Guest Post | Running Community

Hello everybody! My name is Margaret and I blog at YoungandRungry. I’m so excited to be here on Kerri’s blog to talk to you guys about why I love the running community and how we can all get more involved.

But first, a little background on me- I’ve been running pretty competitively since Kindergarten so the sport has always been one of the greatest loves in my life. In recent years, I’ve gotten more into distance running and marathons. I’m passionate about the proper way to fuel the body for training, but I’m also a huge advocate for keeping running fun and social.

I didn’t find community through running until half way into college. I was doing my first internship in Aspen, Colorado, where I joined a team to train for my second marathon in Amsterdam. Long story short, I made lifelong friendships, learned so much about running, and never once felt scared or alone in my training (or traveling abroad… well, I did lose my phone in the red light district, but that’s a horror story for another time).

In the 2 other cities I’ve lived in, aside from my hometown, the runners were among the first to invite me in. There’s just something about long runs that loosens up all your words and inhibitions to create a space for immediate friendships.

If you run, the chances are that you’re involved in the running community in some way. If you do any races, read any running blogs, or even run by yourself at a public park, I’d say you meet the minimal requirements. In my experience, however, the more you put into something, the more you get out and I think it’s even more powerful when you invest yourself locally.

I love the running community because it’s nonjudgmental and inviting. No one cares about how fast, how far, or how often you run and if they do, they’re the ones who don’t belong. All we care about is the fact that you are doing something difficult and striving to make yourself better. 

How you Can Get Involved:

1.      Join your local track or running club

There might be a very small annual fee, but is usually worth it’s weight in gold. The membership comes with updates,events, and often discounts on races and at stores so it ends up paying for itself in the first couple of months. 

2.      Go to open group runs

Look on the track club’s website or magazine about the different running groups in town.  Open group runs are usually large enough to have at least a couple people who run around your same pace and if not, they should specify in the description. If none of these work, start reaching out and start your own!

3.      Go to a specialty shoe store.

I worked at Fleet Feet after college and we had people come in all the time just want to talk about running. That’s right, they didn’t need to buy a thing and we were fine with it because we all loved to talk about running just as much as they did. A shoe store is also a good place to start because they usually have a bunch of programs or at least enough info to get you plugged in. Who knows, they might even offer you race and/or gear sponsorships one day.

4.      Join a training program

Training programs is like a group run with twice as much support, plus they are an amazing way to network especially if you’re just starting out. You do at least one run a week with the same people and even get a coach to help motivate you and keep you on track. There’s always a familiar face at the starting line of races and people to chat with at the post-race beer station.

5.      Be active on social media

It’s no secret that instagram, facebook, and twitter are great ways to put yourself out there and connect with the people around you. Next time you go run at the big park in town, tag your location followed by a couple of popular hashtags among the runners in your town and look to see who else is out there. 

I hope that inspired some of you to go out and get more involved with people who share the same passions as you! I promise it’ll make it a million more times enjoyable! Thanks again to Kerri for having me and thanks to you for reading.

A little ending note from me (Kerri ;)) – How cute are Margaret and her friends?? She looks like she has an awesome running community to tackle training runs with and has totally motivated me to get more involved in my city’s running groups.

So tell me, are you involved in any running groups?? Do you prefer to do some runs solo, or run with other people? Do you sign up for races with friends? How has the running community affected your life??

Thanks again to Margaret for a great post on the benefits of the running community!

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