How to Start Running with a Run Group: Tips for Beginners and Introverts
Intro to Running Groups for Introverts
Back in May I decided to join a running group! Actually, fall of 2020 I was invited to a running group and added to their facebook group. Since then I have basically facebook stalked the group but never went for a run. It took me 1 1/2 years to get up the nerve to go to a group run with them… but I finally did it! And guess what, it was great!
Joining a running group can be a great way to get fit, make new friends, and have fun. However, if you’re an introvert or a beginner, it can be difficult to know how to join a running group without feeling uncomfortable or out of place. Here are some tips for joining a running group as an introvert.
What are the pros of joining a running group as an introvert?
Joining a running group can have several benefits for introverts. First, it can help you make friends. Introverts often find it difficult to meet people, but by joining a running group, you’ll be around other people who share your interests.
Second, it can help you become more comfortable in social situations. Running is a great way to start conversations, and as you get to know the other members of your group, you’ll likely find yourself becoming more comfortable in social situations.
Third, it can help you get out of your comfort zone. Introverts often prefer to stay in their comfort zones, but by joining a running group, you’ll be forced to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. This can be a great way to challenge yourself and grow as a person.
Finally, it makes running easier in some ways!! I still love my solitary early morning runs. But having the group to go run with on Saturday mornings means that I have company for some or all of my long run. I especially like this as I think about training for a marathon and will start having longer and longer runs to do!
How to Find a Running Group
Now that you know the benefits of joining a running group, you may be wondering how to find one. Luckily, there are several ways to find a running group in your area.
The first way is to search online. There are many websites and online forums that can help you find a running group in your area. Two great websites are Road Runners of America or She Runs This Town.
Another way to find a running group is to ask around. Ask your friends, family, or co-workers that are also runners if they know of any running groups in your area. You can also ask your local running store or fitness center if they have any recommendations.
Most Fleet Feet stores host a running group as well as have knowledge of different groups in various communities.
I personally found the group that I run with by randomly talking to a man in my office building when he came to an open house my company was throwing. We naturally chatted about running since we both were runners and he is the one that invited me to join the group!
How can introverts join a running group without feeling uncomfortable or out of place?”
If you’re an introvert, joining a running group can seem like a daunting task. You may be worried that you won’t fit in or that you’ll be uncomfortable. However, with a few tips, joining a running group can be a great experience for introverts.
My biggest holdback/fear of joining a group was my level of running. I’m not the fastest out there and that made me extremely nervous.
If you are a beginner, one way to make joining a running group easier is to find a group that is specifically for beginners. This will help you feel more comfortable and less intimidated.
Another way to make joining a running group easier is to find a group that meets in a location that is close to you. This will make it easier for you to get to the meetings, and it will also make it more likely that you’ll know someone in the group.
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to the group before you join. Many groups have websites or social media pages where you can introduce yourself and get to know the other members. This will help you feel more comfortable when you do join the group and know who is going to be running your distance and pace range!
How I Survived my First Group Run as an Introvert
Remember something about runners, it isn’t that we don’t want to do things with people or don’t like people. It is just that we are more comfortable at home with a good book or doing solo runs.
Like I said earlier, I facebook stalked to the group for about a year and a half before making the decision to join a run. What I found in that 1.5 years of facebook stalking was that this was a fairly big group with runners of all abilities and paces. Remember, currently I feel like I’m on the slower end of things. I found posts where runners were posting that they finished runs in the same pace range as I’m currently running. That helped me decide to go to a run.
When I showed up for my first run, the organizer and coach of the group saw me and introduced herself to me. Asked me my running pace and told me who I should stick with. This made it so much more comfortable for me during the run. I didn’t have to worry about if I was going too fast or too slow.
Just remember, you aren’t the only person feeling this way. Everyone was a beginner once and we all had to make the decision to join a group at some point in time!
What Do You Talk About on a Group Run
Since I’m still getting to know the other members of the group we mostly talk about running! We have also gotten to know each other based on careers, family etc.
I think the biggest thing that has helped me on group runs is to not focus on the fact that I’m an introvert. Instead, I focus on being friendly and just enjoying the run and sharing my love of running with others!
One of my group members was recently on vacation and she posted on facebook about how she always meets a new running friend whenever she travels. What do they talk about? Running! It was a great reminder for me that we obviously have something in common if we are all out running!
Final Thoughts on Joining a Group Run for Introverts
The biggest thing us introverts need to remember when joining a group. Runners are some of the nicest people that want everyone to be a runner. So when you show up for your first run as a new member, you are going to be welcomed with open arms.
I will say that I don’t think joining a group is for everyone. Just like some people love the idea of running with others, some people really don’t. And that is okay! You do you and run how you want to run. But if you’re on the fence about it, maybe give it a try! Who knows, you might end up loving it like I do! I still only do one run a week with the group though because I like my solo runs!
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Running in a Run Group tips for the Beginner and Introverts
Dr. Abby Siler, PT, DPT is a Physical Therapist with 10 years of experience in a variety of settings. She has spent the majority of her time treating athletes in orthopedic clinics and worker’s compensation cases. She is a runner herself for the past 15 years and a lifelong athlete. Dr. Abby loves to teach runners how to stay injury free and out of her clinic.