If you always run by yourself, you're missing out on lots of benefits of group training, from improved motivation to expanded social circle. Not sure how to go about finding people to run with? Follow these steps.
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- Most local road running clubs offer group runs during the week and on weekends. Check out Road Runners Club of America to find the club closest to you.
- Head to a running specialty store in your area. Many of them offer group training runs, usually for free, that start and finish at the store. Even if they don't host runs, the employees are part of the running community and can probably suggest local running groups to you.
- Find a charity group training program. Many not-for-profit organizations offer coaching and cover race expenses in exchange for your fundraising efforts. The biggest programs with many locations across the country include: the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, the Arthritis Foundation's Joints in Motion, and the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation.
- If you're a mom, check out seeMOMMYrun.com, a free walking/running group for moms of all ages and stages (and their kids), to find out about organized runs in your area.
- Sign up for a local road race . Many races offer free group training runs to registered participants. If you're training for a specific race, check the race website to see if they have any organized training runs scheduled.
Also see: How to Find Running Partners