Joining a training or running group can be life changing.
Besides meeting terrific new friends and expanding your social circle, a group offers plenty of benefits for your running. Most notably, running groups are a great way to learn about new and improved training methods and principles. A group also builds in accountability to set and train toward our goals.
And most running groups have a diverse membership of varying ages and abilities.
Several years ago, I remember my hesitation to show up at Beyond Running, the downtown Fargo running store, for its Tuesday night group. I had a few marathons under my belt and felt quite comfortable logging my long runs alone.
But the desire to hang around other runners, make new friends and learn from others finally won out on the awkwardness of showing up at a group where I wouldn’t know anyone.
Surprisingly, running was becoming the avenue for me to challenge myself to try new things and break out of my comfort zone. Showing up for the first time at the Tuesday night running group was a little less daunting than signing up for my first 10K, which I almost skipped due to the rain.
That 10K was the first time in years that I decided to just do something that I wanted to do and push all those worries about not knowing anyone, finishing last or messing up by running off course and looking dumb. Of course, it all turned out much better than I feared.
At some point, the desire to do something needs to be greater than the fear of failing at it. Or not doing it at all. It’s time to set aside the excuses and find a group.
So where do you find a group?
In Grand Forks, the See Dick Run store offers Saturday morning workouts for runners of all abilities and pancakes after the run. You can also join the Red River Runners Grand Forks group, which also offers group runs and training for the Fargo Marathon.
And speaking of Fargo and the upcoming marathon, there are several options there for group runs, including opportunities at Beyond Running and Fargo Running Co., which both offer various days to fit busy schedules. For those looking for detailed plans and a bevy of insightful running information, check out Faster. Stronger. Runner. group, which will be starting this coming Saturday for those running in the Fargo Marathon.
There are also a couple resources to help you find the right group or race on this blog. Look for the Running Buddies section on the right sidebar of any page or find websites with links to races across the region.
Those who scroll down the page also will find a few new features on the right side of the blog, including the option to sign up for email updates for posts to the Addicted to Running blog and my Twitter feed.