, or even a lunch hour jog.
It’s also beneficial to choose a goal race for your group to train for. The race you choose will dictate your schedule to a certain extent, but remember it’s not necessary or realistic to try and run each training run as a group. Pick 1–2 training runs each week to do as a group. It’s advisable for one of them to be the long run, but the other is your choice.
Promoting Your Group
The next step after settling on a schedule for your running group is to begin promoting it. The easiest way to do this is to create a group event with the Buddypass App. Buddypass will help you find other locals with an interest in joining a running group. Encourage your early members to recruit friends and be sure to keep the latest info up to date in your Buddypass group.
Etiquette and Rules
Make sure members are familiar with group running etiquette and rules. You can consult your group when creating them to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Some rules typical to running groups include;
- No headphones, headphones designed for running are great during solo runs but group runs are meant to be a social activity.
- Be on time, and let the group leader know if you can’t make a run. You don’t want to hold up the group while they wonder if you’re coming or not.
- No jingling, secure loose keys and change to avoid driving your group members crazy.
- No runner gets left behind, try to stay together or in smaller groups if paces widely vary.
Keep it Safe
When choosing routes for your new running group always scout out the entire route to ensure it is safe. Your run should take place on sidewalks and trails whenever possible, avoid running on busy streets. Here are a few more tips to keep your group safe.
- When running on the road always face traffic
- Wear reflective clothing, or better yet a flashing light when running in the dark.
- Carry ID, transit fare and payphone change in case of emergency.
- Stay alert and obey road rules.
Finally make it fun, invite everyone out for coffee or a meal after the run. This gives the group a chance to bond and create meaningful friendships. As your group grows you may want to enlist the help of other members to organize runs, scout events and act as pace bunnies. Buddypass will help you easily manage it all and make it easy for new members to find your group.