Thinking of taking up running but too scared to do it on your own? Or maybe you need a push when it comes to motivation and accountability? Setting up your own running group can be a great way to socialise whilst also gaining tips and tricks from others. There are plenty of running clubs out there, but perhaps their goals don’t align with yours. By starting your own running group, you can tailor it to yourself and like-minded people.
Running in a group instills a drive that you can’t find by yourself. The runners at the front of the pack try their best to stay there, whilst the middle of the group are consistently trying to catch up to the top dogs. Those at the slower end of the group can spur each other on to keep going and not give up.
Starting a new club can be daunting and you may think it’s going to be overly time consuming, however to begin with inviting people you know and creating a Facebook group and events is a great way to gain traction.
Before you start your new adventure, make sure you nail the essential basics, such as planning a suitable running route in advance, choosing an appropriate time that will suit most people and stating what equipment people will need e.g. water bottles and what to wear. If you’re planning on running on dark nights, ensure everyone can be seen and let people know to bring a high-vis jacket or wear reflective clothing.
Once you have created a Facebook group and have let people know all the details, it’s time to get going! Don’t worry if you don’t have many (or any!) showing up at first. As long as you’re consistent and attend all your own events, people should soon start following. If you’re feeling slightly nervous to begin with, why not recruit some trusty friends to help get things going and to help motivate others?
The most important factor is having fun! Why not create weekly or monthly awards to help keep the motivation flowing amongst your members? Or you could create mini challenges such as who has climbed the most elevation and you can use apps like Strava to log your results and share with others.
Once you’re an established group, why not push your boundaries and enter some local races such as charity fun runs or even half marathons! If you ever want a change of scenery and routes, you could organise runs that differ from your normal ones - why not jog through the woods or go on an excursion to somewhere picturesque.